• Mon. May 27th, 2024

ONS: How Britain’s most popular baby names have changed in a generation


Oct 8, 2022

The name Ivy has shot up more than 2,000 spots on the popular baby names list in the space of a generation, while Ava, Isla and Noah are also far more popular today than they were in the past.

The Office for National Statistics has released its official list of 2021’s most popular baby names in England and Wales.

Noah topped the most popular boys' name and Olivia was the most popular for baby girls.

In 2020, Noah was the fourth most popular name. It has risen 15 places since 2011.

Oliver dropped to second place having been the most popular boys’ name for eight years, while Olivia topped the girls’ list for the sixth year in succession.

In total, 4,525 baby boys were named Noah in 2021, and 3,649 girls were named Olivia, up from 3,640 in 2020.

But neither were the biggest risers in the list of names.

Ivy has shot up more than 2,000 spots in the space of a generation, from 2,165th in 1996 to fifth in 2021.

Ava and Isla were the other big risers in the list of girl’s names, rising from 753rd and 382nd in the list to fourth and third respectively.

Other names with huge rises include Freya and Arthur.

There have also been some big fallers since 1996, with Lauren dropping more than 500 places, Megan falling more than 300 places.

None of the boys' top ten in 1996 have fallen by as rapidly, though Matthew has fallen more than 100 spots, down from sixth to 123rd, and Ryan by 99 spots, down from seventh to 106th.

This is how the popularity of the top ten boys and girls names in 2021 has changed since 1996.

Most popular boys’ names

  • Noah – up 224 places
  • Oliver – up 21 places
  • George – up 16 places
  • Arthur – up 230 places
  • Muhammad – up 103 places
  • Leo – up 204 places
  • Harry – up 10 places
  • Oscar – up 120 places
  • Archie – up 183 places
  • Henry – up 48 places

Most popular girls’ names

  • Olivia – up 23 places
  • Amelia – up 61 places
  • Isla – up 379 places
  • Ava – up 749 places
  • Ivy – up 1,217 places
  • Freya – up 112 places
  • Lily – up 78 places
  • Florence – up 186 places
  • Mia – up 107 places
  • Willow – up 881 places