The Office of National Statistics has released its much-anticipated list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales.
The list is created using birth registration data and there have been some unexpected new entries – as well as some old favourites – for this year.
Oliver and Olivia continue to be the most popular picks for the fifth consecutive year, with Oliver holding onto the top spot for the past eight years, while Olivia scooping the most sought-after crown for five years in a row.
Although Oliver and Olivia are still the most popular choices of the year, their grip on the top spot is beginning to loosen a little.
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In total, 4,225 baby boys were named Oliver in 2020, down from 4,932 the previous year, while a total of 3,640 newborn girls were named Olivia, down from 4,082.
There has been something of a royal effect in terms of baby names this year with Archie, the name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, climbing up the boys’ name list from 19th to ninth, and marking the first time Archie has made the top 10, replacing the perennially popular Charlie.
This is the first time Charlie has not been in the top 10 since 2005.
It appears the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are continuing to have an influence on baby names too with George, the name of their eldest child coming in second spot and sparking a running theme of royal monikers making it into the top 10 list with both Harry and Mia – daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall bagging a place.
Meanwhile, Arthur and Noah have both seen an increase in parents opting for the monikers over the last two decades, both rising over 200 places in the ranks to the boys’ top five in 2019 and 2017 respectively.
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In 2020, the largest movers into the top 100 boys’ names were Milo (80th) and Otis (96th), both rising 28 places since 2019.
As far as girls' names go, there has been a switch in popularity power here too with Ivy and Rosie replacing Grace and Freya in the top 10 girls’ names, with Ivy rising 221 places since 2010 to become the sixth most popular girls name in England and Wales in 2020.
The name Lily has steadily stayed in the top 10 girls' names list for years, and is currently the seventh most popular girl's name in England and Wales.
Maeve has risen 124 places since 2019 and was the largest new entry into the top 100 girls’ names (94th).
Celebrity offspring continue to provide inspo for expectant parents with Wilfred, the name chosen by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie for their son born in April 2020, coming in 145th on the 2020 list.
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Meanwhile the name Boris is 745th on the 2020 list, up from 798th in 2019, while Carrie is ranked 3,117th in 2020, down from 1,940th in 2019.
Despite Oliver being the top boys’ name for England and Wales, regionally it was only top in the North East.
Muhammad was top in four regions of England and Arthur in three regions.
In Wales, Noah was the top boys’ name but only the fourth most popular name in England and Wales combined.
Commenting on the findings Siân Bradford, vital statistics outputs branch, Office for National Statistics 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.
“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.”
Bradford says popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities.
“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’.”
As well as names proving popular in particular areas, the data also revealed some interesting observations about the age of parents and their moniker choices, with mums and dads aged 35 and over continuing to choose more traditional names, while younger parents opt for more modern and shortened names.
“We continue to see the age of mothers having an impact on the choice of baby name,” Bradford adds.
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The top 10 girls’ names in 2020:
The top 10 boys’ names in 2020: