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 82.

    43. Boxer_the_Horse
    #11 'My parents named me Paul with no middle name'
    Unless your surname is very uncommon, that was probably a mistake.

    Luckily my surname is very uncommon (Maunder) which is normally only found in Devon.

    I like the Welsh angle though - one of best mates (from Camarthenshire) is called Dai Thomas. Now you don't get much more Welsh than that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    What about Cuthbert? Does anyone like this name? How about Cornelius or Sebastion?

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Why do these articles never mention the genuine most popular name in the uk - Mohammed?

    There are many variations on the spelling of Mohammed (Muhamed, Mohamed etc) - but add them all up and by far and away the most popular UK boy's name is Mohammed.

    Go on BBC...mention it, I dare you!

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    I think that the rise in popularity of these names is because of Harry Potter or Prince Harry and Amelia Pond (off doctor who). I think that it would be silly to name a child after a real on a silly TV programme (like X factor) when you know nothing about that person. I say, be original when naming a child because its ultimately going to affect them in later life. :D

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.


    "We named our son Dexter after the television programme."

    For a similar reason I sem to meet Dilberts all the time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    What's happened to 'Christopher' - there were four of us in my primary school class in the 1980s now its not even made the word cloud. Too old fashioned? Too long? Am i desined to have a name that automatically becomes associated with an 'older generation' like we think of Ethel or Maude today?

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Inexplicably, Fifi Trixibelle, Heavenly Hiraani, Tiger Lily, Zowie and Moon Unit seem to have slipped out of the top 10

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    I don't know about parents naming their children after celebrities but the celebrities themselves choose some horrific names. Imagine how those children will feel when they reach their primary and teenage years at school it is quite possible they could be ridiculed or embarrassed.
    I totally dislike shortened names when the full version is much more attractive to use.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Andy1005; the next King can use any regnal name he chooses. George VI was not christened George. I can see Prince Charles being George VII.

    But not Edward IX. Or Henry IX. Too much history there . . .

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    #62 H Norman Swatzkopf ('91 Gulf War commander) is like that. His first name is just 'H' (long complicated reason involving his father & west point). I really can't be bothered adding an initial at my age simply to placate incompetent civil servants (not least because I suddenly wouldn't match my old records!) but I do see the advantage of giving you kid a middle name

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    I have to agree that nicknames as proper names is very short-sighted, give your kid the proper name and then they can use that or the shortened nickname as they please. Terence to meet the Queen, Terry to meet the bailiffs. But if you're just called Terry you're never gonna meet royalty my son, you'll just be the minder.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    X-Factor influencing names? I will just sit tight and wait for Simon Cowell to announce his is in fact the devil and we are all doomed

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Our son was due on 14th February this year so my wife and I thought we would call him Valentine.

    Unfortunately he was a week late but all was not lost. We called him Pancake instead.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Of course it is parental choice but often the poor child is landed with a dreadful lifetime tag. This can effect career propects, social standing and a whole host of other things.
    To me it seems that there are far too many "celebrity names" about & not enough what I would call proper names. Names like Sienna & Kayden just sound a bit chavvy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    I'm too ashamed to ever admit to my daughter, Tasha, that we named her after a Star Trek The Next Generation Character

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    No Kate or Catherine in the girls names word cloud - perhaps I shouldn't be so cynical.I was ready to predict Jessica storming to the top of the pile next year.

    Not keen on boys names that end in 'ie' like Alfie, Archie, Charlie etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    More often than not you can tell about a persons background simply by their first name. Parents should think very carefully before they attach the name of some soon to be z list celebrity to their child.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    "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"
    How truly sad. . .

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    I personally prefer traditional yet still fresh names, Andrew, Christopher, Joshua, Sarah, Jane, Louise, William etc.

    I would hope that the resurgence of "Harry" is a reflection on the HRH rather than another flash in the pan boy-band who time will soon forget.

    I have never heard of Amelia so I can't comment but again surely people aren't so easily swain by what is on TV at the time of birth?

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    Dexter? One assumes the parents are fans of fictional multi murderers.


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