Baby naming: South Holland leads with Noah, Olivia

Baby naming: South Holland leads with Noah, Olivia

ROTTERDAM, 4 January 2024 – The latest report from the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) reveals the trends in baby naming across the Netherlands in 2023, highlighting the preferences of Dutch parents.

Popularity of baby names in 2023

The SVB, responsible for administering social security in the Netherlands, has announced the most popular baby names of 2023. Noah, maintaining its position from 2022, emerged as the top name for boys, given 888 times. Julia ascended from the second spot to become the most popular girls' name, chosen for 681 newborns. The report indicates that 164,269 babies were born in the Netherlands up to November 2023, comprising 84,195 boys and 80,074 girls.

This year, the SVB also highlighted the most gender-neutral names in the Netherlands, led by Riley, given to 84 girls and 82 boys. Sky and Jonne followed, emphasizing a trend towards names not specific to any gender.

Trends and changes in top names

2023 marked the fifth consecutive year that Noah has been the most popular name for boys in the Netherlands. Compared to 2022, it was chosen 17 more times. Julia, which rose from the second position, was selected 26 times more than in the previous year.

Luca and Lucas also saw increased popularity among boys' names, while Levi made a significant jump from ninth to fifth place. Noud is a new entry in the top 10. Among girls, Julia topped the list, with Olivia and Mila following closely. Notably, Mila maintained its position from 2022.

Regional variations and insights

The SVB's report highlights the varying preferences for baby names across Dutch provinces. In South Holland — a key region incorporating Rotterdam — Noah and Olivia were the most given names.

Other provinces also showcased their unique choices. For instance, Noah and Elin were most popular in Groningen, while Hidde and Lieke led in Friesland. The data reveals that certain names are favoured by specific groups of parents, according to Gerrit Bloothooft, a name expert at the University of Utrecht. He observed that siblings' names often influence these choices, though the top 10 names are given to only 7% of all children.

SVB's role and methodology

The SVB annually publishes a list of the most popular child names, a practice tied to the administration of child benefits in the Netherlands. Names given at least ten times are included to ensure privacy. 

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