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Olivia and Leo are Finland’s top baby names


In 2022, Olivia and Leo were the most popular first forenames among Finnish-speaking children, Saga and Oliver among Swedish-speaking children, and Sofia and Adam among children of other languages. Since December, it has been possible to report the child’s name to the Population Information System digitally, and currently 88 percent of children’s names are reported online. This speeds up and streamlines the processing at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. However, expert work is still needed to assess unique names, which results in longer processing times.


Little variation in the most popular names among Finnish speakers

For children born in Finland in 2022, Olivia was the first forename of 276 girls and Leo of 376 boys. They were the most popular names also in 2021, and Leo has been the most popular first forename for boys since 2019.

In 2022, the most popular first forenames for girls were Olivia, Aino, Aada, Lilja and Eevi. Venla and Sofia, two of the top five in 2021, fell to the eighth and ninth place, respectively, and were replaced by Aino and Aada. In other words, Aino is once again growing in popularity: it was the most popular first forename for girls in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

The most popular first forenames for boys were Leo, Väinö, Eino, Oliver, and Elias, which have formed the top five since 2019. Väinö has moved up to the second place from fifth in last year, and Eeli, the most popular name of 2018, is now in the eighth place.

When the second, third and fourth forenames are also included, the top five for girls’ names was Aurora, Maria, Sofia, Olivia, and Emilia. For boys, the most popular choices were Olavi, Juhani, Johannes, Mikael, and Oliver. Only the order of the top five names has changed from the previous year: Aurora has overtaken Maria, and Mikael has passed Oliver.

“There has been little variation in the most popular names in recent years, and traditional names continue to be popular. The most popular first forenames are often short, consist of two syllables, and their pronunciation could be described as soft. There are many traditional names that are likely to appear in the family, for example in the names of grandparents,” says Noora Riskilä, Senior Specialist at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Saga and Oliver among the most popular names of Swedish-speaking children

In the 2022 name statistics, the most popular first forename for Swedish-speaking girls was Saga, which was also the favourite of 2021. Among the boys’ names, Oliver became the most popular. In Swedish-speaking families, 29 girls were named Saga and 33 boys were named Oliver.

After Saga, the most popular first forenames for girls were Ellen, Alva, Emma, and Stella. William, Liam, Anton, and Emil were in turn the most popular first forenames for boys after Oliver.

When all forenames are included, Maria and Alexander were the most popular among Swedish-speaking children.

Sofia and Adam are the favourites for children of other languages

Sofia was the most popular first forename for girls of other languages, and Adam was the favourite for boys. Sofia is followed by Maria, Olivia, Eva, and Emilia, while Elias, Muhammad, Mark, and Leo round out the top five for boys.

Reporting the child’s name to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency became easier

Since December 2022, it has been possible to report the child’s details to the Population Information System digitally. The digital service has been widely used, and currently about 88 per cent of children’s details is reported to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency online.

The high utilisation rate of the digital service highlights the good digital capabilities of parents and their willingness to primarily use digital services. The digitalisation of the service has been often requested in customer feedback.

The mother of a newborn child will automatically receive an information package at home to help them select a name and report the child’s details. The new online form shortens the processing time of notifications at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, as forms do not need to be mailed and scanned.

If the parent is a member of a parish, the form is usually handed over to the priest in connection with the christening ceremony, and the Population Information System receives the information from the parish.

Unique names result in longer processing times

Coming up with baby names is creative work. If you wish that your child has a unique name, you should prepare for longer processing times. In general, children’s names are processed in about four weeks, but the processing of unique names takes longer.

The legality of the names presented to the child is examined when the notification has arrived at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency or when the parish has transferred the verification of the legality of the name matter to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

“If the child is given several forenames, some of which are familiar, they can be registered separately before the unique name is evaluated. This is necessary if you need to obtain a passport for the child to travel abroad, for example,” Riskilä explains.

“In this case, any personal documents need to be renewed after the unique name has been confirmed.” Riskilä adds.

Data on the most popular first forenames of children born in Finland was published by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency on 13 April 2023. The data is based on a total of 46,486 children born last year, and the statistics includes names given by 31 March 2023. The statistics contains the 50 most popular forenames and first forenames for Finnish-speaking children, Swedish-speaking children, and children of other languages. In this context, persons of other languages refer to individuals whose native language is not Finnish or Swedish. The statistics includes both nationwide data and separate data for Finland’s 15 largest cities.

How to report your child’s name

  • A child can be given 1–4 forenames. The name must correspond to the established name practice. It may not cause offence or harm or be inappropriate as a forename. If you need help in choosing the name, you can use the Name service.
  • The mother of a newborn child will automatically receive an information package at home that helps in reporting the child’s details.
  • Submit a notification on the child’s names and mother tongue within three months of birth. The details can be submitted digitally on the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s website or on a paper form.
  • Read more here.

Most popular first forenames given to children in the largest cities

CityGirlsBoys
EspooEmmaLeo
HelsinkiOliviaElias
VantaaSofiaOliver
HämeenlinnaLilja, Sofia and ViolaOnni
JoensuuEevi, Sofia and HerttaEino
JyväskyläIsla, Hilla and ViolaLeo
KouvolaAino and AavaJoel
KuopioHillaEino
LahtiPihlaElias
LappeenrantaEllen, Eevi, Olivia and AlisaEino
OuluIslaVäinö and Onni
PoriHelmiOliver
TampereOliviaLeo
TurkuOliviaEmil and Leo
VaasaAada, Hilla, Lilja and FridaEino

Source: helsinkitimes

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