ONS Reveal Most Popular Baby Names in England and Wales

Official birth data released today from the Office for National Statistics showed that Olivier and Olivia remain the most popular baby names in England and Wales, topping the table for the fifth consecutive year.

Data also showed that younger mothers chose shorter, more modern names while parents over the age of 35 continued to choose more traditional names.

The top 10 witnessed new entries with including Rosie, Archie and Ivy. The biggest movers within the top 100 boys’ names were Otis, moving up to 96th and Milo, moving up to 80th, while for girls’ names, the biggest mover was Maeve, moving to 94th.

Overall, 4,225 baby boys were named Oliver in 2020, a decrease from 4,932 in 2019, while a total of 3,640 newborn girls were named Olivia, down from 4,082.

The names of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie, also moved up the table, moving from 19th to ninth, while 2,944 newborns named Archie in 2020, up by 400 from the previous year.

Wilfred, the name chosen by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie for their son born in April 2020, is ranked 145th on the 2020 list, down from 142nd in 2019.

For the first time since 2005, Charlie is not in the top 10, now slipping to 12th with a total of 2,810 babies named Charlie in 2020 down from 3,355 the previous year.

Increases

In the past two decades, the boy’s name of Arthur and Noah have risen significantly with both rising over 200 places in the ranks and entering the top 5 in 2017 and 2019, while the name Ivy has also experienced significant increases in the girl’s charts in the past decade, climbing up 221 places and reaching sixth in the most popular girls names in England and Wales for 2020.

In spite of Oliver being the top boys’ name for England and Wales, regionally it was only top in the North East.

The most popular name in the world, Muhammad, continued to assert its dominance as it was top in four regions of England with other names such as Arthur top in three regions.

Separately in Wales, Noah was the most popular name for a newborn baby boy but only figured at fourth when combining both Wales and England.

24.5% of local authorities had at least one top boys’ name that was not in the top 10 in 2020 for England and Wales.

The name ranked lowest on the table was Jac, ranking at 420th in England and Wales, however it was the most popular name in the area of Ceredigion in Wales.

Sian Bradford, of the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia held on to the top spots as the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2020 but some interesting changes took place beneath them.

“We continue to see the age of mothers having an impact on the choice of baby name.

“Archie jumped into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time, driven by younger mothers as well as the obvious royal link, while on the girls’ side, Ivy rose to sixth place.

Culture

“Popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities.

“Maeve and Otis, characters from the popular programme Sex Education, have seen a surge in popularity in 2020, while the name Margot has been rapidly climbing since actress Margot Robbie appeared in the popular film The Wolf Of Wall Street.”

The name Nigel is “officially extinct” as a baby name according to the ONS which did not record a single child being given the name in 2020.

The ONS data also revealed that the name Carol is “extinct” too. There is a slim chance that two young Nigels and Carols may have been born last year though, as the ONS only records a name if three or more children are called that name, for data protection purposes.

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