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These are the most popular first names in Hesse in 2023 |

The top 10 most popular baby names in Hesse remains stable – especially for boys. Mohammed moves ever closer to the leading Noah. Among the girls, Emma is one of the rising stars.

The Society for the German Language (GfdS) in Wiesbaden registered around 49,000 first names for babies last year. Most of them, around two thirds, were only awarded once. But there are first names that has been in the Hessian top 10 for years because they are given so often. In 2023 these were:


  1. Emilia
  2. Sophia/Sofia
  3. Emma
  4. Lina
  5. Klara/Clara
  6. Lia/Lya/Liah
  7. Hanna/Hannah
  8. Mia
  9. Mila
  10. Ella


  1. Noah/Noa
  2. Mohamed/Muhammed/Mohammad/ Muhammet/Mohamad/Mohammed/ Muhamed/Muhammad/Muhamet/ Muhamad
  3. Mateo/Matheo/Matteo/Matheo
  4. Henri/Henry
  5. Leon/Leon
  6. Theo
  7. Emil/Emile
  8. Luka/Luca
  9. Paul
  10. Liam

While throughout Germany In the case of girls, the long-standing leader in first names, Emilia, was relegated to second place, in Hesse it is exactly the opposite. In absolute numbers this means: 307 babies in Hesse were given the name Emilia last year and 298 were given the name Sophia. Emma came in 3rd place, having been in 6th place the year before.

Things look even more stable for boys: Noah is still the front runner in Hesse with 338 registrations as a first name. Mohamed (323) moved up to second place in 2023, pushing last year’s runner-up Matteo to third place. Nationwide, Noah is ahead of Matteo and Leon.

Comeback for Michael – at least as a second name

“The first name hit list remains stable overall,” said GfdS managing director Andrea-Eva Ewels. Many short, soft-sounding names such as Mia, Ella, Paul and Emil are still represented throughout Germany and Hesse. Around 63 percent of children are given a first name by their parents, as Ewels explained. However, the percentage of babies with two first names tends to increase – to more than a third. Three first names or more are still the exception.

In the top list of all boys’ middle names, a comeback of the 1970s and 1980s can be observed across Germany, said Ewels. Here, for example, Michael came in 13th place, Johannes in 21st place and Andreas in 22nd place. Michael in particular has been on the rise for several years.

The German Language Society has been publishing lists of the most popular first names since 1977. According to the information, around 750 registry offices nationwide submitted almost 900,000 individual names for the 2023 evaluation. This means that more than 90 percent of all first names given last year were recorded. Almost 70,000 different names were reported.

Changing names is difficult

If someone is unhappy with their first name, changing it is possible, but in most cases it’s not that easy. An important reason must be proven for this, said Frank Müsken from the Association of Hessian Registrars.

This could be the case if someone is being teased. Other important reasons can be bad experiences related to the namesake. This is often sexual abuse, explained Müsken. A first name can then be changed after an application to the regulatory authority.

From Pawel to Paul

There is no important reason why someone says they have a strange first name that they have to spell every time. But: “It is always a case-by-case decision whether a name change is possible or not,” emphasized Müsken. Overall, however, such cases are extremely rare. In the Kassel registry office, everyone fit into a normal-width file folder – and it was created in 1978.

When naturalizing in Germany, someone is allowed to change their name again if necessary, the registrar explained, citing a Pole with the first name Pawel as an example. “Through naturalization he could say: I’m turning Pawel into Paul.”

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