Emilia and Matteo are the most popular first names in 2021

Status: 12/30/2021 8:42 am

The list of the most popular first names has two new front runners this year: While Emilia has slowly struggled to the top, Matteo’s rise is downright meteoric. There is also a big loser.

Emilia and Matteo did it: They are the most popular first names this year – at least on the annual list of the hobby name researcher Knud Bielefeld.

For the first time, both names are at number one on Bielefeld’s list, who and his small team used data from 433 cities – two thirds from registry offices, the rest from baby galleries at maternity clinics. Bielefeld recorded 230,000 birth notifications this year – that’s around 30 percent of babies born in Germany.

The master of first names: Knud Bielefeld

Bild: picture alliance/dpa

Matteo’s rise very unusual

Emilia has climbed slowly but steadily over the years, says the name expert. “Matteo, on the other hand, has climbed very steeply. Two years ago he wasn’t even Top Ten and is now number 1. That is very unusual.” Bielefeld does not have an explanation. Many parents were inspired by famous role models when choosing a name, but he is not aware of any of Matteo.

Both names would fit well into the German naming system, says Bielefeld. When Emilia came up with a name similar to Ella, Emma or Emily. Matteo also has many similar names that have been known for a long time, such as Mattis, Matthias or Mats. “The names are already very familiar, but they also have a little something new,” says the expert.

Old acquaintances and a great relegated woman

In the further course of the hit list there are many old friends: Hannah, Mia, Emma and Sophia for the girls, Noah, Leon, Finn and Elias for the boys – all names that have been in the top 10 for a long time.

One name is even related to Corona: Luca. The question was whether parents no longer call their children that because of the Luca app, which can currently be found on almost every smartphone due to corona. “But that didn’t happen. The name has become even more popular this year.” It landed in eighth place, always on 12 or 13 in the past few years. In the summer, a computer animation film from Pixar Studios called “Luca” was released on the Disney + streaming service, which could have contributed to its popularity.

The name Greta is still clearly relegated. Until 2019 he could be found in the area around 30th place, then fell to 130th place last year, and Greta is now in 200th place, according to Bielefeld.

Traditional in the south, American in the east

On the other hand, the typical regional differences have remained the same, as Bielefeld explains. In southern Germany there are more names that are actually out of fashion, but are passed on from generation to generation – such as Annika, Nina, Franziska, Sebastian, Matthias and Dominik.

In northern Germany, Scandinavian, Frisian names such as Ava, Jetta, Lena, Jonte, Joris and Piet are often disproportionately represented. In East Germany, retro names as well as English and American names are more popular, for example Anton, Theodor and Paul as well as Mathilda, Frieda and Emma.

Of course, unusual names have found their way into the statistics again: Bendix, Wisdom or Napoleon for the boys and Alondra, Diliana or Soley for the girls.

The Society for the German Language publishes statistics similar to those of Bielefeld every year – but only later.


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