No Dark Magic

books, Sweden, and computers, not necessarily in any order

Choosing a name (and other bureaucracy)

Posted at — Apr 18, 2021

Registering a newborn

There’s not much to do in terms of registration when a baby is born in Sweden. The hospital notifies Skatteverket, and the mother gets a form from them a few days after the birth. The full name for the child should be put into the form, and then the form is sent back to Skatteverket. A few days later the child officially stops being a nameless personnummer.

If the parents are not married (but are sambor, for example), there’s some additional bureaucracy to register the father of the child, but I don’t have first-hand experience with that.


For integration

We learned from our Swedish friends that Swedes often have three first names, one of which is their preferred/official one (tilltalsnamn). We have also learned from the internet that names ending in 'y' and English names can be seen by some Swedes as trashy. Then again, “Alice” was the most popular name for baby girls born in both 2019 and 2020. I suppose it’s not that English?

If you really want to blend in, Statistics Sweden got ya. You can check out the most popular boy and girl names in the recent year, most popular female/male names by decade, and a few other reports.

For special cases

The form you send to Skatteverket is actually an application which can be refused. A first name can’t be offensive or too similar to a last name or unsuitable for some other reason (that’s not me being vague, that’s me translating “eller vara olämpligt som förnamn av någon annan anledning”). This law applies to all the children living in Sweden with a Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian or no citizenship. It also applies to children with Swedish citizenship living in Finland, Denmark or Norway. If the child has a citizenship other than those mentioned above, you can apply for a name that follows the laws of their country of citizenship. I haven’t checked what applies in case of a double citizenship.

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