Aron was by far the most popular name for newborn boys in Iceland in 2016, for the sixth year in a row. Emilía defends the title as the most popular name for newborn girls, having jumped from ninth to first place in 2015, Vísir reports.
For the past three years, Aron, Alexander and Viktor have been the top three names for boys, as stated in a new report by Statistics Iceland. However, the second and third most popular names for girls in 2016, Sara and Ísabella, did not make the top three the year prior.
There has been an explosion in ‘new’ or ‘foreign’ names in Iceland in recent years. The name Baltasar is a notable example. In 2016 it was the eighth most popular name for boys, given to 24 newborns.
Before 2000, there were only four persons with that name in Iceland, including film director Baltasar Kormákur, his father (Spanish painter Baltasar Samper), and son.
Today, most children born in Iceland are given two names. By far the most popular middle name for boys is Þór and Rós is the most popular middle name for girls.
However, this is a fairly new tradition in Iceland; in the 19th century very few children were given two names. The first two examples were Danish siblings listed in the 1703 census. The popularity of middle names gradually increased, probably under Danish influence.
Overall, classic names are still the most common in Iceland, even though their frequency has decreased significantly through the centuries. In 1703, 23.5 percent of Icelandic men were called Jón and 19.7 percent of women Guðrún.
Today, the ratio is around three percent for both names, even though they are still the most common names for Icelanders. In second place is Sigurður for men and Anna for women.