London's top baby names are Muhammad and Amelia... again.
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 2020.
Nationally, the commonest names are Oliver for boys and Olivia for girls. This is partly reflected in the London map. Olivia wins out in nine London boroughs, the same as last year. Only three boroughs favour Oliver, however, and it is only the fourth commonest boys' name overall (see below).
One big winner this year is Noah. A third of London boroughs (11) look favourably on the maritime patriarch when deciding what to call their boys. That's up from six last year, and only one in each of the previous two years. While that might seem like an inundation, spread across all boroughs the increase is only 23 additional Noahs this time round. Other names with strong religious connections, such as Adam, Muhammad, Maryam, David and Joshua remain popular alongside the Mias, Amelias and Leos.
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 2020 (all boroughs)
In total, 56,886 boys were born in London in 2020 (it's actually more, but the survey discounts those where the mother's usual residence is outside England/Wales, and those who hadn't been registered with a name). That's a significant drop from the 60,550 registered in 2019. It's fascinating to speculate on the reasons for this (did the pandemic deter people from registering births?), and it will be interesting to see if the number falls or rises next year, when we get a better reflection of babies conceived during lockdown periods.
1. Muhammad (705)
2. Noah (690)
3. Leo (484)
4. Oliver (478)
5. Arthur (436)
6. Adam (430)
7. George (419)
8. Alexander (413)
9. Oscar (365)
10. Theodore (336)
The top three are the same as last year. Alexander has dropped four places, while new entries are Oscar and Theodore.
Top girls' names in London 2020 (all boroughs)
In total, 54,802 girls were born in London in 2020 (although see the caveats in the previous section). As with boys, the figure is down somewhat on the 57,347 registered in 2019.
1. Amelia (497)
2. Olivia (487)
3. Sofia (417)
4. Mia (408)
5. Maya (372)
6. Sophia (355)
7. Ava (320)
8. Isabella (305)
=9. Emily (283)
=9. Isla (283)
No change at the top, with Amelia and Olivia holding firm from last year. The next six are a minor shuffle in order, while the bottom two names have switched to Emily and Isla this year from Sienna and Lily last year. Only one girls' name on the list — Emily — doesn't end with an A.