Europe’s Most Popular Given Male Names


Have you ever wondered which are the most popular names in Europe? I got the answer in this Wikipedia article. Of course, like everything European, the statistic collected there resembles “organized mess”. The information is compiled from various sources and different years, some of it represents the entire population at the time and some only the newborn in the specific year. There seems to be no data about Montenegro, Albania and Cyprus, while other countries are extensively covered, for example Belgium is cut in all its glorious regions. Guess which name is the most popular for Brussels (2008)! Mohammed.

Anyway, I loved this exercise, exactly because the data is so messy. It’s a beautiful metaphor for anything European. As many of you know, I am not trying to be scientifically accurate in my maps, that’s not the point of my project.

There are many surprising things on this map but the most intriguing are the cases in which one name is the most popular in more than one country. I tried to emphasize those groups, assigning to each one similar color shades. You can clearly spot what I would like to call the Luca Empire – spanning from Norway to Croatia. The Greek name Alexander is popular in many countries (and probably one of the most popular worldwide) but on the map it is absolutely dominating only in Russia, Ukraine and… surprise… Macedonia. George is spanning Greece, Bulgaria and… well… Georgia. The two remaining groups are significantly smaller. Jakub covers Poland and Slovakia and Robert(s) – Estonia and Latvia.

Fun, no?

14 comments on “Europe’s Most Popular Given Male Names

  • Incorrect for France (or, rather, misspelling): it should be “Lucas.”  Germany: Ben, followed by Luka. (2012)

    • tout à fait !!
      And, as Yanko could certainly be a typo-maniac btw,
      en français the ? and ! and : and ; and « » always need an extra spacing…
      As in « oh là là : la vie en rose !! »
      Since French is a sexy language for him, it certainly cares to give it the real way, if you know what I mean… ;- ))

    • Great article, I promise to use it in future maps. :) I have no idea when exactly I will make anything additional but the project is far from over. I'll add the corrections you mentioned when I make a new version of this map.

  • Really interesting information, but not correct about Latvia as well.
    In latvia most popular male name is Jānis (similar to Jonas in Lithuania) Roberts has been trendy name after 2000, but still according to census data (…. ) there are 57681 Jānis and only 7732 Roberts.
    And most popular female name is Anna 25387 vs Sofija 3118 ;)

  • Interesting map but wrong data, for Spain at least.
    The most popular name in Spain for males is Antonio (or José if you consider double names, like José Luís).

    For females, it is María Carmen (or María if you consider double names).

    The data you have for Spain is the most popular given name in 2010, but not over the whole population.

    Source (National Statistics Bureau):

  • Great map and excellent idea to show the most popular names like this!!! In Finland, the most popular names are counted officially, but first and other names separately. So the real winner for 2009 would be Veeti:… (ensimmäiset etunimet = first first names, which is usually the name that you use to call the boy) The official 2010 stats are published at some time in March because Finnish kids get their names usually some 2 month after birth only.

    • Thank you for the link, sanne.

      Whenever it was possible, I tried to stick to data representing the entire living population in a given year, instead of just the newborn children, this is why the name for Finland is Juhani instead of Veeti.

      I didn't know Finish kids got their names 2 months after birth, that's very interesting. In my country, there is still the ritual of baptism which can be performed at any time even though many people chose not to but I guess the official state recognized name is given immediately. I should do more research about it.

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