Mohammed Will Soon Be Most Popular UK Boy's Name
Mohammed will probably become the most popular boys' name in England and Wales by next year.
The name was second only to Jack in 2007, which has been top for the last 13 years. But there were just 385 more children called Jack and because of the high birth rate among Muslim families, the name is set to become the most popular boy's name by next year. While Mohammed is in 17th place, its position would be number two if all 14 variant spellings of the name were taken into account.
While 6,772 boys were called Jack, 6,387 were called Mohammed or a variant. There were 5,803 babies called Thomas, which is listed by the ONS as the second most popular name.
Muhammad is regularly cited as the most common name in the world. It means "one who is praiseworthy", and is often given to boys as an honorary prefix and is followed by the name by which they are commonly known. Overall, Muslims account for three per cent of the British population, about 1.5 million people. The name Mohammed first entered the top 30 in 2000.
Grace is the most popular girls' name.
The most popular names in Scotland are Lewis and Sophie, and in Northern Ireland are Jack and Katie. There are two new entries in the girls' top 50 for England and Wales. Ava leaps 23 places to number 41 and Summer rises 15 places to number 44. Evie has climbed 46 places in the last five years, making it the 15th most popular choice for girls in 2007.
The boys' top 50 sees three new entries this year. Jayden climbs 36 places to become the highest new entry at 32, followed by Isaac and Finley, which both go up 13 places to numbers 42 and 47 respectively.
Other girls' names gaining popularity are Isabelle (up nine to 20), Imogen (up 14 to 34) and Sophia (up 12 to 37). Significant climbers in the boys' top 50 are Alfie (up six to number 10) and Oscar (up 8 to 39).
In Wales alone, the top boys' name remains Jack but Dylan is number two and Rhys remains stable at five. The Welsh girls' list is topped by Ruby. Megan is second most popular while Ffion is number six.
Celebrities continued to have a bearing on the names chosen by parents for their children. Leona has almost tripled in popularity over the past twelve months, due to X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. In 2007, 238 babies were given the name. Myleene Klass, named her daughter Ava earlier this year. This could explain Ava moving 23 places up the girls' rankings in the last year, making it the 41st choice for girls in 2007.
In 2007, Alfie made it into the top 10 for the first time in recent years. This may have been influenced by the hit single Lily Allen wrote about her brother, Alfie, as well as the remake of the film Alfie starring Jude Law. Nevertheless, Elizabeth has maintained a top 50 spot from the 1940s through to 2007 when 1,268 girls shared the 36th most popular girls' name.
The top 20 boys' and girls' names 2007