UK

Baby names: Noah enters top 10 for boys, Amelia remains top for girls

A baby Image copyright Thinkstock

The name Noah has entered the top 10 most popular boys' names for the first time, while Amelia has remained the most popular for girls, the Office for National Statistics said.

The list of most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2015 also showed Oliver has remained top for boys.

The ONS said the results were "based on the exact spelling of the name given on the birth certificate".

Grouping similarly-pronounced names would change the rankings, it added.

Oliver has been the most popular name for boys since 2013, while Amelia has been the most popular girls' name since 2011.

Among the more unusual choices were 17 boys and 15 girls who were named Baby.

The ONS says the statistics are based only on live births as there is no public index or register of stillbirths.

The findings come after an online poll suggested almost a fifth of parents in the UK regret the name they chose for their child.

The ONS has also created an online tool for people to chart the popularity, or lack of, their own names.

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Image caption Hopefully the babies called Rocky and Apollo will grow up to be on friendlier terms than their movie namesakes

Among the more unusual names given to boys, 35 were called Rocky, and 21 chose Apollo, potentially setting up a rematch between movie boxing's most famous duelling duo, Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed.

There will be 18 boys born last year for whom the movie Top Gun will take on extra resonance, because they share the name Maverick with the nickname of Tom Cruise's lead character.

And perhaps the 15 boys called Blue could hang out with the 14 boys called Ocean. And just to be even more different, 18 boys were called Blu.

At the other end of the pronunciation scale is Tymoteusz, which will be spelled out on a daily basis in future by 36 boys.

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Image caption Five mothers of babies - not dragons - have called their girls Kaleesi

For the girls, while 280 were called Arya after one of the lead characters in Game of Thrones, a further 562 were called Aria, 33 Ariah, 17 Aaria and six Aariah - all presumably with the same pronunciation.

Unmistakably from that television series is the name Kaleesi, which was given to five girls, arming them with a lifetime of conversation about mothers and dragons.

Four girls were called Ha, while another four called Fizza will need to have neat handwriting when they grow up, so as not to be confused with the Italian meal.

The name Princess was given to 72 girls, almost a perfect match for the 77 boys who were called Prince last year.

Keeping with the fairytale theme, 134 girls were called Pixie.

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Image caption Perhaps boys called Maverick will grow up to become a Top Gun in whatever they do

These latest figures show Oliver is the most popular boys' name for all regions of England except London and the West Midlands, which both had Muhammad as the top name.

This is the first time Muhammad has been top in two areas, as it overtook Oliver in the West Midlands from 2014.

Oscar and Noah showed the biggest increase in popularity for those in the top 10 - rising 45 and 44 places respectively, compared with 2005.

Jaxon, Roman, Reggie and Carter made it into the latest boys' top 100, taking the places of Owen, Robert, Joey and Finlay from 2014.


Most popular boys' names 2015

Image caption The late Oliver Reed's first name remains the most popular for boys in England and Wales
  • Oliver 6,941
  • Jack 5,371
  • Harry 5,308
  • George 4,869
  • Jacob 4,850
  • Charlie 4,831
  • Noah 4,148
  • William 4,083
  • Thomas 4,075
  • Oscar 4,066

For girls, Amelia was the most popular for all regions of England except the East Midlands and the East, where Olivia - keeping in step with Oliver's national popularity - was the name most chosen.

And Olivia is also the second most popular name for girls overall.

Ella and Mia rose into the top 10 girls' names last year, while Isla and Ava shot up 121 and 77 places respectively from their 2005 position, to reach the top 10.

Penelope, Mila, Clara, Arabella, Maddison and Aria were all new entries into the top 100 for girls, replacing Lydia, Faith, Mollie, Brooke, Isabel and Amy from the year before.

There were 697,852 live births in England and Wales in 2015 according to the ONS, with more than 27,000 different boys' and 35,000 different girls' names registered.


Most popular girls' names 2015

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Amelia Boynton Robinson, a veteran US civil-rights activist, died aged 104 last year
  • Amelia 5,158
  • Olivia 4,853
  • Emily 3,893
  • Isla 3,474
  • Ava 3,414
  • Ella 3,028
  • Jessica 2,937
  • Isabella 2,876
  • Mia 2,842
  • Poppy 2,816

Siobhan Freegard, founder of parenting site ChannelMum, said parents were being influenced by "Americanised monikers".

"Jaxon, a US-version of the traditional Jackson, is rocketing in popularity, after being made famous by Jaxon Bieber, half brother of Justin," she said.

She added that Maddison, used 577 times last year, "is one of the most common US girls' names and is gaining traction here," while another popular trend was for "gangster chic".

"Tough but cool Reggie, made famous by the Krays, was picked by Olympic ace Jessica Ennis-Hill for her son, while Carter of Get Carter fame is a name we'll be hearing much more of."

Reggie was given as a name 708 times last year, while Carter was chosen 689 times.

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Image caption Rihanna has a few girls named the same as her in England and Wales - and a handful with an alternative spelling

To end on a musical note, 72 girls were called Adele, and 39 Paloma, matching the singer Paloma Faith.

Also, 35 girls were called Rihanna, giving them a slight advantage over the nine who were called Rhianna in a possible misspelling of the pop star's name.

And proving that classic names never die, 35 baby boys were called Elvis last year - quite appropriate, given that romper suits do bear some similarity to the King's famous jumpsuit.

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