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Statistical bulletin: Baby Names in England and Wales, 2014 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 17 August 2015 Download PDF

Main points

  • Oliver and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2014. Amelia has been in the top spot since 2011 while Oliver has been in top spot since 2013.
  • In England, Amelia was the most popular girls’ name in 8 out of the 9 regions and Oliver was the most popular boys’ name in 7 out of the 9 regions.
  • In Wales, Oliver remained the most popular boys’ name, while Amelia has been the most popular girls’ name since 2012.
  • Lily replaced Mia in the top 10 most popular girls’ names for England and Wales, climbing from number 12 to 9.

Summary

This bulletin presents the 100 most popular first names for male and female babies born in England and Wales in 2014 and compares the rankings with those in 2004 and 2013. The difference in rankings between England and Wales and the regions are examined, along with the seasonality of names.

Baby name statistics have been compiled from final annual births registration data and include all live births occurring in England and Wales in 2014.

This is the first time that 2014 annual statistics on baby names in England and Wales have been published.

Top 10 baby names in England and Wales, 2014

The top 10 names and changes in ranking for boys and girls in England and Wales are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: Top 10 baby names, boys and girls, 2014

England and Wales

Boys Girls
Rank Name Count Change in rank since 2013 Rank Name Count Change in rank since 2013
 
1 Oliver 6,649 1 Amelia 5,327
2 Jack 5,804 2 Olivia 4,724
3 Harry 5,379 3 Isla 4,012 +2
4 Jacob 5,050 4 Emily 3,991 -1
5 Charlie 4,642 5 Poppy 3,273 +2
6 Thomas 4,405 6 Ava 3,171 -2
7 George 4,320 +3 7 Isabella 3,022 +1
8 Oscar 4,269 -1 8 Jessica 2,995 -2
9 James 4,167 9 Lily 2,965 +3
10 William 4,134 -2 10 Sophie 2,905 -1

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Top 100 baby names in England and Wales in 2014, boys and girls

There were 3 new entries in the top 100 most popular boys’ names in 2014:

  • Ellis at number 94 (up 9 places from 103)

  • Joey at number 97 (up 5 places from 102)

  • Jackson at number 100 (up 6 places from 106)

These replaced Evan (102), Aiden (103) and Cameron (123) which fell out of the top 100.

Kian showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 41 places to reach number 54. Teddy (up 20 places to 66), Theodore (up 19 places to 59), Elijah (up 16 places to 53), Albert (up 15 places to 84) and Freddie (up 15 places to 20) were also high climbers within the top 100.

Jamie (down 20 places to number 88), Ryan (down 18 places to 69), Riley (down 14 places to 35), Kai and Connor (down 13 places to 77 and 79 respectively) and Bobby and Finlay (down 12 places to 71 and 99 respectively) showed the largest falls within the top 100.

There were 6 new entries in the top 100 most popular girls’ names in 2014:

  • Thea at number 79 (up 42 places from 121)

  • Darcie at number 80 (up 23 places from 103)

  • Lottie at number 84 (up 20 places from 104)

  • Harper at number 89 (up 71 places from 160)

  • Nancy at number 90 (up 21 places from 111)

  • Robyn at number 100 (up 19 places from 119)

These replaced Niamh (103), Paige (104), Skye (109), Tilly (110), Isobel (111), Maddison and Madison (equal 117) which fell out of the top 100. In 2013, Lydia and Sara shared the same ranking at number 100; consequently 6 names entered the top 100 in 2014 with 7 names leaving.

Aisha showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 18 places to number 76. Elsie and Heidi (up 15 places to 32 and 84 respectively), Evelyn (up 14 places to 31), and Eliza, Georgia, Ivy and Darcey (up 12 places to 47, 48, 54 and 72 respectively) were also high climbers within the top 100.

Lexi (down 22 places to number 64), Megan (down 16 places to 65), Hannah, Lacey and Julia (down 15 places to 59, 68 and 97 respectively) and Faith (down 14 places to 88) showed the largest falls within the top 100.

There are a number of possible reasons why the popularity of baby names change over time. The popularity of names can be influenced by names of famous figures or current celebrities and what they name their own babies. However, it can also be influenced by other factors such as the religious, cultural and/or ethnic identities of parents or the names of family, friends or fictional characters. As such, there is a great diversity of baby names. In 2014, there were 695,233 live births in England and Wales (ONS, 2014), with over 27,000 different boys’ names and over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top 10 names only account for 12% of all names in 2014.

Changes between 2004 and 2014

Of the 10 most popular boys’ names in 2014, 5 were also in the top 10 in 2004: Oliver, Jack, Thomas, James and William.

When compared with 2004, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2014 were Oscar (up 51 places to number 8), Jacob (up 19 places to 4) and Charlie and George (up 10 places to 5 and 7 respectively). The largest decreases in popularity since being in the top 10 in 2004 were Daniel and Benjamin (down 19 places to 24 and 28 respectively), Samuel (down 15 places to 21), Joshua (down 11 places to 13) and Joseph (down 9 places to 19).

In the top 100 boys’ names of 2014, Dexter (up 335 places to number 73), Joey (up 281 places to 97), Teddy (up 229 places to 66), Ollie (up 181 places to 74) and Austin (up 164 places to 89) were the highest climbers since 2004.

Of the 10 most popular girls’ names in 2014, 4 were also in the top 10 in 2004: Olivia, Emily, Jessica and Sophie.

Compared with 2004, the biggest increases in popularity for those names in the top 10 in 2014 were Isla (up 165 places to number 3), Ava (up 147 places to 6), Poppy (up 40 places to 5) and Isabella (up 27 places to 7). The largest decreases in popularity since being in the top 10 in 2004 were Katie (down 68 places to number 77) Megan (down 55 places to 65), Ellie (down 41 places to 43), and Lucy (down 23 places to 30).

In the top 100 girls’ names of 2014, Harper (up 3,636 places to number 89), Lexi (up 724 places to 64), Ivy (up 704 places to 54), Violet (up 536 places to 71), Bella (up 462 places to 52) and Elsie (up 387 places to 32) were the highest climbers since 2004.

Seasonal variations

Both Oliver and Amelia were the most popular names in 11 out of the 12 months of 2014. Jack was the most popular boys’ name in January and Olivia was the most popular girls’ name in May.

The second spot was shared between Jack (8 months), Harry (3 months) and Oliver (1 month) for boys and Olivia (11 months) and Amelia (1 month) for girls. There were 14 boys’ names and 16 girls’ names that reached the top 10 for at least 1 month during 2014.

Holly (number 39 in the annual rankings), the fifth most popular name for girls in December (number 23 in January), fell to number 70 in June. Summer (number 58 in the annual rankings) reached number 25 in June but fell to number 105 in December.

Country variations

There are some similarities between the top 10 most popular names in England and in Wales for 2014. For boys the 2 countries have 5 common names in the top 10, while for girls there are 7 common names.

Oliver is the most popular name for boys born to mothers usually resident in England and in Wales. There are 5 names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England:

  • Noah (number 11 in England)

  • Alfie (number 13 in England)

  • Leo (number 16 in England)

  • Logan (number 24 in England)

  • Dylan (number 36 in England)

Amelia is the most popular name for girls born to mothers usually resident in England and in Wales. There are 3 names in the top 10 for Wales which are not in the top 10 for England:

  • Mia (number 13 in England)

  • Evie (number 14 in England)

  • Ruby (number 15 in England)

 

Table 2: Top 10 baby names, boys and girls, by country, 2014

England and Wales

Boys  Girls
Rank England Wales Rank England Wales
1 Oliver Oliver 1 Amelia Amelia
2 Jack Jacob 2 Olivia Olivia
3 Harry Jack 3 Emily Isla
4 Jacob Noah 4 Isla Ava
5 Charlie Charlie 5 Poppy Emily
6 Thomas William 6 Ava Mia
7 George 7= Alfie 7 Isabella Ruby
8 Oscar 7= Dylan 8 Jessica Evie
9 James 7= Logan 9 Lily Lily
10 William 10= Leo 10 Sophie Poppy
    10= Oscar        

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Regional variations

Oliver was the most popular name for boys in 7 of the 9 regions in England. Jack was the most popular in the North East and Muhammad was the most popular in London.

Among baby girls, Amelia was the most popular name in 8 regions and Olivia was the most popular in the South East.

Table 3: Most popular name by region, 2014

Regions within England and Wales

Region Boys  Girls
North East Jack Amelia
North West Oliver Amelia
Yorkshire and The Humber Oliver Amelia
East Midlands Oliver Amelia
West Midlands Oliver Amelia
East Oliver Amelia
London Muhammad Amelia
South East Oliver Olivia
South West Oliver  Amelia
Wales Oliver  Amelia

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Users and uses of baby name statistics

Users of baby name statistics can be split into 5 groups:

  • individuals, which includes parents and soon-to-be parents who want to pick a rare or a popular name for their child or are simply seeking inspiration - other individuals include people interested in the popularity of their name or the names of friends and family, or names from a particular origin

  • special interest groups, such as Bounty, produce their own popularity lists and compare their lists with those published by ONS

  • those involved in the manufacture and sale of named items, such as mugs

  • researchers, who examine how names are changing over the years and how this reflects changes in culture

  • journalists who report and produce articles on the popularity of names

Further information

More detailed data for 2014 boys names (1.44 Mb Excel sheet) and girls names  (850.5 Kb Excel sheet) are available on our website. Data for 1996 to 2013 baby names and historical rankings of baby names for 1904 to 1994 (top 100 rankings at 10 year intervals) are also available (see background note 6).

Quality and methodology information documents for baby name and birth statistics are available on our website. Further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to births is available in the Births metadata (332.6 Kb Pdf) .

A baby names comparison tool has been developed by Anna Powell-Smith using our data, which allows you to analyse changing trends in names for boys and girls in England and Wales. The tool allows you to compare baby name rankings since 1996. 

National Records of Scotland provides baby name statistics for Scotland.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency provides baby name statistics for Northern Ireland.

References

Office for National Statistics (2015) Births in England and Wales 2014 

Background notes

  1. Birth registration is a legal requirement under the Births and Deaths Registration Act (1836). The registration of births occurring in England and Wales is a service carried out by the Local Registration Service in partnership with the General Register Office (GRO).

  2. The published rankings have been produced using the exact spelling of first names given on the birth certificate. Grouping names with similar pronunciation would change the rankings. Although some groupings are straightforward, others are more a matter of opinion, and thus raw data are given so users can group if they wish.

  3. The separate England and Wales rankings are based on the usual residence of the mother, rather than where the baby was born.

  4. Births where the name of the baby was not stated (9 boys and 9 girls in the 2014 dataset) were excluded from all the rankings. Births where the usual residence of the mother was not in England and Wales or not stated (98 boys and 95 girls in the 2014 dataset) were excluded from the regional rankings and from the separate England and Wales rankings.

  5. Baby names with a count of 2 or less in England and Wales as a whole are not included within tables in order to protect the confidentiality of individuals.

  6. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) took on the responsibility for producing baby name statistics in 2009 and do not have the necessary data to be able to compile figures prior to 1996. For years prior to 1996, the top 100 rankings put together by GRO are published for all possible years (1904 to 1994 at 10-yearly intervals) on our website. This represents all the historic data available. We are unable to provide counts for years prior to 1996.

  7. The baby names comparison tool has been developed by Anna Powell-Smith (a web developer external to ONS who now works with colleagues in the Government Digital Service) using our data. Because the tool has been produced external to ONS it will not contain 2014 data until sometime after 9.30am on Monday 17 August. This is because we cannot provide the 2014 data to Anna until the release is published on our website.

  8. Special extracts and tabulations of baby names data for England and Wales are available to order (subject to legal frameworks, disclosure control, resources and agreements of costs, where appropriate). Such enquiries should be made to:

    Vital Statistics Outputs Branch
    Office for National Statistics
    Segensworth Road
    Titchfield
    Fareham
    Hampshire
    PO15 5RR
    Tel: +44 (0)1329 444 110
    E-mail: vsob@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The ONS charging policy is available on our website. In line with the ONS approach to open data (166.9 Kb Pdf) , ad hoc data requests will be published onto the website.

  9. We would welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release. Please send feedback to the postal or email address above. 

  10. Follow ONS on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn

  11. Next publication date: Summer 2016

    Copyright

    © Crown copyright 2015

    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
    To view this licence, go to:
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    Email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  12. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Elizabeth McLaren +44 (0)1329 444110 Vital Statistics Output Branch vsob@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.