We all know how popular all things Scandinavian – and Swedish, in particular – are at the moment, and that includes girls’ names!
After all, the Swedes have a bit of a reputation for being wholesome, happy and healthy, and why wouldn’t you want those attributes for your new-born baby girl?
Add to that the (very stereotypical) image of Swedish women being blonde, blue-eyed, strong and independent, and you can see why Swedish names for girls are having a resurgence in popularity.
So, if you’re thinking of picking a Swedish name for your baby, we’ve done the leg work for you – we’ve looked into which are most popular Swedish girls’ names right now, and which are the most common Swedish girls’ names overall.
We’ve also looked into the origins of some of the most popular Swedish baby names for girls, so that you know what each name means and where it came from.
The most popular names for newborn Swedish girls
So what are the most popular names right now? We’ve ranked Swedish girls’ names here by popularity, according to the 2020 figures from Sweden’s official statistics bureau. And here are the top ten Swedish girls’ names for newborns.
What do Swedish girls’ names mean?
Some Swedish names originate from ancient Norse sagas, some from more recent traditions, while others derive from nature or religious cultures.
Often different sources suggest different derivations, and sometimes the origins have evolved or got lost over the years, leading to some names having several different meanings.
Here’s an insight into the origins of some of the most popular Swedish names for girls.
And if you want to know how to pronounce some of these names in the truly authentic Swedish way, check out this video:
Top of the rankings, Alice is currently the number one name for newborn girls in Sweden, and has long been a popular choice.
It comes from Germanic or English roots and it means “kind” and “of noble origin”. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland provided a possible early inspiration, though perhaps a more common influence today is Alice Cullen from the Twilight series of books and films.
A truly Scandinavian name, Maja is a very popular name for girls in Sweden. Some sources say that it means “splendid” or the “goddess of springtime and warmth”, while others claim is a corruption of the Arabic Marie, or Maria, and means “of the sea”. Either way, it’s a very pretty name for a girl and certainly has a Swedish vibe.
Of course, there’s no doubting the reason behind the popularity of the name Elsa for Swedish baby girls in recent years.
Disney’s strong female Nordic character Elsa in the phenomenally popular film Frozen has been a role model for young girls for nearly a decade now, and shows no sign of abating. The name has actually evolved as a shortened from of the name Elisabeth and means “pledged to God”.
What’s not to love about this popular Swedish girls’ name, which has Norse origins and means “divinely beautiful” or “God’s strength”?
Sweden’s best known Astrid is Astrid Lingren, author of a series of books about the independent, quirky and archetypical Swedish girl Pippi Longstocking.
Non-Swedes may associate the name more with the mellow tones of Brazilian Bossa Nova singer Astrid Gilberto, whose soulful rendition of the classic Girl from Ipanema is known the world over.
Short for Wilheminia, this popular Swedish girls’ name means “strength” and “determined protector” and derives the Germanic word for “helmet”. A good choice for those wanting to bring their daughter up strong and brave.
Freja is an old Norse name that means “lady or noblewoman”. Freja (also sometimes spelt Freya or Frida) was the Norse Goddess of love, beauty and fertility, who is depicted as a blonde blue-eyed beauty in traditional Norse lore.
Popular throughout the whole of Europe and the US, Olivia is of Latin origin and means “olive”. It signifies peace and fertility.
Short for Anselma, Selma is a name of Celtic origins that means “beautiful view” or an old German word meaning “helmet of God” and “safe”.
The origin of the name Alma in Sweden is “loving”, though its Latin origin means “nourishing” and “kind’ – either way, they’re pretty good characteristics to bestow on a baby!
The name Ella come from German origins meaning “all, complete” or a “fairy maiden”. However, it’s more commonly used in Swedish as a diminutive of Elisabeth or Eleonor (meaning “shining light”).
And there are no shortage of famous Ellas to take inspiration from, from the singers Ella Fitzergerland and Lorde (real name Ella Yelich O’ Connor) to the Swedish actress/gymnast Ella Wahlestedt and Swedish film director Ella Lemhagen.
Most popular girls’ names in Sweden overall
And if you’re looking for a more traditional Swedish girls; name, here are top ten favourite Swedish names for women of all ages.
Anna is the most common name in Sweden for women of all ages, and means “grace”. It is also a diminutive of the pretty Swedish name Annali, meaning “graceful meadow”.
Eva is a popular name in Scandinavia, Czech Republic and Poland and means “mother” or “life”. The name is Hebrew in origin and, of course, is a variation of Eve, the first mother. Swedes often combine it with a second name, as in Eva-Lisa or Eva-Karin.
Although it’s of Latin origin, Maria is very popular in Scandinavian countries and appears way back in several of the Norse sagas.
There are many variants, including Marie, Mary, Mariah, but the most common meanings of the name are “wished for child”, “bitterness” and “rebellion”. There are plenty of well-known Marias to inspire, including opera singer Maria Callas, influential educator Maria Montessori, double-Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie and tennis player Maria Sharapova.
Pronounced a little bit like “car-in”, Karin is of Swedish origin and means “the pure one”. Originally, a Swedish variant of the name Katherine, it’s been a consistently popular name in Sweden for many years.
Originally from Hebrew, the name Sara means “princess”. It’s been popular in Sweden for a long time, with the first recorded use being way back in 1464.
The name Kristina and its common variant Christina are of Scandinavian and Czech origin and mean “follower of Christ” or Christian. It’s thought to derive from the ancient Greek christos, meaning “anointed one”. Famous Swedish Kristinas include the Queen of Sweden, who reigned from 1632 until 1654 when she abdicated to become a Catholic.
Lena means “light” or “ray of light” and has connotations of being bright – a good choice if you want your daughter to grow up clever and studious! It’s also often used a diminutive of longer names such as Helena, Yelena and Madalena.
Popular throughout Europe and the US, Emma has Germanic origins. Some sources suggest it derives from the Germanic word ermen, meaning “whole” or “universal”, though other sources say it comes from ermunaz meaning “strong and powerful”. Either way, it’s a good choice of name for a well-rounded child.
A variant of Kristina, the name Kerstin is popular in Sweden and simply means a Christian.
The name Marie or Mari is thought to have Latin or Hebrew roots, and, like its variant name Maria, means “beloved or much-wanted child”. Other sources claim it as an Arabic word meaning “of the sea”. Take your pick!
Other popular Swedish girl names (A to Z)
Not a fan of the top ten Swedish girl names? Try these other Swedish girl names, from Agnes to Yvonne! These are the top 200 most common names for females in Sweden, according to the official statistics bureau.