Statistics Iceland has published data about names and naming practice in Iceland as of 1st of January 2017. The name Alexander was the most popular given name of new born male children, followed by Aron and Mikael, while Emilía, Emma and Elísabet were the most frequent names for female children born in 2016. The majority of children receive two or more given names. Þór is the most popular second name among male children and María among female children.
Fewer persons are born during winter, from October to March, than in other months. At the beginning of the year, most people were expected to celebrate their birthday on the 27 of August (1,054) while, apart from 29 of February with 216 persons born, Christmas Day had the fewest birthday celebrators (689).
Guðrún and Jón still most common
For the population as a whole, Jón is the most common first male name in Iceland, followed by Sigurður and Guðmundur. Jón Þór, Gunnar Þór and Jón Ingi are the most common double male names. Guðrún is the most common female name, followed by Anna and Kristín, while Anna María, Anna Margrét and Anna Kristín are the most popular of the double name combinations. Around 62% of the whole population have double names.
Popularity of first names by age
The most popular 200 names in Iceland are given names of around 80% of the population. Classical names which are most common in the population as a whole have been constantly in the top 20 for the last 100 years, as shown in the left panel of Figure 1 for female names, and Figure 2 for male names. However, fewer children born in the last 10 years are named Guðrún, Kristín, Sigurður, Gunnar and Ólafur. Some names have kept a constant, rather high ranking through time, like Kristján, Anna, Katrín and Elísabet (see the right panels of Figure 1 and 2). However, the pattern is very different for young children where names such as Emma, Sara, Emilía, Alexander, Aron, Viktor and Mikael have been popular. These names only ranked 500th to 700th for people in older age-groups (right panels of Figure 1 and 2).
Grandparents’ names for baby girls and boys
More than 35% of people less than 30 years old have inherited some of their grandparents' given names and this percentage is higher for older generations. Over 8% of people less than 50 years old have inherited some of their parents’ names, more often the men than the women, with about the same percentage for older generations.
Last names mostly patronymics (föðurnöfn)
Around 82% of people in Iceland have patronymics and/or matronymics (móðurnöfn, föðurnöfn) as their last name, about 4% have Icelandic family names (ættarnöfn) and about 14% have different types of last names, mostly non-Icelandic. The most numerous group carrying matronymics are 18-35 years old women.
If only the father has a family name, most children inherit it (about 70%), but a significant percentage receive a traditionally formed name (about 30%), mostly patronymics. When only the mother has a family name, most offsprings receive a traditionally formed last name (about 85%), mostly patronymic, slightly higher for men than women, and only a small proportion (about 15%), slightly higher for women than men, the mother‘s family name.