According to 2017 statistics from Spain’s national statistics office (INE), Lucas and Lucía are the most popular baby names in the country. With traditional names, such as María and Daniel becoming less common, names with an international feel are opted for more regularly. For example, Lucía, Sofia, Lucas and Martin are all popular Spanish names that are pronounced the same in English.
Current statistics show continuity in the shift away from biblical names such as María Jesús, María Concepción and Jesús that were popular for babies in the 1950s and 1960s. It was only in 2004 that María was beaten to the top spot for female baby names in Spain.
Lucas has been the top name given to baby boys since it overtook Hugo in 2013, which is now is second place, followed by Martin, Daniel, Pablo, Alejandro, Mateo, Adrian, Alvaro, Manuel and Leo. Lucía has been the most popular name for girls since 2002, and is followed by Sofia, María, Martina, Paula, Julia, Daniela, Valeria, Alba and Emma.
Former Queen Sofia speaking with her namesake, Princess Sofia, pictured with Princess Leonor. Photo: AFP
In the southernmost regions, María still heads the leaderboard in popularity for girls. For boys, Manuel is the frontrunner in Andalusia, and Pablo sits at the top in Murcia. In the more central regions, of Valencia, Castilla – La Mancha, Madrid and Extremadura, Lucas and Lucía remain popular choices along with Daniel and Sofia.
New parents are opting for Lucas and Lucía as well as Martin and Sofia in the northern regions of Aragon, Asturias, La Rioja, Galacia, Cantabria and Castilla y Léon. Although Julien for a boy and Irati for a girl are the most popular choices in Comunidad Foral de Navarra, which boarders the Basque Country.
Marc and Julia are the most popular names in Catalonia and the top Basque baby names are currently Markel and June. In the Spanish communities of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco, Mohamed and Amira are the most common choices.
In the Balearic islands, Marc and Emma top the list, while in Canarias, Lucas and Martina and the most popular choices.
The most popular surnames in Spain
Antonio and María Carmen are the most common names in Spain, according to 2018 INE data, more traditional choices in comparison to today's most popular baby names. The move away from religious and long-established names has been a trend since the 1970s and 1980s.
678,425 men in Spain are names Antonio, and their average age is 55.9 and 656,276 women are named María Carmen, with their average age being 57 years old, whereas runners up in both categories are younger.
Runners up for male names are José, Manuel, Francisco, David, Juan, José Antonio, Javier, Daniel and José Luis. The remainder of the top 10 female names are María, Carmen, Josefa, Ana María, Isabel, María Pilar, María Dolores, Laura and María Teresa.
By Alice Huseyinoglu