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Top baby names in England and Wales 2018 - MOST POPULAR names revealed

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The most popular baby names of 2018 have been released by the Office for National Statistics, along with interactive graphs which show regional trends.

In 2018, 62,729 different names were given to 657,076 newborns. And in its annual release, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has looked at the most popular names for boys and girls, those names going out of fashion and the regional trends. For the first time, this year the ONS has also analysed how names vary depending on the age of the baby’s mother.

Main points

  • Oliver remained the most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the sixth year in a row, while Olivia remained the most popular name for girls for the third year in a row. 
  • Arthur was the only new entry into the top 10 names for boys in 2018, replacing Jacob, while Sophia and Grace replaced Poppy and Lily in the top 10 names for girls. 
  • Grayson, Jasper, Rowan, Tobias, Sonny and Dominic entered the top 100 names for boys in 2018; Grayson, Rowan and Tobias have previously never featured in the top 100. 
  • Ada, Delilah, Ayla, Zoe, Margot and Felicity entered the top 100 names for girls in 2018; Ada returned to the top 100 for the first time since 1924 while Delilah, Ayla and Margot made their first ever appearances. 
  • Less than half (45%) of babies had a name within the top 100 lists in 2018, down from two thirds (67%) in 1996. 
  • Mothers aged 35 years and over tended to prefer more “traditional” names, compared with mothers aged under 25 years who were more likely to choose more “non-traditional”, shortened or hyphenated names. 
  • Regionally, Olivia was the most popular name for girls throughout England and Wales, while Oliver was outranked by Muhammad in four of the nine English regions, and by Harry in the North East. 
  • Oliver was the most popular name for boys in 25% of local authorities, while Olivia was the most popular name for girls in nearly twice as many (46%) local authorities.

Top 100 names by local authority interactive maps: boys & girls

The 2018 trends

Nick Stripe, Head of Life Events, Office for National Statistics said: “Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in 2018, although there are the first signs that Oliver’s six-year reign as the number one name for boys is under threat. Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century too, both perhaps inspired by characters in the BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.

“On the flipside, the growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes may help to explain why the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved compared with 2017. Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”

Top 100 names since 1905

Read the full report on the ONS website.

(report and graphics courtesy of Office for National Statistics, image copyright Gareth E Kegg)

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