National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Olivia and Jack are Scotland’s top baby names

Olivia and Jack are Scotland’s top baby names

Thursday, 7 Apr 2022
babies' names news release image

Busy parents encouraged to fill in the census

Olivia has overtaken Isla to become Scotland’s most popular name for baby girls for the second time, according to figures on baby names registered in 2021 published today by National Records of Scotland.

Jack is the most popular name for baby boys for the 14th year in succession, followed by Noah and Leo.

Lyla shot up 56 places in the top 100 girls’ names to 74th overall, while Blake rose 46 places and Rowan 41.

Carson has seen the largest increase in the top 100 boys’ names in 2021, rising 42 places to 83rd, while Struan has jumped 37 places and Myles is up by 35.

Director of Statistical Services, Pete Whitehouse said:

“Beneath the headline figures the long term trend is for more names to be used each year, including some names only given to one baby in 2021.

“Almost 12% of baby girls were given a name that no other girl was registered with in 2021. Almost 9% of boys had unique names for births last year. Together with the growing range of names being used this means it’s far less common for children to share their name with their classmates than it was for their parents or grandparents.”

With NRS running this year’s census Pete Whitehouse took the opportunity to appeal to parents to take part: 

“I know the parents of young children, particularly those with babies, have busy lives but I ask them to make time to fill in the census form and record their growing families in the census.

“Like registering a birth, filling in the census form is a legal responsibility for every household and provides the Scottish Government, councils, the NHS and many others with data they need to provide services for the whole country from the very youngest to the oldest.”

You can explore the popularity of first names in Scotland over the years with NRS’s interactive app here.

Today, NRS also published a list of the most common surnames in the Birth, Marriage and Death registers for 2021.  Smith, Brown, and Wilson have been the three most popular surnames since the first list, which is for 1975, and remained the top three in 2021.

Babies' First Names, 2021 and the Most Common Surnames in Birth, Marriage and Death registers are available on the NRS website.


National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for producing statistics of Scotland’s population, including the numbers of births, marriages and civil partnerships, and deaths from various causes.  

Full lists of babies’ first names for Scotland for 2021 are available via this page of the NRS website.

Information about how the top names have changed (including, for example, the top names year by year, and the top names in each decade) and about names which were given to babies of both sexes, is available via this page.

NRS’s baby names app enables anyone to explore the rises and falls in the popularity of particular names since 1974.

Most common surnames in the Birth, Marriage and Death registers for 2021 are available via this page.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff.  General information about NRS’s statistics can be found in the About our Statistics section of its website.

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Susie Rose
NRS Communications
Tel: 07500-463-452 
Email: [email protected]

Further information about the statistics is available from:
NRS Customer Services
Email: [email protected]