Most popular baby names in 2011 are Harry and Amelia

Amelia Lily and Harry Styles The rise in popularity of Amelia and Harry may partly be down to the recent emergence of the X Factor's Amelia Lily and Harry Styles

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Harry and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

They replaced the previous year's most popular names of Oliver and Olivia.

Jacob replaced George in the top 10 most popular boys' names, while Ava and Isabella replaced Evie and Chloe in the top 10 for girls.

In Wales, Oliver was the most popular name for boys, while Lily replaced Ruby as the most popular for girls.

The five new entries for boys in the top 100 are Tommy, Blake, Frankie, Elijah and Jackson.

For girls, Bella, Willow, Elsie, Kayla, Francesca and Lydia all break into the top 100.

Most popular boys' names

According to the ONS there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales in 2011, with more than 28,000 different boys' names and some 35,000 different girls' names registered.

The top 10 names account for 14% of all names in 2011.

Harry was the most popular name for boys in seven of the regions in England including the North West, East and West Midlands and the South East.

Most popular girls' names

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 including the North East, South West and Wales, Olivia in two regions - North West and Yorkshire and The Humber - Amelia in East and West Midlands, and Isabella proving the most popular in London.

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.

The most popular baby names in Scotland are published by the National Records of Scotland. The most popular baby boys' name there in 2011 was Jack, and for the seventh year, Sophie was the most popular name for new baby girls.

In Northern Ireland, where the baby names are published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Jack and Sophie were also the most popular names for babies in 2011.

Baby name word cloud

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  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    55. Peter Sym. "A middle initial would be useful". Why not just pick a letter and call yourself Peter T Sym or whatever? The late TV presenter Donny B MacLeod did not have a middle name; he was from the Western Isles where practically every second child was called Donald MacLeod so his school called them Donald A MacLeod, Donald B MacLeod and so on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    I agree that people can name their child anything they want to. I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would register a child with one name but use a shortened version to refer to them. If a child answers to a shortened name, when they go to school etc it will be confusing as teachers etc will usually use the registered name so it will be Zachary by day and Zac by night.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    We named our beautiful little boy Louis when he was born. We love the name spelt the 'proper' way after the numerous King Louis' of France. There are various other ways of spelling this name such as Louie or Luis but it really irritates me when people pronounce his name as 'Lewis'!! The 's' in Louis is silent, as it is for many of the other ways of spelling the name for all you folk out there!

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Names for children are now leading national debates,according to the British state broadcaster, along with sports and ceremonies.

    Good move BBC, you'll be well above the tabloid press soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    Nothing annoys me more than people who name their children by nicknames like 'Harry' or 'Charlie' instead of their proper names: Henry and Charles. Can people not understand the difference between a proper name and a nickname? Maybe we need a law to enforce proper naming of children!

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Interestingly I have never heard of either of the alleged "celebrities" that parents might be naming their children after. For me the surnames that came to mind were Earhart and Wales.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    53. The point is that the names list has just been released by the Government (i.e. the Office of National Statistics). It is not just some underemployed hack deciding to do a story about names.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    #43 I'm Peter no middle name. Even WITH an unusual surname I failed a CRB check because they got the details of another person mixed up with mine (although the fact he attempted to kill someone when I was 6 months old should have been a hint....... ) A middle initial would be useful.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    'Tyler' is a good predictor of the recipient's future career...

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    What is the point of this verbiage. This is pulp journalism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    In the far east french islands, people used to pick up whatever is on the calendar to name their kids... this is why there were a lot of Fet Nat (Fete Nationale or Independance Day) on 14 July every year.

    I would rather mine like this, than naming them after a pop star or whatever... But at the end, we now know what most of the people do in UK... TV, TV and TV!

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Well they are better than Darren, Chloe, Katie, Jade ! Lovely !

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    My aunt named her baby Joseph Fratarcangeli. Don't ask me why. Another cousin decided to name her baby Grace not knowing that my other cousin was naming her baby Grace too. So cousin #1 had her labor induced so she could beat cousin #2 to the punch.

    God bless my trailer park family.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    People hold all kinds of preconceptions and prejudices about names.

    Teachers might assume Emily is going to be hard working or that Ethan will be a bully.

    If the Middletons had called their daughter Whitney-Jade, would she still now be the Duchess of Cambridge?

    Try not to disadvantage your kids from day 1!

    PS You are statistically more likely to become a dentist if your name is Dennis

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Not even I possess a sufficiently low opinion of humanity to seriously believe that the reason why Harry is a popular name, is because of Harry Styles.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    20 years ago we named our daughter Evie - we wanted her to be called Evie not Evelyn, Eve Eva etc so we named her that - and at the time we knew of no other children with that name - lo and behold the very next day a girl born in the same hospital was named Evie - had they overheard us I always wonder?

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    My parents called my brother Toby (NOT Tobias) they didnt' want names that can be shortened, and with a surname like Horsman its easy to take the micky. I love seeing how names come around, Harry is possibly from Harry Potter - people having kids now are quite likely the ones who grew up with the books, or prince harry who is quite yummy now... Names come from anywhere or anything :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    If Harry becomes king will he be known as King Henry IX or King Harry I?

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    My wife and I called our son Aston. He was born in 2005. 3 years later in 2008 JLS shot into the public eye after the X Factor and the lead singer is called Aston too. Since then we've found the name being used more and more often, yet we still get idiots asking if we named our son after the JLS singer! *Yep, we gave our son no name for 3 years just so we could name him after a future celebrity!*

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    #11 'My parents named me Paul with no middle name'
    Unless your surname is very uncommon, that was probably a mistake. Here in Wales, people with names like David Williams find that their local bank has 20-odd DWs on their books, and the local hospital has 100s.
    If you have a name like 'Jones' give the kids three initials. Stick in Mum's maiden name if imagination gives out.


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