The most popular baby names in Germany in 2018
Do you know a Marie or a Paul? If not, you’re likely to meet one very soon, as these names were the most popular names in Germany in 2018, according to the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS).
The GfdS baby name ranking
Since 1977, the GfdS has been publishing data about the most popular baby names in Germany for any given year. The ranking is based on the records of birth registrations with German registry offices. In 2018, more than 700 registries nationwide took part, providing details of over one million children born last year - 491.156 girls and 518.498 boys.
The GfdS provides the data in two different rankings: one for the most popular names overall (e.g. including middle names) and one for the most popular first names. The results are surprisingly different.
The top 10 girl’s names in Germany 2018
For the second year in a row, the most popular names overall were variations of Marie / Maria and Sophie / Sophia, comprising some eight percent of all given names in 2018.
The top 10 most popular girl’s names overall were as follows. Note that spelling variants (e.g. Sophie / Sofie) have been grouped together. The name’s placement for the previous year is given in brackets.
|Rank||Name||Share of total|
|1.||Marie (1)||2,61 %|
|2.||Sophie / Sofie (2)||2,39 %|
|3.||Maria (3)||1,67 %|
|4.||Sophia / Sofia (4)||1,46 %|
|5.||Emilia (5)||1,34 %|
|6.||Emma (6)||1,25 %|
|7.||Hannah / Hanna (7)||1,20 %|
|8.||Mia (9)||1,15 %|
|9.||Anna (8)||1,11 %|
|10.||Johanna (11)||0,97 %|
The top 10 boy’s names in Germany 2018
This year, Paul replaced Maximilian as the most popular boy’s name. Although it has been in the top 10 for the last 20 years, this is the first time it has secured the number one spot. Henry made the list for the first time ever and is the first Anglophone name to appear in the top 10 in over a decade.
|Rank||Name||Share of total|
|1.||Paul (3)||1,32 %|
|2.||Alexander (2)||1,30 %|
|3.||Maximilian (1)||1,29 %|
|4.||Elias (4)||1,23 %|
|5.||Ben (7)||1,17 %|
|6.||Louis / Luis (8)||1,14 %|
|7.||Leon (7)||1,09 %|
|8.||Noah (6)||1,07 %|
|9.||Henry / Henri (12)||1,03 %|
|10.||Felix (10)||0.96 %|
The top 10 first names for girls & boys in Germany 2018
When we look at the lists of the most popular first names, however, there are some noticeable differences: Marie, Sophie, Maximilian and Alexander are missing, and some new names appear:
|1.||Emma (1)||Ben (1)|
|2.||Hannah / Hanna (3)||Paul (2)|
|3.||Mia (5)||Leon (4)|
|4.||Sophia / Sofia (2)||Noah (3)|
|5.||Emilia (4)||Louis / Luis (8)|
|6.||Lina (7)||Jonas (5)|
|7.||Mila (8)||Elias (7)|
|8.||Ella (14)||Henry / Henri (12)|
|9.||Klara / Clara (9)||Felix (6)|
|10.||Anna (6)||Luke / Lucas (9)|
Regional differences and trend-setting
A comparison of different regions and cities in Germany shows that, depending on gender, there are significant differences in the order of popularity, which can perhaps be explained by regional-specific factors such as religion, tradition, history or customs.
Examining regions also enabled the researchers to discern patterns in the spread of “fashionable” names: these seem to go from north to south and from east to west. For example, the names Finn, Henry, Ella and Ida, which have historically been popular in the north of Germany, are now appearing in the top 10 lists for southern German states. At the same time, popular names in the east, like Charlotte, Mathilda, Frieda, Karl, Emil and Oskar are gradually making their way west.