These are Germany’s most popular baby names

The top baby names favoured by parents in Germany are in...and there’s a new frontrunner for the boys.

These are Germany's most popular baby names
Photo: DPA

Last year, Marie remained the most popular girl's name, according to the results of a study of baby names released by the Association for the German Language (GfdS) on Thursday.

But Paul, which was number three in the previous year, has replaced Maximilian in the top spot for the boys.

The study also showed some interesting regional differences, with parents in eastern and northern German states proving to be trendsetters when it comes to naming their little ones.

Study shows name trends

Across Germany in the girls’ category, Sophie/Sofie and Maria followed Marie to make up the top three.

Meanwhile, Johanna secured the number 10 position, after falling to 11th position in recent years.

After 20 years in the top 10, Paul scooped the number one position in the boys’ name list for the first time, replacing Maximilian as the leader.

Meanwhile, Henry/Henri is a newcomer on the list, at number nine.

The ranking takes into account all given names, including middle names.

The top first-names only list remains completely unchanged from 2017: Emma, Hannah and Mia for baby girls, and Ben, Paul and Leon for newborn boys.

SEE ALSO: These are Germany's most popular names of 2017

The study has helped unearth some of the current trends for baby names in Germany.

Some typically old fashioned names from Oma and Opa's generation are particularly popular in the eastern and northern German states. These include Mathilda, Frieda, Ida, Greta, Leni and Lina among the girls. And Karl, Oskar, Anton, Jakob and Theo for the boys. 

Charlotte and Emil deserve a special mention: both names are already among the top 10 in numerous German states and it is quite likely that they will make it into the Germany-wide list next year.

Mohammed, and all its variants, was also popular and in the top 10 of several German states. 

Photo shows the most popular boy and girls names by state. Graphic: the Association for the German Language.

A comparison of past years shows that trends spread mainly from north to south, and from east to west. 

So the names Finn and Henry, Ella and to some extent Ida, which have so far been more commonly used in the north, are now also found on the lists of southern German states.

Meanwhile, names popular in the east, such as Charlotte, Mathilda and Frieda, Karl, Emil and Oskar now scoop top places in some western German states.

The GfdS evaluated data from 700 registry offices and recorded around 90 percent of all names given.

Here's the 2018 top 10 lists for Germany:


1. Marie

2 Sophie/Sofie

3. Maria

4. Sophia/Sofia

5. Emilia

6. Emma

7. Hannah/Hanna

8. Mia

9. Anna

10. Johanna



1. Paul

2. Alexander

3. Maximilian

4. Elias

5. Ben

6. Louis/Luis

7. Leon

8. Noah

9. Henry/Henri

10. Felix

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Adolf, Alexa, Greta: These are the names Germans don’t want to give their kids

History, technology and current political trends all seem to have an influence when German parents decide on names for their children, a new survey shows.

Adolf, Alexa, Greta: These are the names Germans don’t want to give their kids
File photo: dpa | Fabian Strauch

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adolf is the least popular name for Germans to give their children. 

While Adolphus was a relatively popular name in the first part of the 20th century, its association primarily with Adolf Hitler has since made it taboo.

A survey brought out by YouGov on Thursday shows that 89 percent of Germans say it is “unlikely” they would call their child Adolf, although 8 percent still say it is “likely” they would do so.

READ ALSO: What it’s like to share a name with the world’s most notorious dictator

Alexa, the name of Amazon’s virtual assistant, is also rather unpopular, with 79 percent of respondents saying they would probably not pick this as a name for their child.

Kevin, a name strongly associated with the fashion of giving children American names during the communist era in East German, is also now unpopular. Some 80 percent say they wouldn’t give their child this name.

According to a survey done in 2011, men called Kevin also have less luck in finding love online, presumably because of the negative associations of the once popular name.

For girls, Greta seems to be unpopular, with three quarters of respondents saying they wouldn’t use it as a name for their child. YouGov says that “perhaps people have the polarizing climate activist Greta Thunberg in the backs of their minds.”

Asked what they believed has the most impact on how names are chosen, the respondents said that family and ethnic background have an overwhelmingly positive influence.

Politics and current trends on the other hand were seen to have a generally negative impact on the favourability of names.

The survey also found out that Germans are generally very happy with their given names, with 84 percent voicing satisfaction and just 13 percent expressing dissatisfaction.

The results come from a representative study of 2,058 people in Germany between February 12th and February 15th.

SEE ALSO: These are Germany’s most popular baby names for 2020