Most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2021: did the predictions hold up?

Last year, our friends at 24baby shared their expectations for the trends in baby names in the Netherlands for 2021. Was your name on that list? Or perhaps your future baby’s name?

Well, now that we’re a week into the new year, let’s use the benefit of hindsight and check which names actually came out at the top of 2021.

According to the NOS, 177,473 babies were delivered in the Netherlands up to and including November 2021. So, what were they called?

Out of 86,530 girls born in the Netherlands in 2021, 753 were called Julia. Coming in at a close second is Mila, with 696 newborn girls receiving the name this year — How schattig! 😍 Here are the remaining top eight:

  • Emma
  • Nora
  • Olivia
  • Sophie
  • Tess
  • Milou
  • Zoë
  • Yara

Now, turning our attention to the gentlemen: Out of 90,948 baby boys born this year, 945 little Noah’s have received the most popular Dutch baby name of 2021!

Second place goes to Lucas, used 734 times. And here are the remaining eight toppers:

  • Sem
  • Daan
  • Levi
  • Liam
  • James
  • Finn
  • Luca
  • Milan

Did they get it right?

Last year, 24baby made some predictions regarding the most popular baby names of 2021. Did they get some right?

Well, yes and no. One prediction, which definitely holds up, said the Dutch love their short (and sweet), one or two-syllable baby names: Em-ma, No-ra or Sem, Daan and Le-vi all follow this exact pattern.

Overall, 24baby got seven out of ten predicted girl names right, including Julia, Emma, Nora and Sophie. 🎉 For boys names, six were guessed correctly, including Sem, Lucas, Daan and Levi.

International influences

Another prediction was that Frisian names would become more popular in 2021. We don’t really see this trend reflected in this year’s favourites, but we have high hopes for 2022. Go, Jurre, Benthe and Doutzen!

Instead, it looks like the Dutch went with the international mainstream this year. Name expert Gerrit Bloothooft from Utrecht University tells the NOS: “For girls, Emma, Julia, and Sophie have been popular for over ten years. These are international names, just like Mila and the fast-rising Olivia.”

According to Bloothoft, it takes a good 25 years — an entire generation — for completely new baby names to show up on the list. What will the sons and daughters of today’s Noah’s and Julia’s be called? 🤔

Would you have picked a name from this list? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Jenmax/Depositphotos

Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.


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