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Most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed

There are some familiar names among the top 100, with sports, celebrity and the royals among possible influences.

A new baby holds the finger of its mother (PA)
A new baby holds the finger of its mother (PA)

By Ryan Hooper, PA Chief Reporter

Oliver remained the most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the sixth year in a row, while Olivia topped the girls’ list for the third year in succession, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Arthur was the only new entry in the top 10 names for boys in 2018, in seventh, and moving Jacob down to 11th, while Sophia and Grace, at eighth and 10th respectively, replaced Poppy and Lily in the top 10 names for girls.

In total, 5,390 babies were named Oliver in 2018, down from 6,259 the previous year.

Likewise, there were 4,598 newborn girls named Olivia last year, down from 5,204 in 2017.

However, this coincided with the lowest birth rate in England and Wales for 80 years, with 657,076 live births in 2018, a decrease of 3.2% on 2017 and 9.9% down since 2012.

The top three list for boys was completed by George in second and Harry in third, switching places on the previous year’s popularity ladder.

Amelia continued as the second most common name for baby girls while Ava rose from fourth in 2017 to third in 2018, swapping places with Isla.

Muhammad – the most popular spelling of the boy’s name in the list – was eighth, with 3,507 babies born.

(PA Graphics)

The top 10 list for boys was completed by Noah, Jack, Leo, Oscar and Charlie.

For girls, the most popular list also included Isla, Emily, Mia, Isabella and Ella.

The ONS data showed Grayson, Jasper, Rowan, Tobias, Sonny and Dominic entered the top 100 names for boys in 2018, with Grayson, Rowan and Tobias having previously never featured in the top 100.

Hunter, the 44th most popular boys’ name in 2018, rose 34 places on the previous year – more than any other inside the top 100.

Ada, Delilah, Ayla, Zoe, Margot and Felicity entered the top 100 names for girls in 2018.

Ada returned to the top 100 for the first time since 1924 in 2018, while Delilah, Ayla and Margot made their first ever appearances – the latter leaping 57 places on the previous year.

(PA Graphics)

Nick Stripe, from the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in 2018, although there are the first signs that Oliver’s six-year reign as the number one name for boys is under threat.

“Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century too, both perhaps inspired by characters in the BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.

“On the flip side, the growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes may help to explain why the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved compared with 2017. Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”



From Belfast Telegraph