Oliver, meet Olivia: poll shows favourite names

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The Independent Online

The Olivers Army is on its way, with back-up from battalions of Olivias. After 14 years of reigning supreme as the most popular name for baby boys in England and Wales, Jack has tumbled down to second place after no fewer than 7,364 Olivers were named in 2009. Olivia was at the top of the girls' chart for the second year in a row after 5,201 mothers chose it for their newborn, according to the Office for National Statistics.

While Jack lost his national crown, the name took pole position for boys in Wales, the north east and north west of England. In the West Midlands, Mohammed – 16th across all England and Wales – ranked first.

Overall, the mood among parents seems to have been conservative. There were no new entries into the Top 10 for either girls or boys, with continued signs of the resurgence over the past decade of names associated with the period between the wars. Perhaps appropriately given the talk of 1930s-style austerity, Ruby, Lily and Evie have cemented their places near the top of the chart, while male names like Alfie and Charlie followed a similar pattern.

Some 28,000 different male and 34,100 female names were registered for 706,248 live births. The biggest climber in the boys chart for 2009 compared with the previous year was Austin, up 60 places to 100, while for girls it was Maisie, up 29 to 34.

The biggest climbers between 1999 and 2009 for boys' were Ashton (357 places to 69), Riley (268 to 29) and Freddie (219 to 53), while for girls Lexi (2,397 to 47), Lexie (up 1,901 to 69) and Amelie (up 1159 to 57) saw big rises.

The top 10 names

1. Oliver/Olivia

2. Jack/Ruby

3. Harry/Chloe

4. Alfie/Emily

5. Joshua/Sophie

6. Thomas/Jessica

7. Charlie/Grace

8. William/Lily

9. James/Amelia

10. Daniel/Evie

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