The most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed

Oliver and Olivia remain firm favourites, but new additions inspired by the royals and pop culture emerge

Kate Ng
Tuesday 19 October 2021 11:48
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The most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed

The most popular baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales in 2020 have been revealed, with Oliver and Olivia topping the list for the fifth year in a row.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Oliver has remained a favourite for boys’ names for the past eight years, while Olivia has been the top girls’ name for the past five years.

There have been some changes to the top 10 names for both boys and girls. Ivy and Rosie have replaced Grace and Freya in the top 10 girls’ names, while Archie replaced Charlie in the top 10 boys’ names.

It marks the first time the name Archie has entered the top 10, and comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, born on 6 May 2019. Charlie was knocked off the top 10 list for the first time since 2005.

The names Milo and Otis moved up the ranks the most in 2020 for boys, with both names rising 28 places since 2019. Meanwhile, Maeve rose 124 places since 2019, making it the largest new entry into the top 100 girls’ names in England and Wales last year.

The ONS pointed out that the names Maeve and Otis gained popularity after the Netflix series Sex Education aired in January 2019. The series was watched by 40 million subscribers in the month after it premiered.

Using birth registration data, the ONS also found that mothers aged 35 and over continued to choose more traditional names, while younger mothers preferred more modern and shortened names.

The top 10 girls’ names in 2020 were:

  • Olivia
  • Amelia
  • Isla
  • Ava
  • Mia
  • Ivy
  • Lily
  • Isabella
  • Rosie
  • Sophia

The top 10 boys’ names in 2020 were:

  • Oliver
  • George
  • Arthur
  • Noah
  • Muhammad
  • Leo
  • Oscar
  • Harry
  • Archie
  • Jack

Sian Bradford, a statistician from the Vital Statistics Output Branch for the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia held onto the top spots as the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2020, but some interesting changes took place beneath them.

“We continue to see the age of mothers having an impact on the choice of baby name. Archie jumped into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time, driven by younger mothers as well as the obvious royal link. While on the girls’ side, Ivy rose to sixth place.

“Popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities.

To find out what others are saying and join the conversation scroll down for the comments section or click here for our most commented on articles 

“Maeve and Otis, characters from the popular programme Sex Education, have seen a surge in popularity in 2020. While the name Margot has been rapidly climbing since actress Margot Robbie appeared in the popular film The Wolf of Wall Street.”

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