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Statistical bulletin: Baby Names in England and Wales, 2013 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 15 August 2014 Download PDF

Key Findings

  • Oliver and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2013. Amelia has been in the top spot since 2011 while Oliver replaced Harry, the top name in 2011 and 2012.
  • In England, Amelia was the most popular name in all regions and Oliver was the most popular name in five out of the nine regions.
  • In Wales, Oliver was the most popular name, replacing Jacob, while Amelia has been the most popular name since 2012.
  • Oscar and George replaced Alfie and Riley in the top 10 most popular names, climbing from number 17 to 7 and number 12 to 10 respectively.
  • Poppy replaced Lily in the top 10 most popular names, climbing from number 13 to 7.

Summary

This bulletin presents the 100 most popular first names for male and female babies born in England and Wales in 2013 and compares the rankings with those in 2003 and 2012. The difference in rankings between England and Wales and the regions are examined, along with the seasonality of names.

Baby name statistics have been compiled from final annual births registration data and include all live births occurring in England and Wales in 2013.

This is the first time that 2013 annual statistics on baby names in England and Wales have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Top 10 Baby Names in England and Wales, 2013

The top 10 names and changes in ranking for boys and girls in England and Wales are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Top 10 Baby Names, Boys and Girls, 2013

England and Wales

  Boys   Girls
Rank Name Count Change in rank since 2012   Name Count Change in rank since 2012
1 Oliver  6,949 +1 Amelia  5,570 -
2 Jack  6,212 +1 Olivia  4,598 -
3 Harry 5,888 -2 Emily 4,049 +1
4 Jacob  5,126 +1 Ava 3,575 +2
5 Charlie 5,039 -1 Isla 3,526 +3
6 Thomas  4,591 - Jessica  3,507 -3
7 Oscar 4,511 +10 Poppy  3,422 +6
8 William  4,268 +1 Isabella 3,246 +2
9 James 4,236 +1 Sophie  3,013 -
10 George 4,202 +2   Mia  2,993 -3

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Top 100 Baby Names in England and Wales in 2013, Boys and Girls

There were six new entries in the 100 most popular boys’ names in 2013:

  • Teddy at number 86 (up 55 places from 141),

  • Ibrahim at number 89 (up 18 places from 107),

  • Ronnie at number 90 (up 15 places from 105),

  • Felix at number 91 (up 23 places from 114),

  • Austin at number 94 (up 14 places from 108), and

  • Albert at number 99 (up 10 places from 109).

These replaced Rhys (101), Ellis (103), Kayden (104), Bailey (113), Taylor (118) and Kyle (120) which fell out of the top 100.

Theodore showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 19 places to reach number 78. Reuben and Hugo (up 14 places to 54 and 74 respectively), Elijah (up 13 places to 69), Oscar and Blake (up 10 places to 7 and 56 respectively) were also high climbers within the top 100.

Callum (down 22 places to number 73), Liam (down 17 places to 67), Tyler and Cameron (down 16 places to 37 and 93 respectively) and Riley (down 13 places to 21) showed the largest falls within the top 100.

There were three new entries in the top 100 most popular girls’ names, in 2013:

  • Victoria at number 88 (up 18 places from 106),

  • Darcy at number 93 (up 14 places from 107), and

  • Beatrice at number 95 (up 19 places from 114).

These replaced Keira (110) and Caitlin (114) which fell out of the top 100. In 2013, Lydia and Sara share the same ranking at number 100, consequently three names entered the top 100 in 2013 with only two names leaving. 

Elsie showed the largest rise within the top 100 for the second year running, gaining 23 places to number 47 (climbing 17 places in 2012 from number 87 in 2011), Ivy and Violet (up 22 places to 66 and 78 respectively), Willow (up 15 places to 54), Sofia and Mollie (up 13 places to 30 and 71 respectively) were also high climbers within the top 100. 

Hollie (down 21 places to number 75), Paige (down 18 places to 98), Madison (down 17 places to 92), Heidi (down 16 places to 99) and Amy (down 14 places to 76) showed the largest falls within the top 100.

There are a number of possible reasons why the popularity of baby names change over time. The popularity of names can be influenced by names of famous figures or current celebrities and what they name their own babies. However, it can also be influenced by other factors such as the religious, cultural and/or ethnic identities of parents or the names of family, friends or fictional characters. As such, there is a great diversity of baby names. In 2013, there were 698,512 live births in England and Wales (ONS, 2014), with over 27,000 different boys’ names and over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top 10 names only account for 13% of all names in 2013.

Changes between 2003 and 2013

In 2013, 5 of the top 10 most popular boys’ names were also in the top 10 in 2003: Oliver, Jack, Thomas, William and James.

When compared with 2003, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2013 were Oscar (up 55 places to number 7), Jacob (up 23 places to 4) and Charlie (up 19 places to 5). Benjamin (down 23 places to number 30), Daniel (down 17 places to 22) and Samuel (down 12 places to 20) have fallen the furthest since being in the top 10 in 2003.

Within the top 100 boys’ names, Dexter (up 302 places to number 63), Ollie (up 297 places to 80), Teddy (up 234 places to 86), Austin (up 196 places to 94) and Jenson (up 191 places to 58) were the highest climbers between 2003 and 2013.

In 2013, 4 of the top 10 most popular girls’ names were in the top 10 in 2003: Olivia, Emily, Jessica and Sophie.

Compared with 2003, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 100 in 2013 were Isla (up 195 places to number 5), Ava (up 160 places to 4), Poppy (up 36 places to 7) and Isabella (up 29 places to 8). Megan (down 43 places to number 49), Ellie (down 41 places to 43), Hannah (down 34 places to 44) and Lucy (down 21 places to 28) have fallen the furthest since being in the top 10 in 2003.

Within the top 100 girls’ names, Ivy (up 733 places to number 66), Lexi (up 729 places to 42), Bella (up 563 places to 56), Sienna (up 405 places to 22) and Elsie (up 361 places to 47) were the highest climbers between 2003 and 2013.

Seasonal Variations

Both Oliver and Amelia were the most popular names in every month of 2013. The second spot was shared between Jack (eight months) and Harry (four months) for boys and Olivia for girls, in all 12 months. There were 15 boys’ names and 17 girls’ names that reached the top 10 for at least one month during 2013.

Holly (number 33 in the annual rankings), the fifth most popular name for girls in December (number 24 in January), fell to number 50 in July. Summer (number 48 in the annual rankings) reached number 23 in July but fell to number 94 in December.

Country Variations

There are some similarities between the top 10 most popular names in England and in Wales for 2013. For boys the two countries have six common names in the top 10, while for girls there are eight common names.

Oliver is the most popular name for boys born to mothers usually resident in England and in Wales. There are four names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England:

  • Alfie (number 11 in England),

  • Noah (number 13 in England),

  • Riley (number 22 in England), and

  • Dylan (number 33 in England).

Amelia is the most popular name for girls born to mothers usually resident in England and in Wales. There are two names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England: Ruby (number 11 in England) and Ella (number 16 in England).

Table 2: Top 10 Baby Names, Boys and Girls, by Country, 2013

England and Wales

Boys    Girls
Rank England Wales   Rank England Wales
1 Oliver Oliver 1 Amelia Amelia
2 Jack Jacob 2 Olivia Olivia
3 Harry Jack 3 Emily Ava
4 Jacob Charlie 4 Jessica Ruby
5 Charlie Alfie 5 Ava Emily
6 Thomas Noah 6 Isla Poppy
7 Oscar Harry 7 Poppy Ella
8 James Riley 8 Isabella Mia
9 William William 9 Sophie Isla
10 George Dylan   10 Mia Isabella

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Regional Variations

Oliver was the most popular name for boys in five of the regions in England. Jack was the most popular in the North East and East, Muhammad in London and Mohammed in the West Midlands.

Among baby girls, Amelia was the most popular name in all regions for the second consecutive year.

Table 3: Most Popular Name by Region, 2013

Regions within England and Wales

Region Boys  Girls
North East Jack Amelia
North West Oliver Amelia
Yorkshire and The Humber Oliver Amelia
East Midlands Oliver Amelia
West Midlands Mohammed Amelia
East Jack Amelia
London Muhammad Amelia
South East Oliver Amelia
South West Oliver  Amelia
Wales Oliver  Amelia

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Users and Uses of Baby Name Statistics

Users of baby name statistics can be split into five groups;

  • Individuals, which includes parents and soon-to-be parents who want to pick a rare or a popular name for their child or are simply seeking inspiration. Other individuals include people interested in the popularity of their name or the names of friends and family, or names from a particular origin.

  • Special interest groups, such as Bounty, produce their own popularity lists and compare their lists with those published by ONS.

  • Those involved in the manufacture and sale of named items, such as mugs.

  • Researchers, who examine how names are changing over the years and how this reflects changes in culture.

  • Journalists who report and produce articles on the popularity of names.

Further Information

More detailed data for 2013 baby names are available on the ONS website. Data for 1996-2012 baby names and historical rankings of baby names for 1904-1994 (top 100 rankings at 10 year intervals) are also available (see background note 6).

Quality and Methodology Information documents for baby name and birth statistics are available on the ONS website. Further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to births is available in the Births Metadata (412.8 Kb Pdf) .

A baby names comparison tool has been developed by Anna Powell-Smith using ONS data, which allows you to analyse changing trends in names for boys and girls in England and Wales. The tool allows you to compare baby name rankings since 1996 (see background note 7). 

National Records of Scotland provides baby name statistics for Scotland.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency provides baby name statistics for Northern Ireland.

References

Office for National Statistics (2014) Births and Deaths in England and Wales 2013, available at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/birth-summary-tables--england-and-wales/2013/index.html 

Background notes

  1. Birth registration is a legal requirement under the Births and Deaths Registration Act (1836). The registration of births occurring in England and Wales is a service carried out by the Local Registration Service in partnership with the General Register Office (GRO).

  2. The published rankings have been produced using the exact spelling of first names given on the birth certificate. Grouping names with similar pronunciation would change the rankings. Although some groupings are straightforward, others are more a matter of opinion, and thus raw data are given so users can group if they wish.

  3. The separate England and Wales rankings are based on the usual residence of the mother, rather than where the baby was born.

  4. Births where the name of the baby was not stated (12 boys and 10 girls in the 2013 dataset) were excluded from all the rankings. Births where the usual residence of the mother was not in England and Wales or not stated (140 boys and 108 girls in the 2013 dataset) were excluded from the regional rankings and from the separate England and Wales rankings.

  5. Baby names with a count of two or less in England and Wales as a whole are not included within tables in order to protect the confidentiality of individuals.

  6. ONS took on the responsibility for producing baby name statistics in 2009 and do not have the necessary data to be able to compile figures prior to 1996. For years prior to 1996, the top 100 rankings put together by GRO are published for all possible years (1904-1994 at 10-yearly intervals) on the ONS website. This represents all the historic data available. ONS are unable to provide counts for years prior to 1996.

  7. The baby names comparison tool has been developed by Anna Powell-Smith (a web developer external to ONS who now works with colleagues in the Government Digital Service) using ONS data. Because the tool has been produced external to ONS it will not contain 2013 data until sometime after 9.30am on Friday 15 August. This is because ONS cannot provide the 2013 data to Anna until the release is published on the ONS website.

  8. Special extracts and tabulations of baby names data for England and Wales are available to order (subject to legal frameworks, disclosure control, resources and agreements of costs, where appropriate). Such enquiries should be made to:

    Vital Statistics Outputs Branch
    Office for National Statistics
    Segensworth Road
    Titchfield
    Fareham
    Hampshire
    PO15 5RR
    Tel: +44 (0)1329 444 110
    E-mail: vsob@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The ONS charging policy is available on the ONS website. In line with the ONS approach to open data (166.9 Kb Pdf) , ad hoc data requests will be published onto the website.

  9. We would welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release. Please send feedback to the postal or email address above.

  10. Follow ONS on Twitter and Facebook.

  11. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Elizabeth McLaren +44 (0)1329 444110 Vital Statistics Outputs Branch vsob@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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