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Oliver, Oliver, never before has a boy been more popular

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the latest information on the most popular names for boys and girls in the UK, with Oliver, and Olivia in feminine form, remain the most popular name for the sixth year running.

The information is released annually by the ONS, revealing such insights as regional variations, influences and more obvious standards in name-calling, but this time they have delved deeper into the analysis, looking at how the choice of name varies depending on the age of the baby’s mother.

“Oliver and Olivia remained the most popular baby names in 2018, although there are the first signs that Oliver’s six-year reign as the number one name for boys is under threat. Arthur surged into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time since the 1920s, and Ada jumped into the girls’ top 100 for the first time in a century too, both perhaps inspired by characters in the BBC TV drama Peaky Blinders.

“On the flipside, the growth in the use of technology assistants in our homes may help to explain why the number of baby girls named Alexa has more than halved compared with 2017. Communicating with young children can be hard enough at the best of times.”

In 2018, 62,729 different names were given to 657,076 newborns. Arthur was the only new entry into the top 10 names for boys in 2018, replacing Jacob, while Sophia and Grace replaced Poppy and Lily in the top 10 names for girls.

Grayson, Jasper, Rowan, Tobias, Sonny and Dominic entered the top 100 names for boys in 2018; Grayson, Rowan and Tobias have previously never featured in the top 100.

Ada, Delilah, Ayla, Zoe, Margot and Felicity entered the top 100 names for girls in 2018; Ada returned to the top 100 for the first time since 1924 while Delilah, Ayla and Margot made their first ever appearances.

Less than half (45%) of babies had a name within the top 100 lists in 2018, down from two thirds (67%) in 1996.

Mothers aged 35 years and over tended to prefer more “traditional” names, compared with mothers aged under 25 who were more likely to choose more “non-traditional”, shortened or hyphenated names.

Regionally, Olivia was the most popular name for girls throughout England and Wales, while Oliver was outranked by Muhammad in four of the nine English regions, and by Harry in the North East.

Oliver was the most popular name for boys in 25% of local authorities, while Olivia was the most popular name for girls in nearly twice as many (46%) local authorities.

Top Boys in 2018

1              OLIVER

2              GEORGE

3              HARRY

4              NOAH

5              JACK

6              LEO

7              ARTHUR

8              MUHAMMAD

9              OSCAR

10           CHARLIE

Here Come the Girls

1              OLIVIA

2              AMELIA

3              AVA

4              ISLA

5              EMILY

6              MIA

7              ISABELLA

8              SOPHIA

9              ELLA

10           GRACE


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