Revealed: The most (and least) popular baby names in every Italian region

Revealed: The most (and least) popular baby names in every Italian region
Photo: DepositPhotos
The latest list of Italy's most popular baby names has been revealed - and as with so many things in this country, there are regional differences.

Italian national statistics agency Istat has compiled the most recent annual list of the names most frequently given to newborns in the country, based on data from 2018.

The top Italian boys' name is no longer Francesco but Leonardo. After being the most popular boys' name for over a decade, Francesco is now in second place, followed by other traditional choices such as Alessandro and Lorenzo.

The list of girls' names is also more or less unchanged in recent years. The top girls' name is Sofia, which has long been popular internationally, appearing on similar lists in countries like Germany this year.

When Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore mapped out the regional differences, it revealed a north-south divide in girls' name choices. Sofia was the most popular name in all the northern and central-northern regions, while parents in most of the south and centre went for Giulia or Aurora instead.

For boys, Leonardo was by far the favourite choice across the north and centre. However the data showed that many of the southern regions still prefer Francesco, Sicily's favourite boys' name is Giuseppe, and Antonio clings on to the top spot in the Campania region despite not being in the top ten overall.

The newspaper also picked out the names most frequently chosen by non-Italian parents, looking at the country's four biggest non-Italian populations.

While Leonardo and Sofia were popular with Chinese and Romanian-born parents, Albanian and Morroccan parents were more likely to choose names like Aron, Liam, Amir, Amira and Noemi.

And for parents looking for a less common Italian name, here instead are some of the boys and girls' names which are now least often given, according to Istat.

Boys:

Aeneas
Elia
Tobia
Agostino
Guglielmo
Carlo
Mario
Ottavio
Gioele (or Joele)
Santiago
Damiano
Mirco (or Mirko)
Martino
Emanuele
Marcello

Girls:

Elsa
Ada
Zoe
Mariasole
Rebecca
Rachele
Frida
Carola
Carlotta
Egle
Agnese
Laila
Linda
Antea
Altea


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