How popular is the baby name Paula in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Paula and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Paula.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Paula

Number of Babies Named Paula

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Paula

The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2015

According to data from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE), the most popular baby names in Spain in 2015 were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia, 5,229 baby girls
2. Maria, 4,516
3. Martina, 4,447
4. Paula, 3,854
5. Sofia, 3,525
6. Daniela, 3,392
7. Alba, 3,082
8. Julia, 3,006
9. Carla, 2,951
10. Sara, 2,936
1. Hugo, 5,162 baby boys
2. Daniel, 4,578
3. Pablo, 4,202
4. Martin, 4,078
5. Alejandro, 3,994
6. Adrian, 3,341
7. Alvaro, 3,244
8. David, 2,993
9. Lucas, 2,904
10. Mario, 2,825

Lucia has held the #1 spot since 2003, and Hugo since 2012.

In the girls’ top 10, Alba rises 3 spots, and Julia replaces Valeria (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Martin rises 4 spots, and Lucas replaces Diego (now 11th).

In the top 100, Miguel and Jose rank 23rd and 38th, respectively, while the compound names Miguel Angel and Jose Antonio rank 86th and 94th, respectively.

Other interesting names in the top 100 include…

  • Laia, 34th for girls. It’s a short form of Eulalia in Catalan. Laia ranks 3rd for girls in Catalonia specifically.
  • Leire and Leyre, 39th and 50th for girls. They refer to the Monastery of San Salvador of Leyre in Navarre. Leyre ranks 10th in Navarre specifically.
  • Nerea, 46th for girls. It’s based on the Basque word nere, meaning “my” or “mine” — kind of like a Basque version of Mia.
  • Triana, 38th for girls. Perhaps inspired by the Triana neighborhood of Seville…?
  • Iria, 69th for girls. It might be a form of Irene, based on the Ancient Greek word for “peace.” The Marian apparitions of Fátima occurred at the Cova da Iria.
  • Biel, 71st for boys. It’s a short form of Gabriel in Catalan. Biel ranks 5th for boys in Catalonia specifically.
  • Ibai, 99th for boys. It’s the Basque word for “river.” It ranks 4th in both Navarre and the Basque Country.

Here are Spain’s 2014 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: Hugo and Lucia are top choice for Spanish infants, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2014

According to data from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2014 were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia, 5,161 baby girls
2. Maria, 4,951
3. Martina, 4,380
4. Paula, 4,210
5. Daniela, 3,792
6. Sofia, 3,568
7. Valeria, 3,246
8. Carla, 3,138
9. Sara, 3,116
10. Alba, 3,111
1. Hugo, 5,121 baby boys
2. Daniel, 4,859
3. Pablo, 4,494
4. Alejandro, 4,116
5. Alvaro, 3,670
6. Adrian, 3,463
7. David, 3,376
8. Martin, 3,181
9. Mario, 3,067
10. Diego, 3,000

Alba (was 11th) replaces Julia (now 11th) in the girls’ top 10.

Martin (was 20th) replaces Javier (now 11th) in the boys’ top 10.

Here are the 2013 baby names rankings for Spain, if you’d like to compare.

And, just for fun, let’s also check out the nearly 5 million foreign nationals living in Spain. The most common first names among expats (grouped by nation of origin) are:

Female Expat Names Male Expat Names
1. Fatima (Morocco), 18,493 females
2. Maria (Romania), 12,547
3. Elena (Romania), 10,629
4. Khadija (Morocco), 8,339
5. Mariana (Romania), 7,535
6. Mihaela (Romania), 6,050
7. Ana Maria (Romania), 5,265
8. Aicha (Morocco), 5,208
9. Naima (Morocco), 4,963
10. Daniela (Romania), 4,823
1. Mohamed (Moroccan), 40,658 males*
2. Mohammed (Moroccan), 19,401
3. Ahmed (Moroccan), 15,003
4. Said (Moroccan), 9,513
5. Gheorghe (Romanian), 9,399
6. Vasile (Romanian), 9,045
7. Ioan (Romanian), 9,035
8. Rachid (Moroccan), 8,956
9. Youssef (Moroccan), 8,583
10. Mustapha (Moroccan), 7,468

*The total for Mohamed is even higher when you factor in the 2,436 Mohameds that came from Algeria.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, And the most common expat name in Spain is…

Popular Baby Names in the Balearic Islands, 2013

According to data from the Balearic Institute of Statistics (Ibestat), the most popular baby names in the Balearic Islands (an archipelago that belongs to Spain) in 2013 were Maria and Marc.

Here are the Balearic Islands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maria, 113 baby girls (2.2%)
2. Julia, 102 (1.99%)
3. Carla, 100 (1.95%)
4. Paula
5. Lucia
6. Sofia
7. Aina
8. Emma
9. Laia
10. Marta
1. Marc, 157 baby boys (2.91%)
2. Pau, 106 (1.97%)
3. Hugo, 102 (1.89%)
4. Daniel
5. Joan
6. Alejandro
7. Adam
8. Mohamed
9. Lucas
10. Miquel

Maria and Marc were also the #1 names on the islands of Mallorca (which hosts about 80% of the population) and Menorca (9%). On Ibiza (11%), the winners were Martina and Hugo. On Formentera (1%), the winners were Lucia and Aitor — a name invented by Basque writer Agosti Xaho in the mid-19th century.

Here are Spain’s top baby names overall for 2013, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: Most chosen baby names in Mallorca, Nombres mas frecuentes – Ibestat

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2013

What are the top baby names in Spain?

According to data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, the most popular baby names last year were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia
2. Maria
3. Paula
4. Daniela
5. Martina
6. Carla
7. Sara
8. Sofia
9. Valeria
10. Julia
11. Alba
12. Claudia
13. Noa
14. Marta
15. Irene
16. Emma
17. Carmen
18. Laura
19. Ana
20. Ainhoa
1. Hugo
2. Daniel
3. Pablo
4. Alejandro
5. Alvaro
6. Adrian
7. David
8. Mario
9. Diego
10. Javier
11. Lucas
12. Nicolas
13. Manuel
14. Marcos
15. Iker
16. Sergio
17. Izan
18. Jorge
19. Carlos
20. Martin

I found this list via Name News by Clare, who said:

So many names I’d never have guessed (and, in some cases, have never heard of) here, like Alvaro, Ainhoa, Aitana, Leire, Nerea, and Ainara.

I agree. I also didn’t expect to see the boy names Aitor (35th), Asier (58th) or Unai (60th). Or the girl name Africa, which was 68th — way more common in Spain than here.

(Aitana, Leire, Nerea, and Ainara ranked 26th, 28th, 31st and 29th for girls, respectively.)

I haven’t blogged about the top names in Spain before, but I did have a post about the top names in Catalonia last year. Weirdly, I looked up Unai for that post — it’s Basque and means “cowherd.”

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (via Name News, via Nomes e mais nomes)

Popular Baby Names in Latvia, 2013

Latvia’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a couple of weeks ago.

According to Latvia’s Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, the country’s most popular names of 2013 were Sofia and Robert.

Here are the top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sofia
2. Marta
3. Emilia
4. Anna
5. Alice
1. Robert
2. Marcus
3. Gustavs
4. Daniel
5. Artyom

To compare, the top 10 girl names of 2012 were Sofia, Emilia, Alice, Victoria, Anna, Marta, Anastasia, Paula, Elizabeth, and Evelyn; the top 10 boy names of 2012 were Robert, Gustavs, Artyom, Marcus, Daniel, Ralf, Alexander, Maksim, Emil and Carl.

Sources: Latvia reveals most popular baby names of 2013, Last year’s most popular baby names – Robert and Sofia

How Many Twins Get Matchy-Matchy Names?

In a comment on last week’s twin name post, Erin said she’d “love to see some kind of analysis on what percentage of twins are given names that are/aren’t matchy-matchy.”

I do know of one analysis like this. It’s 50 years old, so it’s not exactly up-to-date, but these were the findings:

  • 79% of twins overall had similar names
    • 90% of identical twins had similar names
    • 75% of fraternal twins had similar names

Name researcher Robert Plank published “Names of Twins” in the journal Names way back in 1964. This study was mentioned by H. Edward Deluzain in the essay “Names and Personal Identity” in 1996:

Robert Plank, who studied names of twins, discovered that the names fit into three patterns and that the names in two of the patterns show unmistakable similarity. The most common pattern, which occurred in 62% of the cases Plank studied, was the use of names that begin with the same letter. This included such names as Richard and Robert (Ricky and Robby), Joseph and Judith (Joey and Judy), Louise and Louisa, as well as such names as Paul and Paula and Patrick and Patricia. The second pattern involved names that had different first letters but where similar in sound, rhythm, or rhyme. Such sets of names as Tracy and Stacy, Billy Joe and Penny Sue accounted for 17% of the sets of names. Finally, Plank found that only 21% of the sets of names were different enough from one another to be considered dissimilar. Identical twins, who are always of the same sex and who look so much alike people have trouble telling them apart, fare worse than fraternal twins in the similarity of their names. For, as Plank found, almost 90% of the identical twins had similar names compared to roughly only 75% of the fraternals.

Have any of you seen more recent research on similar/dissimilar names for twins?