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Chloe and Jack are top names

A CENTURY ago, with religion still high in the public mores, the most popular girl's name was Mary. Now, in 1999, it is Chloe.

Jack is the most popular boy's name for the fifth year in a row. William, the favourite in 1899, has stood the test of time - perhaps due to the young prince's popularity - and stands at number 10 this year, the Office of National Statistics said yesterday.

Emily remains the second favourite girls' name, while Megan stays in third place. Olivia is a new entry in the top five, rising 12 places into fourth place. None of the top 10 girls' names in 1899 are the same in 1999, and none of the five favourites at the turn of the last century - Mary, Florence, Edith, Dorothy, and Elsie - make the 1999 top 50. But Thomas, which was the fourth most popular boys' name in 1899, has risen to second.