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Belgium publishes list of most popular names in 2021

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Statbel, the Belgian statistics office, has published a list of the top 10,000 names in Belgium on 1 January 2021.

The rankings, which charts first names, surnames, and baby names, are calculated based on population statistics throughout 2020 for baby names and on 1 January 2021 for adult names.

From Jules to Janssens, here are the top ten names from newborns to adults.

Babies: Welcome Olivia & Arthur

The most popular name for newborn girls in 2020 was Olivia, with 548 newborns given the name, followed by Emma (529) and Mila (489).

One of the greatest improvements in the popularity in the top 100 was the name Alba, which was given 87 times, an increase of 142%.

1 Olivia 548
2 Emma 529
3 Mila 489
4 Louise 432
5 Lina 411
6 Alice 361
7 Sofia 359
8 Mia 353
9 Anna 350
10 Juliette 332

For baby boys, Arthur topped the ranking with 587, followed by Noah (564) and Jules (543). Otis (210 +68%), Oliver (158, +34%) and Charles (123, +31%) saw the biggest increase compared to 2019.

1 Arthur 587
2 Noah 564
3 Jules 543
4 Louis 499
5 Lucas 467
6 Liam 467
7 Adam 443
8 Victor 412
9 Gabriel 384
10 Mohamed 345

Adults: Keeping It Traditional

In comparison with baby names, of which the less common or more international sounding names have become more popular, the most popular adult names are still slightly more traditional.

However, according to results, the “classical Belgian names” are declining in popularity, despite remaining prominent in January 2021.

For men, Jean ranks first, with 65,886 Jeans in Belgium on 1 January 2021. New this year is Mohamed, which pushed André out of the top 10.

1 Jean 65,886
2 Marc 63,436
3 Patrick 50,917
4 Luc 48,479
5 Michel 46,522
6 Philippe 41,742
7 Jan 40,536
8 David 35,748
9 Mohamed 34,862
10 Thomas 34,851

The leading name among women is Maria (116,317), despite a drop from 121,316 in 2020.  The top 10 remains unchanged compared to last year, except for Nathalie which took 4th place, bringing Monique down to number 5.

1 Maria 116,317
2 Marie 92,827
3 Martine 40,550
4 Nathalie 40,131
5 Monique 39,389
6 Anne 37,602
7 Rita 34,329
8 Nicole 32,721
9 Christine 31,678
10 Anna 30,819

Surnames: Peeters, Janssens and Maes

When it comes to surnames, traditional Belgian names also remain prominent, with Peeters, Janssens and Maes being the most common in Belgium.

1 Peeters 31,079
2 Janssens 28,532
3 Maes 24,594
4 Jacobs 19,077
5 Mertens 17,906
6 Willems 17,747
7 Claes 15,798
8 Goossens 15,269
9 Wouters 14,999
10 De Smet 13,484

At the very bottom of the list of the 10,000 most frequent family names, we find, with only 181 persons bearing them, names such as d’Oultremont, Preudhomme, Kohl, Maison or D’Hulst.

While a degree of regional variation can be seen, some names appear consistently high across the country.