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Map: What are the most popular baby names in your part of France?

Alba, Léo, Jules, and Emma all did well… but which names came out on top?

France’s statistics bureau INSEE revealed the list of the most popular baby names in the country in 2022 Pic: The Connexion

The list of the most common baby names in France has been revealed, with many topping last year’s list remaining popular.

Compiled by statistics bureau INSEE, separate lists for both boys and girls revealed the top 100 given in France to newborns.

For boys, Gabriel was the most popular, with almost 5,000 children being given the name, while for girls, Jade (3,420) came out on top. 

Other popular names for boys included Jules, Léo, Raphaël, and Maël, whilst for girls Ambre, Louise, and Alba were common. 

Alongside influences from neighbouring countries, such as Italy (Enzo, Ezio), and from Anglophone culture (Liam, Adam), regional differences were also present. 

In the Seine-Saint-Denis department, in the Paris suburbs, Mohamed was the most popular boy’s name.

In the departments that make up the Brittany region, traditional Breton names like Malo are consistently in the top ten most popular names. In Corsica, Ghjulia and Lisandru made the top ten list for girls and boys respectively. 

The nationwide list of top ten names was almost identical for boys and girls to their 2021 counterparts when Gabriel and Jade were already the most popular names for newborns in France. 

What were the most popular boys’ names?

Gabriel was by far the most popular boys’ name – 4,889 boys were given the name, with Léo, the second highest, only being given 4,078 times.

It was also the most popular in all of France’s metropolitan departments except Normandy and Hauts-de-France.

Gabriel was also the most popular boys’ name in the departments hosting France’s three biggest cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille). 

1. Gabriel

2. Léo

3. Raphaël 

4. Maël 

5. Louis

6. Noah

7. Jules

8. Arthur

9. Adam

10. Lucas

What were the most popular girls’ names?

For girls, the results were a lot closer; while Jade took the top spot with 3,420, Louise (3,412), Ambre (3,380), Alba (3,280) and Emma (3,158) were comparatively close. 

Jade was not the most popular name in any region – and only the most popular in 11 departments – but was consistently in the top five names across all departments in France, which helped it pip the other names to the post. 

1. Jade

2. Louise

3. Ambre

4. Alba

5. Emma

6. Rose

7. Alice

8. Romy

9. Anna

10. Lina

Shorter names are popular

One similarity between most of the most popular names is their length – it is uncommon to find names more than three syllables long.

Aside from Raphaël and Mohamed all names in the top twenty list for both boys and girls were two syllables or less in length. 

“First names consisting of 4 or 5 letters account for the majority of births and represent almost 50% of first names given,” said Baptiste Coulmont, author of the Sociologie des prénoms (Sociology of first names) book. 

“Short first names ending in 'a' have accounted for almost 50% of births in recent years,” he added. 

Although 2023 is far from over, preliminary data about this year’s baby names indicates Gabriel has been knocked off the top spot by Léo, although Jade is still the most popular for girls. 

What were the most popular baby names in each French department?

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