Most popular baby names in 2018 revealed

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The most popular names of the year have been revealed. [Photo: Getty]

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed its annual baby name data of the most popular names for boys and girls in England and Wales.

There were a number of new entries in the top 100, including Margot, Grayson and Ada.

But, Oliver and Olivia have both retained their title on the number one spot for 2018.

The name Oliver is up against fierce competition this year, though, with Arthur catapulting into the top 10 for the first time since the 1920s.

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Top 10 baby names for girls:

  1. Olivia

  2. Amelia

  3. Ava

  4. Isla

  5. Emily

  6. Mia

  7. Isabella

  8. Sophia

  9. Ella

  10. Grace

Top 10 baby names for boys:

  1. Oliver

  2. George

  3. Harry

  4. Noah

  5. Jack

  6. Leo

  7. Arthur

  8. Muhammad

  9. Oscar

  10. Charlie

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“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.” Nick Stripe, of the vital statistics outputs branch at the ONS, said.

Wendy Golledge, Associate Editor at Netmums, commented on the new stats in conversation with Yahoo UK, observing it was clear the male British royals had had an influence, although not so much in the case of female royals.

She said: “What’s interesting is that the younger male royals have clearly provided naming inspiration over the last year, with George ranking second, up one place from last year, and Harry ranking third. Henry (Harry’s real name) places 13th, William 14th and Archie currently ranks 16th – we certainly expect it to surge in popularity in next year’s figures!

“Yet hugely popular female royals have no influence over the 2018 list, despite dominating headlines over the last year – Catherine ranks 419th, Kate 596th and Meghan 431st. Even the more typical spelling of the Duchess of Sussex’s name only ranks 126th.”

She also noted a “strong feminine trend” in this year’s girls’ names.

“It’s interesting to note that while floral names have decreased in popularity for girls – Poppy is down three to 11th and Lily down three to 13th – the top 10 girls’ names remain very feminine – and no gender neutral names have made it into the top 20, with Harper being the first to appear on either list at 27, rising 831 places thanks to the Beckhams’ influence,” she added.

“What also stands out is that 42% of girls’ names in top 100 and all but two of the top 10 end in ‘a’, reinforcing the strong feminine trend amongst girls' names.

Finally, she said the names had a “air of nostalgia” which might be to do with the pressures of government changes and Brexit.

“People seem to be playing it safe – there are certainly no Kardashian copycats! – opting for more traditional, formal names, perhaps harkening back to less conflicting times,” she suggested.

The girl’s name, Alexa, has dropped in popularity by half due to the Amazon device of the same name.

Last year, 118 babies named Alexa were born, ranking the name 380th on the list of most popular girls names.

In 2017, 301 babies named Alexa were born, making it the 181st most popular name of the year.

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He continued: “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.”

We hear you, Nick.

In 2018, there were 657,076 live births in England and Wales and there were 62,729 different names registered in 2018.

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