1. Main points

Amelia and Oliver were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2015.

Amelia has been in the top spot since 2011 while Oliver has been in the top spot since 2013.

In England, Amelia was the most popular girls’ name and Oliver the most popular boys’ name in 7 out of the 9 regions.

In Wales, Amelia and Oliver remained the most popular boys’ and girls’ names holding the top spot since 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Ella and Mia replaced Lily and Sophie in the top 10 girls’ names for England and Wales in 2015, compared with 2014.

Noah replaced James in the top 10 boys’ names for England and Wales in 2015, compared with 2014.

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2. Statistician’s quote

“Amelia and Oliver remained the most popular names for baby girls and boys born in 2015, having held the top spot since 2011 and 2013 respectively. Ella re-entered the top 10 baby girls’ names in 2015 – Ella was last in the top 10 in 2007. Noah entered the top 10 baby boys’ names for the first time on record in 2015, following a gradual increase in popularity.”

Elizabeth McLaren, Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, Office for National Statistics. Follow @StatsLiz on Twitter.

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3. Things you need to know

Important information for interpreting these statistics:

  • baby name statistics are compiled from first names recorded when live births are registered in England and Wales as part of civil registration, a legal requirement

  • the statistics are based only on live births which occurred in the calendar year, as there is no public index or register of stillbirths

  • babies born in England and Wales to women whose usual residence is outside England and Wales are included in the statistics for England and Wales as a whole, but excluded from any sub-division of England and Wales

  • the statistics are based on the exact spelling of the name given on the birth certificate; grouping names with similar pronunciation would change the rankings - exact names are given so users can group if they wish

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4. Which names entered the top 100 in 2015?

There were 4 new entries in the top 100 most popular boys’ names in 2015 for England and Wales: Jaxon, Roman, Reggie and Carter. These replaced Owen, Robert, Joey and Finlay which were in the top 100 in 2014. Within the boys’ top 100, Jaxon showed the largest rise, up 35 places to number 80. Kian, down 44 places to number 98, showed the largest fall.

There were 6 new entries in the top 100 most popular girls’ names in 2015: Penelope, Mila, Clara, Arabella, Maddison and Aria. These replaced Lydia, Faith, Mollie, Brooke, Isabel and Amy. Within the girls’ top 100, Aria showed the largest rise, gaining 70 places to number 100. Katie, down 22 places to number 99, showed the largest fall.

In 2015, there were 697,852 live births in England and Wales, with over 27,000 different boys’ names and over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top 100 boys’ names accounted for 52% of all baby boys born in 2015, while the top 100 girls’ names accounted for 43% of all baby girls born in 2015.

The top 100 boys’ and girls’ names for 2015 are also available for England and Wales separately in our datasets.

Use our interactive chart to compare changes in the top 100 boys’ and girls’ names between 1904 and 2015. Data for 1904 to 1994 are only available at 10 yearly intervals; for 1996 to 2015, figures are available for every year.

Compare changes in the top 100 baby boys' and girls' names between 1904 and 2015

England and Wales

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5. How the top 10 in 2015 compares with 2005

The top 10 names in 2015 in England and Wales and changes in rank since 2005 for boys and girls are outlined in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1: Top 10 boys’ baby names, 2015

England and Wales

Half of the 10 most popular boys’ names in 2015 were also in the top 10 in 2005: Oliver, Jack, Harry, William and Thomas.

When compared with 2005, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2015 were Oscar and Noah (up 45 and 44 places in the rankings respectively). The largest decrease in popularity since being in the top 10 in 2005 was Daniel, down 18 places in the rankings.

Figure 2: Top 10 girls’ baby names, 2015

England and Wales

Of the 10 most popular girls’ names in 2015, there were 4 also in the top 10 in 2005: Olivia, Emily, Ella and Jessica.

Compared with 2005, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2015 were Isla and Ava (rising 121 and 77 places respectively in the rankings). The largest decrease in popularity since being in the top 10 in 2005 was Ellie (down 42 places in the rankings).

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8. Quality and methodology

  1. This is the first time that annual statistics on baby names in England and Wales for 2015 have been published. Baby names statistics are derived from final annual births registration data and represent all live births occurring in England and Wales in the specific calendar year but include a very small number of late registrations.

  2. Minimal automated editing is conducted on the names. Detail on the edits applied is available in the Baby names quality and methodology information document.

  3. Baby name statistics for England and its regions and for Wales are based on the area of usual residence of the mother, rather than where the baby was born.

  4. Births where the name of the baby was not stated (14 boys and 10 girls in the 2015 dataset) were excluded from all the rankings. Births where the usual residence of the mother was not in England and Wales or not stated (95 boys and 79 girls in the 2015 dataset) were excluded from the regional rankings and from the separate England and Wales rankings.

  5. The primary users of the data are parents and soon-to-be parents, register offices who display the data and the media. Baby name websites and those who manufacture and sell named items such as souvenir mugs also make use of the data.

  6. The Baby names quality and methodology information and the Births quality and methodology information documents contain important information on:

    • the strengths and limitations of the data
    • the quality of the output: including the accuracy of the data, how it compares with related data
    • uses and users
    • how the output was created
  7. Our User guide to birth statistics provides further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to births and includes a glossary of terms.

  8. The Revisions policy for birth and baby name statistics is available on our website.

  9. The baby names comparison tool has been developed by Anna Powell-Smith (a web developer external to ONS who works with the Government Digital Service) using our data. Because the tool has been produced external to ONS, it will not contain 2015 data until sometime after 9.30am on Friday 2 September; we cannot provide 2015 data to Anna until the release is published.

  10. Baby names with a count of 2 or less in England and Wales as a whole are not included within published datasets in order to protect the confidentiality of individuals.

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