The most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2017, revealed

Sarah and Aaron no longer make the list of top 100 baby names

Sarah Young
Saturday 22 September 2018 18:09 BST

Finding the perfect baby name can be a tricky business. Do you want your child to stand out from the crowd and have one of the trendiest monikers in the classroom? Or do you opt for a classic, safe name that will stand them in good stead for years to come?

To help you make your choice, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2017.

For the boys, Oliver remains the most popular name of last year, a position held since 2013. Similarly, Olivia continues to dominate as the most popular baby girl’s name in England and Wales, a position it has held since 2016.

Harry and George followed in second and third place for boys, as did Amelia and Isla for girls.

New entries into the list for boys included Hunter and Ralph which replaced Aaron and Jasper in the top 100.

Likewise, Aurora, Orla, Edith, Bonnie, Lyla and Hallie were new additions for girls, knocking more traditional names like Sarah, Zoe, Felicity, Lydia, Lexi and Maddison off the list altogether.

Regionally, Olivia was the most popular name for baby girls across England and Wales, but for the boys, Oliver was beaten by Muhammad in London, the West Midlands, and Yorkshire and The Humber.

“Although Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in 2017, some fascinating changes took place beneath them,” said Nick Stripe of the ONS.

“Leo entered the boys’ top 10 for the first time, whilst Hunter rocketed into the top 100, also for the first time, reaching number 78.

“Sarah, the most popular name for baby girls throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s, dropped out of the top 100 for the first time since our records began in 1904. Brand new entries for girls include the names Aurora and Hallie.”

The ONS compiles its list from first names recorded when live births are registered in England and Wales and is based on the exact spelling of the name given on the birth certificate.

Earlier this year, pregnancy and parenting website Babycentre released its list of the most popular baby names of 2018 so far.

It revealed that Olivia has kept hold of the coveted number one spot for the fourth year running, followed by Sophia, Amelia, Lily, Emily, Ava, Isla, Aria, Mia and Isabella.

Meanwhile, Muhammed remains at the top for boys, with Oliver, Noah, George, Harry, Leo, Charlie, Jack, Freddie and Alfie also making it into the top 10.

Top 10 boys’ names in 2017:

1. Oliver: from the latin olivia, meaning “olive tree”

2. Harry: a medieval form of Henry, which is from the Germanic name Hemerich. Hem, meaning “home” and ric, meaning “power ruler”

3. George: from the Greek name Georgios, from georgos, meaning “farmer”

4. Noah: from the Hebrew word noach, meaning “comfort”

5. Jack: from the Hebrew name Yochanan meaning “God is gracious”

6. Jacob: English form of the Hebrew name Yaakov, which could be from the Hebrew words aqev or aqab, meaning “heel” or “supplanter”

7. Leo: a Latin name, originally from the Greek leon, meaning “lion”

8. Oscar: an Irish Gaelic name meaning “spear of the gods”

9. Charlie: from the Old English word ceorl and the German Karl, both meaning “free man”

10. Muhammad: from the Arabic hamid, meaning “praised” and “praiser of God”

Top 10 girls’ names in 2017:

1. Olivia: a Latin name, from the word oliva, meaning “olive tree”

2. Amelia: from the Latin aemilia meaning “strive” and the old German amal, meaning “to work”

3. Isla: means island in Spanish, which is from the Latin insula

4. Ava: either from the Latin avis, meaning “bird” or a variation of Eve, which is from the Hebrew chavah, meaning “breathe”

5. Emily: from the Roman surname Aemilius, which was originally from the Latin word aemulus, meaning “rival”

6. Isabella: Italian form of Elizabeth, from the Hebrew name Elisheva, meaning “devoted to God”

7. Mia: Mia is the Scandinavian form of Maria. It means “bitter”

8. Poppy: comes from the Old English popaeg, meaning “poppy”

9. Ella: an English short form of Helen, which is from the Greek helene meaning “torch” or “light” or selene, meaning “moon”

10. Lily: taken from the name of the plant having delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers regarded as a symbol of purity and perfection

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