News PMLP30
Text: Personal names database

One of the most in-demand e-services of the Office is the Personal Names Database. It allows you to find out how many people have the same name as you.

A name is the identity and symbol of every human being. It is a trusted companion, because unlike the surname, which is changed by one of the spouses upon marriage, we usually do not change our name during the lifetime.

The e-service “Personal Names Database” provides an opportunity not only to check how many people with the same name are included in the Population Register, but also to find out what is the explanation of the most common names. If a person has two names, you can find out in which combinations the word is used with other personal names.

Can a name affect life?

The database of personal names registered in the Latvian Population Register is often used by parents of newborn children to choose the best and most original name. This is important because at  birth we get a name that we hear more often in life than any other combination of letters and sounds.

In the Personal Names Database, it is possible to find out Gunnars Treimanis' observations about the characteristics of the bearers of this name, which are summarized in the book "Secrets of Names" published in 2002.

Can choosing a name affect a child's life? In the days of past, a name was picked for a child, observing the behavioral characteristics in the first days of his or her life. Then each adult in the family stated whether the newborn has attracted their attention with something peculiar. Also, the name of the child could be chosen, taking into account a sign or a significant event observed on this day. That's how the girls could get the name Irbe (partridge) or Rasa (dew).

Latvian ancestors gave children names related to nature - the names of trees, flowers, living beings and even natural phenomena. Even today, parents often name their children in words related to nature: Rasa, Madara (bedstraw), Roze (rose), Mare (sea in Liv language).

Currently, parents in Latvia can give their children any name. The only restrictions are compliance with Latvian spelling laws and unwritten moral laws. In the birth certificate issued in Latvia, any child's name will be transformed in accordance with Latvian grammar laws.

Names not mentioned in calendar

May 22 is the day of non-calendar names in Latvia, and there are more and more people celebrating their name on this day Names that are not on the calendar are different - very modern, inspired by parents' fantasies or movies.

In recent years, people celebrating their name on May 22 have been joined by such unusual names as Vuks, Valids, Prūsis, Latrels, Regnārs Pērkons, Vasara, Laimrūta, Esme, Serēna, Ivanka, Demiāna, Eivrila, Eloīza, Persija, Skaiste, Airons, Ārdžejs, Daks, Liedars, Umme Ammara, Račita, Jeva Saida, Mejuhada, Rils, Ernlens and others.

The number of people called Jānis and Līga continues to decline

Traditional Latvian names such as Līga and Jānis continue to decline every year. Last year, 68 newborns were registered with the name Jānis. During the last 10 years, this name has dropped from 13th to 33rd place in Top 100 list of the newborn names, but last year the name Līga was no longer found at all in the Top 100 list of the newborn names. Currently 48,220 people called Jānis and 10,415 people called Līga live in Latvia.

Naming trends

The newborn naming trends are constantly changing.  The most popular names of newborn boys in the last decade have been Robert, Daniel, Marcus, Gustav, Alexander, Maxim, Emil, Mark, Artyom, Adrian.
But among the girls' names, the names Sofia, Alice, Emily, Marta, Anna, Victoria, Elizabeth, Paula, Anastasia, Evelina were most often chosen for newborns.

It is an interesting fact that in 2020 the name Roberts withdrew from the top of the top, and the name Oliver took its place.

There is stability between the names of the girls' newborns. In the last five years, the first three places are shared by only three names: Sofia, Alice and Emily. However, it is significant that in 2020, the name Sofia, which was the most popular name for newborn girls in the period from 2010 to 2019, deviated from the top, giving way to the name Emilia.