There has been slight movement in the top 10 list of the most popular first names: While the name Emilia is still number 1 for girls in the ranking of first name experts Knud Bielefeld, Noah has again landed at the top after 2020. "Both names have been in the top ten for a long time," said Bielefeld of the German Press Agency in Ahrensburg (Schleswig-Holstein). The hobby name researcher published his ranking on Friday, it is available to the dpa. Last year, the name Matteo took the top spot among boys.
At the same time, a new name is on the way to the top group. "The boy's name Theo has climbed the list of the top names. It has risen steadily to the top in recent years and is now in sixth place." But the name Ben, which has been enormously popular for years, has fallen even further. For nine years, the boy's first name was number 1 until it was ousted from there in 2020. In the meantime, he can only be found in 10th place in the nationwide evaluation. "It seems to be slowly going out of fashion now and long-standing top names like Lukas or Luka are slowly disappearing from the first name lists."
Nelio is also becoming increasingly popular
Even when looking at the back of the table, Bielefeld can make out a first name that is becoming more and more popular. "The name Nelio is not yet in the top ten, but it has risen strongly." In search of the reasons, the name expert has an assumption: "It seems to be because the entertainer and influencer Dagi Bee called her son that at the end of last year."
In search of connections between his statistics and events of the year, Knud Bielefeld looked at the development of the name Layla and was surprised. "I didn't think there were so many parents who would call their daughter that." The controversial party hit "Layla" by DJ Robin and Schürze was hotly debated in the summer and was often (unsuccessfully) banned at folk festivals.
Layla continues to be popular despite party hits
In the popularity scale for girls' names, it has therefore neither dropped nor climbed, as Bielefeld said. "That has hardly had an effect. The name has hardly been given less frequently than in previous years."
And Knud Bielefeld has also identified a trend in the choice of first names for girls and boys. "There's a big trend, and that's vowel-rich names that don't have any consonants other than the M, N, and L." Most of the names follow this pattern and the winning name Emilia fits in perfectly.
In general, it is still the case that there are also clear regional differences in the choice of names. "The naming fashions in the south are still being adopted more slowly. The old names will stick around a bit longer, like Lukas or Maximilian." In the north, parents are a bit more innovative and Scandinavian names are more common there.
Saxony has its own evergreen
In Saxony, the name Kurt has also been a favorite for years. "It happens very, very, very often in Saxony and not so often in the rest of Germany." There is also a new retro name in Saxony: Erwin. "For years, no children were named Erwin at all. But he's reappearing now - and I'll watch him."
For the nationwide evaluation, Bielefeld and his small team used first name data from 423 cities. Two thirds of the data comes from registry offices and the rest from baby galleries from maternity hospitals. According to its own information, Bielefeld has recorded around 250,000 birth reports. This corresponds to about 34 percent of babies born in Germany.
The Gesellschaft für Deutsche Sprache also publishes similar statistics, with around 90 percent of all data from the registry offices, according to their own statements - but later than Knud Bielefeld.