Norway’s top names 2017

Sofie and Jakob top a list that shows regional and temporal trends

Norway's top names 2017

The Local

Norway has new official most popular baby names for both boys and girls after the 2017 totals were announced.

Sofie and Jakob were the top choices in 2017. Lavrans moved up the list, while previous favorite William slipped back, as did Nora, the top choice for baby girls in 2016.

Figures for most common names given to infants in 2017 were released by Statistics Norway on Jan. 24.

The name Sofie was given to 412 children last year, while 424 were called Jakob.

“Both Sofie and Jakob have had a classic swing in popularity for names,” senior advisor Jørgen Ouren said via the Statistics Norway website.

The two names were extremely popular at the beginning of the 20th century, then fell almost completely out of use before seeing a modern return to popularity, Ouren said.

The third-most favored girl’s name was Emma.

William, which has been the top choice for boys for a number of years, dropped all the way down to sixth on the 2017 list.
Lukas and Emil join Jakob in completing the top three.

The most common name also varies according to regional district, Statistics Norway writes.

“Even though Jakob is the most popular name overall in Norway, Hordaland and Troms are the only districts in which it is top of the list,” Ouren said.

Mohammed in its various forms of Latinized spelling is top of the list in Oslo, as it has been for a number of years. This reflects the relatively high proportion of people with minority backgrounds in the capital as well as the particularly high incidence of that name within those demographics.

Sofia—with an a—is the most popular girl’s name in Oslo, while overall Norwegian first choice Sofie—with an e—languishes in 20th place, a result “we do not have a good explanation for,” writes Statistics Norway.

A caregiver at an Oslo daycare center told NRK that the names appearing in the annual statistics were reflected in children attending the center.
“There are a lot of Sofies and Mathildes. There have been a lot of Oscars at the daycare in the last 10 years, the same for Lucas,” Espen Verlo told NRK.

Norway's top names

Top 10 Norwegian names in 2017:

1. Sofie/Sophie
2. Nora/Norah
3. Emma
4. Sara/Sahra/Sarah/Zara
5. Ella
6. Olivia
7. Maja/Maia/Maya
8. Emilie
9. Sofia/Sophia
10. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri

1. Jakob/Jacob
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Emil
4. Oskar/Oscar
5. Oliver
6. William
7. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
8. Noah/Noa
9. Elias
10. Isak/Isaac/Isac

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 9, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Norwegian American Logo

The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.