‘Muhammad’ is 7th most popular boys’ name in England and Wales

“Muhammad” is the 7th most popular boys’ name in England and Wales and the most popular boys’ name in London, the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, and the West Midlands.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics for 2019, the highest proportion of boys given the same name in any given area was in Pendle, Lancashire, where 13.1% of boys born were named Muhammad.

The Muslim name Ibrahim also entered the 2019 top 100 boys’ names.

Oliver was overall the most popular name for boys in England and Wales followed by George, Noah, Arthur and Harry. But despite Oliver being the top name, it only ranked first in the East Midlands, the East of England, the South West and Wales.

Meanwhile, Olivia remained the most popular name for boys and girls in England and Wales, while Aisha slipped out of the top 100. Olivia was followed by Amelia, Isla, Ava and Mia.

The Office for National Statistics said the choice of baby names was heavily influenced by popular culture, while the name “Muhammad” was obviously chosen to honour Islam’s Holy Prophet.

David Corps, from the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia continued their reign as the top boys’ and girls’ names in 2019, but analysis shows choices in baby names can differ depending on the mother’s age. We found younger mothers opted for more modern girls’ names like Harper, which has seen a rise since the Beckhams named their daughter so in 2011, and shortened boys’ names like Freddie. In contrast, older mothers chose more traditional names such as Jack and Charlotte.

“Popular culture continues to influence the baby names landscape. Following Dua Lipa’s first UK number one single in 2017, the number of girls named Dua has doubled from 63 to 126 in 2019.”

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