Scots avoid Alex and Nicola as baby names

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Share this article
22
Have your say

THE number of Scots parents naming their children Alex or Nicola has taken a nosedive in the last two years.

Figures from the National Records of Scotland show a dramatic dip in the number of babies registered with the name Alex, Alexander or Nicola in the year running up to and after the failed referendum bid.

Scottish independence Referendum: First Minister Alex Salmond was joined by  Anum Qaisar at the EICC for an International Press Conference.

Scottish independence Referendum: First Minister Alex Salmond was joined by Anum Qaisar at the EICC for an International Press Conference.

The records showed that in the year running up to the independence referendum - as Alex Salmond took centre stage - the popularity of his first name reached a six year low.

Meanwhile the popularity of the name Nicola has also taken a hit as the SNP have risen to prominence.

The year running up to the referendum campaign saw the popularity of her name down 14% on the previous four years.

And in the year since her reign as first minister the popularity of her name has reached a six year record low.

On behalf of all the Alex’s in Scotland, it’s a shame the referendum has dragged these fine names through the mud

Alex Johnstone MSP, Scottish Conservative

The figures were obtained through a the Freedom of Information Act to the National Records of Scotland.

The request asked the office to provide the number of children registered with the name Alex or Alexander as well as Nicola in the statutory register of births.

The figures provided were for the last six years - running from September 18 of each year - the date of the referendum.

They showed that in the four years before the referendum year an average of 445 parents named their newborn Scots Alex or Alexander.

But in the full year running up to the referendum - 19 September 2013 to 18 September 2014 - only 395 parents gave their children the name, a number down 11%.

In the year following the failed independence bid - since Salmond has stepped down - the popularity of the name has somewhat rallied, with 412 kids given the name.

Meanwhile the popularity of the name Nicola has also been in a slump since the SNP’s independence efforts.

In the four years leading up to the referendum an average of 22 Scots were given the name.

But as the independence campaign kicked into gear in 2013 and 2014, only 19 newborns were given the name.

And in the year since Sturgeon has been in charge as First Minister the popularity of her first name has reached its six year low - with only 15 children given the same name.

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “On behalf of all the Alex’s in Scotland, it’s a shame the referendum has dragged these fine names through the mud.”

What are the most popular baby names in Scotland?

Back to the top of the page