Baby Names Survey 2014: Is Muhammad REALLY The Most Popular Boy's Name?

03/12/2014 11:33 | Updated 20 May 2015

Baby names

A baby names survey has revealed that Muhammad is Britain's most popular boy's name in 2014.

Really? If you delve deeper into the figures, you'll find it ain't necessarily so.

The numbers, from, looked at 56,157 babies born to its members so far this year to come up with their list:

1. Muhammad

2. Oliver

3. Jack

4. Noah

5. Jacob

6. Charlie

7. Harry

8. Joshua

9. James

10. Ethan

But although Muhammad tops the list, it is deceptive – because it combines names with variant spellings - so Mohammed, Muhammad and Mohammad were all grouped under one name.

However, other boys' names weren't combined with their permutations, and so dropped down the ranking as a result.

For example, second placed Oliver and its variant Ollie were listed separately. So too were Samuel and Sam, Benjamin and Ben, James and Jamie, and Thomas and Tommy.

In addition, despite the apparently huge number of baby names surveyed, the 56,157 babies born to BabyCentre members was only around 8 per cent of the 698,512 UK births in 2013.

The Office for National Statistics uses the latter figure to compile a more complete list of baby names of children born in England and Wales, the latest of which was released in August 2013 (the 2014 list will come out NEXT August).

In the ONS data, Oliver tops the boys' names charts for 2013 - and Muhammad, without combining variants, lags behind in 15th, with Mohammed at 23rd, and Mohammad comes 57th.

Added together, the combined names total 7,445, thus beating Olivers at 6,949.

However, the name Ollie is also in the top 100 (number 80 in the list) and if the 'Ollies' are added to the 'Olivers', it again becomes the most popular name, with 7,749 babies named this way.

So what is REALLY the most popular baby name of all – when you combine its variants?

Answer: Harry/Henry, with over 9,000 babies receiving the name last year.


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