Malaga is the least traditional province in Andalucía when naming babies: only 6% take on a parent's name

Malaga is the least traditional province in Andalucía when naming babies: only 6% take on a parent's name

The most popular baby names in 2023 were still María for newborn girls but Manuel was usurped by Hugo as the No.1 name for baby boys

Nuria Triguero


Tuesday, 9 July 2024, 20:55

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Malaga is the Andalusian province where family names and general traditions have had the least weight when it comes to naming children. Only 6.3% of babies born in the province last year inherited one or more of their parents' names, compared to the region-wide average in Andalucía of 9.5%. Cordoba was at the other extreme: there the percentage of names passed down from parents to babies was 12.4%. In general, a greater attachment to tradition was observed in the inland provinces: Seville, Jaén and Granada were also above 10%.

This custom of passing on one's name to one's children as a family legacy is more frequent in the case of boys than in that of girls: only 3% of girls born in Malaga last year were named after their mothers, compared to 9.5% of boys being named after their fathers. In Cordoba, this percentage was 18.4%.

Among the 100 most frequently chosen names for girls, Cristina was the name most passed on from mother to daughter in 2023 - 45.6% to be exact. In the case of boys, it was Francisco Javier: 68.6% of newborns with this name have a father with the same name.

If we extend that out to the total set of names chosen last year, looking only at those names that were chosen at least five times, it is curious to note that, in 87.5% of the girls called Elisabet and in 83.3% of the boys called Adolfo, their mother and father respectively had exactly the same name.

The ranking of the most commonly chosen names of newborns in Malaga in 2023 was headed by María, maintaining pride of place among girls' names (146 babies took this name), followed by Hugo, which snatches the top spot (134) for boy names from Manuel. In this case, Malaga stood apart from the general trend in Andalucía, as Manuel continued to be the most popular male name at regional level.

Among girls, the most popular names in 2023 in Malaga were María, Lucía, Sofía, Lola, Carmen, Martina, Alma, Valeria, Vega and Julia. Of these, the ones with the most upward trend were Sofía (up four places compared to 2022), Lola (up two), Carmen (up five) and Vega (up ten and now breaking into the top 10).

Among boys, the most popular names were Hugo, Martín, Manuel, Pablo, Alejandro, Mateo, Leo, Enzo, Thiago and Álvaro. The names that climbed the ranks with respect to 2022 were Hugo (+2), Pablo (+3), Mateo (+2), Enzo (+3) and Thiago (+6).

In Malaga city itself the most popular name for girls was Lucía and, in the case of the boys, there was a tie between Alejandro and Manuel. In Marbella, the pair was the same as at provincial level (María and Hugo). In Vélez-Málaga the leader board belonged to Sofía and Thiago, in Mijas to Lola and Alejandro, in Benalmádena to Lola and Thiago, in Fuengirola to Sofía and Hugo and in Torremolinos to Sofía and Leo. In Estepona there was a double tie between Sofía and Lucía and Álvaro and Alejandro, then in Ronda it was Valeria and Manuel and in Antequera María and Hugo. In Rincón de la Victoria the most popular name among newborn girls was Vega and among boys there was a triple tie between Javier, Martín and Lucas. In Alhaurín de la Torre the tie was between the girls (Chloe and Alba) and Hugo dominated the boys list.

Most popular baby names across Andalucía

In Andalucía as a whole María and Manuel were again the names most used by mothers and fathers living in Andalucía in 2023. María went to 819 girls (2.7% of the total) holding onto that top spot since 2009, while Manuel went to 1,050 boys (3.4% of the total) leads the ranking of boy names since 2016.

Looking at the names of newborn girls, the four most frequent names were María, Lucía, Sofía and Carmen (accounting for 9.1% of the total number of newborn girls). María and Lucía holding onto their places from 2022. Sofía appears for the first time among the top four names and Carmen stayed in fourth position as per 2022. Lola, third in the previous year, has slipped to sixth position.

In terms of boys' names, the first three places were occupied by Manuel, Hugo and Alejandro, with Martín and Pablo tying at fourth. All of them account for 12.2% of the total number of male newborns. Compared to the previous year the first three and Martín stayed in the same positions and only Pablo has moved up one place from being in fifth in 2022.

Taking into account the hundred most frequent girls' names in Andalucía in 2023, Laia was the name that moved up the ranks the most, going from 146th to 95th. Among boys, the big mover was Marcelo, which rose from 139th to 88th place.

In contrast, the name with the biggest drop was Nerea, going from 74th to 93rd place and for the boys it was Juan José, going from 69th to 84th.

Dividing up the births by province, María was the most popular girl's name in all Andalusian provinces, except in Almería and Cadiz, where it was Lucía. As for boys, Manuel was the most frequently chosen name in Cadiz, Cordoba, Huelva and Seville, with Hugo in Jaén and Malaga and Alejandro in Almería and Granada.

Regarding the most popular name for newborns by each municipality in Andalucía, the highest percentages were found in Villanueva de Córdoba, where María was the most frequent girl's name (19.2% of births), and Isla Mayor (Seville) where Daniel was the most popular boy's name in relation to the total number of babies born in that municipality (23.8%).

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