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Revealed: Most popular first names for baby boys and girls in 2021

Most popular first names for baby boys and girls in 2021 using birth registration data.


Noah was the most popular boys’ name in England and Wales in 2021, replacing Oliver from the previous year, while Olivia remained the top name for girls for the sixth year in a row.

Henry replaced Jack in the top 10 names for boys, while Freya, Florence and Willow replaced Isabella, Rosie, and Sophia for girls; this is the first time Jack has not been in the top 10 since our annual series began in 1996.

Mothers aged over 35 years continued to be more likely to have babies with more traditional names such as Thomas, while younger mothers’ babies were more likely to have shortened versions, such as Tommy.

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Muhammad was the most popular boys’ name in four out of nine English regions, while Olivia was the top girls’ name for every English region and Wales, except for the East Midlands where Amelia was the most popular girls name.

New entries this year to the top 100 include Lara, Beatrice and Sara for girls and Blake, Brody, Kai, Rupert, Tobias and Nathan for boys; this is the first time that Rupert and Brody have been in the top 100.

Baby names of Welsh origin featured among the most popular in Wales in 2021; Alys, Ffion, Seren and Eira were among the top 50 for girls and Arthur, Osian, Dylan and Elis were among the top 30 for boys.

James Tucker, Head of Health and Life Events Analysis, Office for National Statistics said:

“Noah has replaced Oliver as the most popular name for boys in 2021, moving Oliver into second place and ending an eight-year reign at the top. Olivia remained the most popular girls name in 2021, having held the top spot since 2016. Interestingly, Noah was not top in any of the English regions, but has risen up the ranks in most regions since last year to take first place overall.

“While Noah and Olivia are enjoying their places at the top, some names could be in danger of falling out of favour. Leslie has had relatively little popularity in recent years with fewer than seven boys named each year since 2018. Others such as Clifford, Nigel and Norman have not fared much better with ten or fewer boys being named. Girls’ names such as Glenda and Kerry, that were more common before, are also becoming endangered and we have seen less than five girls being named each year since 2018.

“Popular culture continues to influence parents’ baby name choices. Today we have also published analysis exploring cultural influences that could be inspiring baby name trends, from hit TV shows to musical icons.”

Table 1: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls, England and Wales, 2021
RankBoys nameCountChange in
rank since
Girls nameCountChange in
rank since

Source: Office for National Statistics – Baby names in England and Wales

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