Harry and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2011, replacing Oliver and Olivia in 2010
Jacob replaced George in the top 10 most popular names for baby boys climbing five places from number 12 to number 7
Ava and Isabella replaced Evie and Chloe in the top 10 most popular names for baby girls, both climbing two places from numbers 11 and 12 to numbers 9 and 10 respectively
In Wales, Oliver was the most popular name for baby boys for the second year running, while Lily replaced Ruby as the most popular name for baby girls
This bulletin presents the most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2011. In particular, it examines the 100 most popular first names for boys and for girls and compares the ranks of those names with the ranks in 2010 and 2001. It examines the difference in ranks between England and Wales and the regions, along with the seasonality of names.
The baby names statistics have been derived from final annual births registration data and include all live births occurring in England and Wales in 2011.
This is the first time that 2011 annual statistics on baby names in England and Wales have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).Back to table of contents
The top 10 names and changes in rank for boys and for girls in England and Wales are as follows:
Table 1: Top 10 baby names in England and Wales, 2011
|Name||Count||Change in rank since 2010||Name||Count||Change in rank since 2010|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
Download this table Table 1: Top 10 baby names in England and Wales, 2011.xls (29.2 kB)
Word clouds for the 100 most popular names for boys and girls are given below. The size of a name represents how many times that name was given, rather than the rank of that name.
Within the 100 most popular boys’ names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2011, there were only five new entries:
Tommy at number 65 (up 91 places from 156)
Blake at number 79 (up 26 places from 105)
Frankie at number 84 (up 24 places from 108)
Elijah at number 91 (up 29 places from 120)
Jackson at number 99 (up 40 places from 139)
These replaced Aidan (101), Bradley (105), Sam (112), Brandon (118) and Kieran (129) which fell out of the top 100.
Jenson showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 29 places to reach number 67. Dexter (up 20 to number 78), Arthur (up 14 to number 68) and Riley (up 12 to number 13) were also high climbers.
Ben (down 24 to number 97), Kyle (down 21 to number 95), Cameron (down 16 to number 77), Reece (down 14 to number 98), Lewis (down 12 to number 39) and Owen (down 12 to number 71) showed the largest falls.
The six new entries in the top 100 most popular girls’ names were:
Bella at number 69 (up 35 places from 104)
Willow at number 75 (up 37 places from 112)
Elsie at number 87 (up 21 places from 108).
Kayla at number 98 (up 21 places from number 119)
Francesca at number 99 (up 3 places from 102)
Lydia at number 100 (up 7 places from 107)
These replaced Maisy (102), Tilly (103), Aimee (104), Libby (106), Alexandra (107) and Laila (124) which fell out of the top 100.
Eliza, which rose 31 places between 2010 and 2011 to 62, was the highest climber within the top 100, followed by Evelyn (up 22 to number 65), Sofia (up 15 to number 47) and Harriet (up 15 to number 71).
Caitlin (down 20 to number 86), Katie (down 17 to number 57), Keira (down 16 to number 88), Tia (down 16 to number 95) and Lauren (down 15 to number 85) were the names with the largest falls in popularity.
There are a number of possible reasons why the popularity of baby names can 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 is an individual choice which can be influenced by a number of other factors such as the religious, cultural and/or ethnic identities of the parents or the names of family, friends or fictional characters. As such, there is a great diversity of baby names. In 2011, there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales (ONS, 2012), with over 28,000 different boys’ names and just over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top ten names only account for 14 per cent of all names in 2011.Back to table of contents
Five of the top 10 most popular boys’ names in 2011 were also in the top 10 in 2001: Jack, Joshua, Thomas, James and Harry.
When compared with 2001, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2011 were Alfie (up 50 to number four), Charlie (up 27 to number five), and Jacob (up 21 to number seven) when compared with 2001. Matthew (down 34 to number 43) and Lewis (down 29 to number 39) have fallen the furthest since 2001.
Within the top 100 names, Kayden (up 1,041 to number 94), Ollie (up 409 to number 73), Ashton (up 346 to number 87) and Dexter (up 338 to number 78) were the highest climbers between 2001 and 2011.
Among the most popular names for baby girls, four names appear in the top 10 in both 2001 and 2011: Olivia, Jessica, Emily and Sophie.
Of the names in the top 10 in 2011, Ava (up 196 to number nine), Ruby (up 60 to number seven), and Isabella (up 44 to number 10) were the highest climbing new entries when compared with 2001, while Lauren (down 78 to number 85) and Hannah (down 33 to number 41) have fallen the furthest since 2001.
Within the top 100 names, Lexi (up 1,475 to number 45), Lexie (up 1,285 to number 74), Amelie (up 711 to number 54), Bella (up 641 to 69), Elsie (up 540 to number 87), Sienna (up 413 to number 36) and Lacey (up 359 to number 40) were the highest climbers between 2001 and 2011.Back to table of contents
Harry was the most popular name for boys in nine months during 2011, with Oliver claiming the top spot in January, April and June. Amelia was number one in five months of the year, with Olivia claiming the top spot in January, April, July and August; and Lily in February, March and May. Thirteen boys names reached the top 10 for at least one month during 2011, as did 15 girls’ names.
Holly (number 26 in the annual ranks), the second most popular name for girls in December (number 21 in January), fell to number 54 in July. Summer (number 34 in the annual ranks) reached number 14 in August but fell to number 71 in December.Back to table of contents
There are some similarities between the top 10 most popular names in England and in Wales in 2011. For boys the two countries have seven common names in the top 10, while for girls the two countries have six common names.
However, Oliver is the most popular name for boys born to mothers in Wales instead of Harry. The three names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England are: Riley (number 13 in England), Ethan (number 11 in England) and Dylan (number 24 in England).
Lily is the most popular name for girls born to mothers in Wales instead of Amelia. The four names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England are: Seren (number 201 in England), Ella (number 16 in England), Mia (number 13 in England) and Megan (number 33 in England).
Table 2: Top 10 baby names, by country, 2011
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
Download this table Table 2: Top 10 baby names, by country, 2011.xls (28.7 kB)
Harry was the most popular name for boys in seven of the regions in England. Jack was the most popular in the North East and Daniel the most popular in London.
Among baby girls, Lily was the most popular name in five regions, Olivia in two regions (North West and Yorkshire and The Humber), Amelia in two regions (East and West Midlands), and Isabella proving the most popular in London.
Table 3: Most popular name by region, 2011
|Yorkshire and The Humber||Harry||Olivia|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
Download this table Table 3: Most popular name by region, 2011.xls (28.2 kB)
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 common 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 possibly how this reflects changes in culture
journalists who report and produce articles on the popularity of names
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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