Trends in Personal Names in Albania (1907–2017)


  • Linda Meniku
  • Mark Marku


Names are an important part of society. Socio-onomastic research on personal names comprises the study of variation in the popularity of names. In socio-onomastic studies on personal names, statistical data of names is often used. This paper examines the top five names in Albania for each year for a period of over a century (1907–2017). The data was obtained from the Institute of Statistics of Albania ( We analyze naming patterns as a product of religious, political, and historical changes in Albania. The data shows that trends in personal names can provide important perspectives on political and cultural changes in Albania. We analyze the connection between naming trends and important historical events in Albania: Independence, end of the Second World War, Communist era and transition to the present. The data analyzed shows the adoption of new naming strategies starting in the 1960s when the communist government began a war against religion and declared Albania the first atheist state in the world. These strategies involved banning religious names, aiming to increase the number of Illyrian and real Albanian names. The political changes of the post-Communist 1990s, however, strongly influenced naming trends by weakening ties with tradition.




Meniku, L., & Marku, M. (2022). Trends in Personal Names in Albania (1907–2017). Zeitschrift für Balkanologie, 57(2). Abgerufen von