Most popular baby names in England and Wales revealed

Popular culture continues to inspire parents when they are choosing names for their children.
Popular culture continues to inspire parents when they are choosing names for their children.

Oliver remained the most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the eighth year in a row in 2020, while Olivia topped the girls’ list for the fifth year in succession, figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that Archie replaced Charlie in the top 10 names for boys, while Ivy and Rosie replaced Grace and Freya in the top 10 girls’ names.

Parents aged 35 and over continued to choose more traditional names, while younger parents opted for more modern and shortened names, the ONS said.

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.

The name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie, moved up the boys’ list from 19th to ninth, with 2,944 babies named Archie in 2020, up from 2,544 in 2019, and the first time Archie has made the top 10.

(PA Graphics)

It is the first time Charlie has not been in the top 10 since 2005, slipping to 12th place with a total of 2,810 babies named Charlie in 2020, down from 3,355 in 2019.

Since 2010, Ivy has risen 221 places to become the sixth most popular name for girls in England and Wales in 2020.

Arthur and Noah have seen an increase in popularity over the last two decades, both rising more than 200 places in the ranks to the boys’ top five in 2019 and 2017 respectively.

In 2020, the largest movers into the top 100 boys’ names were Milo (80th) and Otis (96th), both rising 28 places since 2019.

(PA Graphics)

Maeve has risen 124 places since 2019 and was the largest new entry into the top 100 girls’ names (94th).

Wilfred, the name chosen by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie for their son born in April 2020, is ranked 145th on the 2020 list, down from 142nd in 2019.

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.

In 2020, 24.5% of local authorities had at least one top boys’ name that was not in the top 10 for England and Wales.

The lowest ranking top name for a local authority was Jac, which ranked 420th in England and Wales but was the top name for Ceredigion.

Sian Bradford, of the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia held on to 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.

“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.”