Olivia and Oliver remain most popular baby names as Archie hits top 10

·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA</span>
Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Oliver and Olivia retained top places in the most popular baby names of 2020 in England and Wales, but fast risers included Maeve and Otis, possibly influenced by the comedy-drama Sex Education.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows Oliver retains the No 1 slot for boys for an eighth year in a row, while Olivia is top for a fifth successive year for girls.

Maeve has broken into the top 100, jumping 124 places to 94th most popular girl’s name, while Otis is up 28 places to 96th. The names are characters in the Netflix hit. Otis also features in the Japanese children’s adventure featuring a kitten and puppy, Milo and Otis. Milo is another swift climber, up 28 places to 80th in the league of boys names.

George, which climbed the rankings after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose it for their first son, is the second-most popular name for boys. Arthur and Noah swap places at third and fourth respectively, and Muhammed is up two places to claim the fifth spot.

However, Wilfred, the name chosen for the son of Boris and Carrie Johnson, failed to enjoy a Downing Street bounce, slipping from 142nd to 145th place.

Other fast-risers in girls names were Lyra, up 58 places to 92, Arabella, up 31 places to 40, and Mabel, up 30 places to 68. For boys, the biggest risers were Hudson, up 23 to 69, Sonny, up 22 to 81, and Myles up 25 to 100

Some royal names were more popular than others. Archie, the name chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their son, entered the top 10 for the first time since records began, coming in ninth, up from 19. Charles, meanwhile dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2005, down to 12th position.

Harry was the down three place to eighth. Lilibet, chosen by Harry and Meghan for their daughter and the Queen’s family nickname, did not appear in the top 5,493 girl names.

Sian Bradford, of the ONS, said: “Oliver and Olivia held on to the top spots as the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2020 but some interesting changes took place beneath them.

“We continue to see the age of mothers having an impact on the choice of baby name.
Archie jumped into the top 10 boys’ names for the first time, driven by younger mothers as well as the obvious royal link, while on the girls’ side, Ivy rose to sixth place.

“Popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities. Maeve and Otis, characters from the popular programme Sex Education, have seen a surge in popularity in 2020.”

Parents aged 35 and over continued to choose more traditional names, while younger parents opted for more modern, and shortened names, the ONS said.

Margaret, Rebecca, Paul and John, which were among the most popular names of the last 100 years, have since fallen out of favour,

Top 10 baby names

Change in position from 2019 in brackets

Girls
1 Olivia 3,640 (0)
2 Amelia 3,319 (0)
3 Isla 2,749 (0)
4 Ava 2,679 (0)
5 Mia 2,303 (0)
6 Ivy 2,166 (+6)
7 Lily 2,150 (+2)
8 Isabella 2,052 (-2)
9 Rosie 2,035 (+5)
10 Sophia 2,028 (-3)

Boys
1 Oliver 4,225 (0)
2 George 4,100 (0)
3 Arthur 4,052 (+1)
4 Noah 4,042 (-1)
5 Muhammad 3,710 (+2)
6 Leo 3,314 (0)
7 Oscar 3,268 (+3)
8 Harry 3,209 (-3)
9 Archie 2,944 (+10)
10 Jack 2,900 (-2)


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