London's top baby names are Noah, Olivia, Muhammad and Amelia.
Every year, the Office for National Statistics releases a breakdown of the commonest names registered for new babies. And every year, we like to pick apart the data for London. Now we have the stats for 2021.
When considered across boroughs, Noah is the most buoyant boys' name, heading up nine of the 32 boroughs. That's actually down from last year, when namesakes of the maritime patriarch floated to the top of 11 boroughs. For girls, Olivia rides highest in eight of the 32 boroughs. This is down by one on last year's Olivian haul.
If this year's stats have a theme, it's variety. The most popular baby names have changed in almost every borough (Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets are the only exceptions).
A notable rise in Arthurs is apparent to the south-east. New parents in Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich seem especially keen on the once-and-future king. Elsewhere, Frederick makes a debut as the commonest boys' name in Hammersmith and Fulham, while both Miriam and Chaim are new to our chart as the commonest names in Hackney (last year, it was Esther/Rachel and Noah).
Interesting though these stats are, they're also based on small data sets. Typically, a 'top' name was only registered a couple dozen times in the given borough, and the second-place name may have seen only a registration or two fewer. If we instead sum the data across all the London boroughs, then the stats stack up as follows:
Top boys' names in London 2021 (all boroughs)
In total, 56,875 male births were registered in London in 2021. That's almost identical to the 56,886 from 2020. (In both cases, the actual number of births will be higher as the survey discounts babies born to mothers whose usual residence is outside England/Wales, and those who hadn't been registered with a name.)
1. Muhammad (689)
2. Noah (626)
3. Leo (507)
4. Adam (429)
5. Alexander (407)
6. Oliver (399)
7. Arthur (381)
8. George (374)
9. Theodore (362)
10. David (340)
The top three are the same as for 2020 and 2019. The biggest climbers are Adam (from sixth to fourth) and Alexander (eighth to fifth). David is the only new entry. Oscar has dropped out of the top 10.
Top girls' names in London 2021 (all boroughs)
In total, 54,086 female births were registered in London in 2021 (although see the caveats in the previous section). The figure is also very close to last year's, which was 54,802.
1. Olivia (459)
2. Amelia (455)
3. Mia (402)
4. Sofia (392)
5. Maya (383)
6. Sophia (374)
7. Ava (302)
8. Sienna (300)
9. Isla (290)
10. Isabella (278)
A bit of a shuffle at the top, which last year was headed by Amelia followed by Olivia and Sofia. Sienna is the only new entry, and we say goodbye to Emily.
Curiously, all top 10 girls names end in an 'A'.