Norway’s state statistics bureau SSB has once again compiled lists of the names given to the most children born in the country last year. “Sofie” (pronounced So-fee-eh) topped the list for girls, while the most boys were named “Jakob” (Ya-kohb).
There were variations of how they’re spelled, but those names replaced “Nora” and “William” as the most common chosen by parents nationwide in 2016. That’s when the Norwegian TV series Skam (Shame) with popular characters named “Nora” and “William” was all the rage. Fully 412 girls were named “Sofie” or “Sophie” in 2017, while 424 boys were named “Jakob” or “Jacob.”
“Nora” was still popular, claiming the number-two spot on the list for girls, followed by Emma, variations of Sarah, Ella, Olivia, variations of Maya, Emilie, another variation of the top name spelled as Sofia or Sophia, and, in 10th place, Ingrid.
“William” fell to sixth place on the list of most common boys’ names, with Lucas/Lukas in second place followed by Emil, Oskar/Oscar, Oliver, William, variations of Phillip (also beginning with an “F”), Noah/Noa, Elias and Isak/Isaac/Isac.
There was a notable absence of longer traditional Norwegian names like Ragnhild or Ingeborg, along with an absence of names including the Norwegian letters “ø, æ” and “å.” Some parents have found them challenging in the new digital age, with so many variations of how they may or should appear on everything from airline tickets to email addresses.
SSB noted how, as always, there are regional differences in name popularity around Norway. The most popular name for girls in the northernmost county of Finnmark, for example, was “Aurora,” likely a reference to the Nordlys (Northern Lights) phenomenon also known as the Aurora borealis. “Sofie” topped lists in Nordland County and several counties in the south, but “Ella” reigned in Troms and “Mathilde” (Matilda) was most popular in the southernmost area around Lindesnes.
Boys’ names were more diverse, with “Lucas” topping lists in both the northernmost and southernmost counties but “Jonas” holding forth in the south-central county of Oppland an “Oliver” most popular in the areas along the southeastern border to Sweden from Trøndelag to Hedmark. In Oslo, which has the largest immigrant population in Norway, the most common name given to baby boys was Mohammad.