It’s still “olive” season in England. The UK Office for National Statistics has announced the most popular baby names in England and Wales, and once again, Oliver and Olivia top the charts. They continue a decade-long run of dominance, with at least one of the “olive” names ranking #1 in 8 of the past 10 years.
Yet even with that stability at the top, there movers and shakers, and stories to tell. Let’s meet the full top 20 in England and Wales in 2017.
Some name stories to watch:
• Jessica lost 21% of its popularity in a single year, falling all the way from #8 to #15. Based on the name’s trajectory in the United States, this could be just the beginning of a steep drop.
• The name Muhammad fell by 6% and two spots in the rankings, marking the first significant drop for a name that has soared over the past two decades.
• The hottest rising sound was a final -o in short boys’ names. Leo was the fastest riser in the top 20, jumping from #13 to #7. Theo, Hugo and Arlo also rose sharply, with Theo just missing our chart at #21.
• A big trend that you can’t see in the rankings: England still plays it safer with boys’ names than girls’. That means a greater concentration at the top, and a bigger role for the timeless standards. Of the 25 overall most popular names, 20 were boys’ names. What’s more, the boys’ list above is studded with all-time English classics: George, William, Henry, Thomas, James, Arthur. On the girls’ side, only Alice qualifies.
More on English name style to come, including the fastest rising and falling names, and the top brand-new names of the year!