No 'Greta Effect': Thunberg's Name Slumps in Popularity Among Newborns

The media's almost undivided attention to the celebrated teenage climate activist and her environmentalist cause hasn't spawned many of Greta Thunberg's namesakes in her home country. By contrast, the popularity of her name hit its lowest point in a decade.

Greta Thunberg's huge media success has not resulted in a boom in the name statistics, the newspaper Göteborgs-Postenreports.

Furthermore, the name Greta fell outside of the top 1,000, as number of newborn girls named Greta dropped from 149 in 2018 to 104 in 2019.

The last time the name Greta enjoyed a period of relative popularity was in 2015, before Thunberg's rise to fame, when 192 Gretas were born, nearly double as many as now. Today, despite the Swedish and international media covering Greta Thunberg's every step and her name making headlines almost daily, the name is down to its lowest point in ten years.

Alice and Lucas were the most popular names given to newborns in 2019. Both names have been popular for several previous years and have topped the list of the most common names several times before. Other popular girls' names include Olivia, Astrid, Maja and Vera, while Liam, William, Elias and Noah prevailed on the boys' side, Statistics Sweden reported.

In recent years, millions of people have followed 17-year-old Greta Thunberg, who became the focal point of the School Strike movement, inspiring and participating in numerous demonstrations across the globe. In 2019, she famously crossed the Atlantic in a “zero-emissions” yacht to make a statement and went viral after attacking global leaders and accusing them of “stealing her dreams and her childhood”. Thunberg also amassed a plethora of awards, and was named Person of the Year by Time magazine. She was even tipped as a likely winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, but narrowly missed it. Recently, she was nominated again by Swedish Left Party MPs.

Since then, the spike in the number of children engaging in online activism has soared, coining the term "Greta Effect".