Danish Names

Family names

The 10 most common family names in 1801/1803 were: 

  1. Jensen (Jenssen)
  2. Nielsen (Nilsen)
  3. Pedersen (Petersen, Pettersen)
  4. Hansen (Hanssen)
  5. Christensen (Kristensen, Chrestensen)
  6. Andersen (Anderssen)
  7. Larsen (Larssen)
  8. Sørensen (Sörensen)
  9. Rasmussen (Rasmusen)
  10. Jørgensen 

Most names can be spelled in different ways, see the examples in ( ). 

The Top-10 was exactly the same in 2008.

Today’s Top-10 has the same names but the order is a little different; most importantly, Nielsen now the most common family name. 

In total, there are around 147,000 different family names in Denmark of which 12,000 are patronymic family names (-sen).

More than half the Danish population has a patronymic family name. 

Read about the rules of family names here.

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Boy names

The 10 most common boy names in 1801/1803 were :

  1. Peder (Peter, Petter)
  2. Hans (Hanss)
  3. Jens (Jenss)
  4. Niels (Nils, Njels, Nels)
  5. Christen (Kristen, Kresten, Cresten)
  6. Anders (Anners)
  7. Rasmus (Rassmus, Rasmuss)
  8. Søren (Sören, Sørren)
  9. Lars
  10. Christian (Cristian, Kristian)

Variations of the names in ( ). 

Half of the old names are still on today’s Top-10 boy names (number of people with the name): 

  1. Peter
  2. Jens
  3. Michael
  4. Lars
  5. Thomas
  6. Henrik
  7. Søren
  8. Christian
  9. Jan 
  10. Martin

But none of the old names is on Top-10 for boys born in 2018:

  1. William
  2. Noah
  3. Oscar
  4. Lucas
  5. Victor
  6. Malthe
  7. Oliver
  8. Alfred
  9. Carl
  10. Valdemar

Of the names on the old Top-10, Christian is ranked highest in 2018 as No. 24.

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Girl names

The 10 most common girl names in 1801/1803 were :

  1. Anne (Ane, Anna, Ana, An, Ann) – 144,028
  2. Maren (Marn, Marren) – 62,066
  3. Karen (Caren, Karn, Karren) – 48,695
  4. Kirsten (Kiersten, Kiesten, Kisten, Kjersten, Kjesten) – 32,320
  5. Maria (Marie, Mari) – 28,676
  6. Mette (Methe, Mætte, Metthe, Mett, Met) – 23,996
  7. Johanne (Johane, Johanna, Johana) – 21,711
  8. Else (Elsa) 12,311
  9. Catharina (Catarina, Catarine, Catarin, Catharine, Chatarina, Katarina, Katharina) – 12,223
  10. Ellen (Ellin, Ellien) – 9,596

(Variants of spelling)  

43% of all girls and women had a top-10 name. 

Four of the old names are still on today’s Top-10 girl names (number of people with the name): 

  1. Anne
  2. Kirsten
  3. Mette
  4. Hanne
  5. Helle
  6. Anna
  7. Susanne
  8. Lene
  9. Maria
  10. Marianne

Only one of the old names is on Top-10 for girls born in 2018, i.e. No 9 Anna:

  1. Ida
  2. Emma
  3. Alma
  4. Ella
  5. Sofia
  6. Freja
  7. Josefine
  8. Clara
  9. Anna
  10. Karla

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