The name “Muhammad” – along with its variant spellings – was the most popular boy’s baby name in England and Wales in 2020, according to new data by the Office for National Statistics.
But despite the fact that there were 6,784 babies named Muhammad / Mohamed / Mohammed / Mohammad / Muhammed / Mohamed in 2020, the mainstream media has widely reported that “Oliver” is the most popular boy’s name.
Media reports have placed “Oliver” on top with 4,225 babies given that name in 2020 followed by “Geroge,” “Arthur” and “Noah.” The name “Muhammad” was only in fifth place, according to several articles.
The erroneous reporting may have been as a result of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) failing to explain that “Muhammad” is the most popular boy’s name when all the variant spellings are taken into account.
In its publicity the ONS clearly states that “Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular names for boys and girls in England and Wales in 2020 for the fifth consecutive year.”
An ONS statistician’s commented on the data without ever mentioning “Muhammad” at all.
The statistician said “Oliver and Olivia held onto 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.
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“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’.”
Meanwhile, “Yusuf” was the 93rd most popular boy’s name in England and Wales in 2020 with 620 babies named after the Prophet Yusuf (as). And “Ibrahim” came in 98th place with 591 babies called that name.
As for girls, “Maryam” came in 86th place with 592 babies called Maryam. And “Aisha” was in 100th place with 50 babies called that name.
“Olivia” topped the list of girl’s names with 3,640 girls named Oilvia, which means that “Muhammad” was also the most popular child’s name overall.