The first names most often given to French newborns have always been markers of a certain era. Like old fashion trends, sometimes old names come back into fashion. Here are some examples :

Today, the trend is quite different. “The first names of 4 or 5 letters name the majority of births and represent nearly 50% of the first names given”, explains Baptiste Coulmont, author of the book Sociology of first names, in Le Parisien.

In the space of a century, the ranking of popular first names has changed a lot. For good reason: the diversity of first names has increased considerably in France.

100 years ago, the most used first names concerned “4 to 5% of infants”. Today, those who top the 2021 ranking represent only 1% to 2%”, specifies Baptiste Coulmont in the columns of Le Parisien.

Here is the list of first names most often given in France 100 years ago, as indicated by INSEE:



Are any of these names also in the 2021 ranking? In the slideshow below, find those that have been most often attributed to French infants over the past year.