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Most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed

By PA News

Oliver remained the most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the seventh year in a row in 2019, while Olivia topped the girls’ list for the fourth year in succession, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Freya and Lily replaced Emily and Ella in the top 10 names for girls, while there were no new entries in the top 10 boys’ names, it added.

It is the first time Freya has been in the top 10 most popular girls’ names and also the first time Emily has not been in the top 10 since 1984, the ONS said.

In total, 4,932 babies were named Oliver in 2019, down from 5,390 the previous year.

Likewise, there were 4,082 newborn girls named Olivia last year, down from 4,598 in 2018.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

David Corps, from the vital statistics outputs branch at 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.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Dua Lipa had her first UK number one single in 2017 and since that year the number of girls named Dua has doubled from 63 to 126 in 2019 – the highest number since annual records began in 1996, the ONS said.

The name Kylo has also increased in popularity following the release of the new Star Wars trilogy in 2015 in which Kylo Ren was a leading character, with the number of boys given this name rising from 10 to 67 in 2019.

The ONS said younger mothers chose more modern girls’ names such as Harper, which has risen in popularity since David and Victoria Beckham chose it for their daughter, and shortened boys’ names like Freddie.

In contrast, eight out the top 10 boys’ names selected by mothers aged 35 and over had featured in the top 100 before the late 1990s and only one name, Leo, was a shortened version of a traditional name, it added.

The most popular boys’ name with mothers under 25 was Noah, followed by Leo and then Archie, while Oliver was the most popular with mothers over 35.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

But while Noah and Leo were in the top 10 for every age bracket, Archie – the name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son who was born in May 2019 – was 26th on the list for mothers aged 30 to 34 and 43rd for those over 35.

Only half of the top 10 girls’ names chosen by mothers under the age of 25 featured in the top 10 names chosen by mothers over 35.

The most popular girls’ name with mothers under 25 was Amelia, with Harper in seventh place, while Olivia topped the list for the other age brackets.

But Harper fell down the list for older mothers, dropping to 39th for those aged 30-34 and 69th for those over 35.

Alfred entered the top 100 most popular boys’ names in England and Wales in 2019 for the first time since 1944.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Arthur continued to rise, reaching its highest position since records began in 1904 as the fourth most popular boys’ name, 11 years since returning to the top 100.

Other new entrants were Chester, Hudson, Ibrahim and Oakley, the ONS said.

Tommy rose the most within the top 100 boys’ names, moving up 24 places to 26th in the list, while Matthew saw the largest fall, dropping 17 places to 99th.

The ONS said it looked as though the name Matthew may soon fall out of the top 100 for the first time since 1954.

Mabel and Lara were the only two new entrants in the top 100 girls’ names, replacing Aisha and Francesca, it added.

The ONS said it was the first time Mabel has been in the top 100 since 1924.

Hallie rose the most within the top 100 girls’ names, going up 21 places to 58th on the list.

In 1999 there were just three girls named Hallie compared with 910 in 2019, the ONS said.


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