This is how the first names have changed in Spain


The choice of a name depends on different grounds by everyone. Either to continue a family tradition, because the name has a beautiful meaning or because this name reminds someone. It has also become common to give children the names of fictional characters or famous people.

10,000 new names since 2010

Since 2010, nearly 10,000 new names have been added in Spain. Some, like Khaleesi or Moana, came from fictional soap operas. In addition, many pet names or acronyms such as Lola (Once Dolores) or Nacho (Once Ignacio) have originated.

Inspiration from Game of Thrones

In Spain, 38 girls are now called Khaleesi. In the popular series Game of Thrones, this refers to one of the heroes of the film Daenerys Targaryen. Many people also find inspiration from this type of series to choose the name of their children. The most growing name in Spain between 2010 and 2021 (+5.001%) is Aria.

In 2010, a year before the premiere of Game of Thrones, there were 21 girls named Aria in Spain. By 2021, this number has already increased to 1092. In addition, the frequency of this name has exceeded the English version Arya (the name of the youngest Starks family). This name first appeared in the figures of the National Statistics Institute in 2013 and eight years later there were already 1,168 people in Spain with this name.

Parents in choosing names rely on very diverse sources, such as singers, football players or, as was evident above, on fictional characters from a series or films.


As for singers, according to the data of the National Institute of Statistics, in 2021 there were 27 young people called Leva (Spanish singer, songwriter and musician) and 29 people called Anuel in Spain. Anuel AA is a Puerto Rican rapper. You can also find 30 guys named Drake (raper) and nearly 200 girls named Rihanna (singer from Barbados).

Names from series and movies

With imagination as the inspiration, you can also find names from Disney movies as well as names from Game of Thrones. There are 45 girls named Vaiana. The increase in the number of boys named Rio can be traced back to the Netflix series La Casa de Papel. While 79 boys were named in 2017, the year the series premiered, that number tripled to 229 in 2021.

football names

One of the biggest inspirations when it comes to boy names has always been soccer players, and that hasn’t changed in recent years. An example is the names Leo and Neymar. In 2010, there were nearly 2,000 boys named Leo in Spain. After 12 years, coinciding with the rise of football star Leo Messi, the number increased to 25 thousand.

In the case of Neymar, the Brazilian player’s name first appeared in INE records in 2013, the same year he signed with FC Barcelona. When the player left the club in 2017, there were already 159 boys with this name in Spain, and by 2021 the number had risen to 224.

A modern version of the classic Spanish names

It has always been customary in Spain to call people by the abbreviation of their name, but more and more people are taking this abbreviation directly as their name. It was common for Jose to be referred to as Pepe. But there are now nearly 2,000 people in Spain who are called Pepe directly.

The most commonly used abbreviations are Lola, from Dolores, and Nacho, from Ignacio. While there have been 25% fewer women named Dolores since 2010 (60,000 fewer), the number of “Lola’s” has increased by 237% in 12 years, from 6,214 to 20,912 between 2010 and 2021. Ignacios,” the original name declined almost as much as the number of “nachos” grew. While there were 2,900 fewer people named Ignacio in 2021, the number of nachos increased by 2,300. For example, the former decreased by 3%, while the variant increased by 2,010%.

The evolution of names in Spain

The diversity of names for both women and men in Spain has increased dramatically. In 2021, there were 30,625 different names for men and 30,527 names for women in Spain. Of these, 5,000 men’s and women’s names were entered into the registry for the first time after 2010.

This great diversity also means that the more common names in Spain, among both men and women, are becoming less common. In 2021, Antonio, Manuel and Jose were the most chosen boy names. However, these were also three of the four names that have fallen the most since 2010. Since that year, Hugo, Daniel and Alejandro have grown.

Among women, Maria del Carmen and Maria and Carmen were the most popular in 2021. Maria and Carmen are the two women’s names that have declined the most since 2010. On the other hand, Lucia, Martina and Paola have experienced the most growth since that year.

What names can you choose in Spain?

Despite the examples given, not all names are allowed. In Spain, the rules regarding the registration of names in the population registry were laid down in the Civil Registry Law of June 8, 1957. In particular, Article 54 stipulates certain criteria that names in the registry must comply with.

For example, no more than one compound noun may be entered, and no more than two simple nouns may be entered. Names that objectively harm a person should not be chosen. This material has been modified several times, creating more and more possibilities.

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