This is an archived release.
Emma and Mathias most popular in 2003
Following some years of hard climbing, Emma is now the most popular name for baby girls in Norway. Emma has been very popular in Sweden for the past 15 years, but its popularity exploded in Norway in 2003. In fact, it had the fastest climb to the top since Princess Astrid was christened in 1932. Number two on the list, Ida, has been among the top three since 1985, though its popularity is declining. That is a sign that, except for Emma, the popularity of most babies' names are spread over time. Next on the list are Thea, Sara and Julie.
Mathias takes the top spot on the boys' list, closely followed by Tobias and Andreas. In fact, the difference between number one and three is only seven. Tobias is the climber of the year, up from 12th place. Martin is 4th, while number five, Kristian/Christian can celebrate 30 years in the top 10.
As of 1 January 2003 Norway has a new act on names. The most important consequence for the name statistics is the repeal of the ban on creating new family names with a hyphen, e.g. Berg-Hansen. Normally approximately 0.6 per cent of all new-borns get such family names. In 2003, however, 4.2 per cent were given such names, probably by combining the parents' surnames.