Oliver and Olivia most popular baby names in 2019

26 August 2020, 10:58

Oliver and Olivia have once again been crowned the most popular boys' and girls' names for babies
Oliver and Olivia have once again been crowned the most popular boys' and girls' names for babies. Picture: Getty
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Oliver and Olivia were the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The two names remain the most popular for boys and girls for the seventh and fourth years in a row respectively.

Emily and Ella dropped out of the top 10 names for girls, being replaced by Freya and Lily, while there were no new top-10 entries for boys' names, the ONS added.

It marks the first time Freya has entered the top 10, while the name Emily dropped out for the first time since 1984 - Margaret and Mary were the only girls’ names to have featured in the top 10 for a longer period of time than Emily.

David Corps, from the vital statistics outputs branch at the ONS, said: "Oliver and Olivia continued their reign as the top boys' and girls' names in 2019, but analysis shows choices in baby names can differ depending on the mother's age.

"We found younger mothers opted for more modern girls' names like Harper, which has seen a rise since the Beckhams named their daughter so in 2011, and shortened boys' names like Freddie.

"In contrast, older mothers chose more traditional names such as Jack and Charlotte.

"Popular culture continues to influence the baby names landscape.

"Following Dua Lipa's first UK number-one single in 2017, the number of girls named Dua has doubled from 63 to 126 in 2019."

In total, 4,932 babies were named Oliver in 2019, down from 5,390 the previous year, while there were 4,082 newborn girls named Olivia last year, down from 4,598 in 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of girls named Alexa has dropped from 332 in 2016 to just 39 in 2019, with the ONS saying this could possibly be put down to the introduction of Amazon's smart assistant technology of the same name four years ago.

Arthur continued its recent rise, with the boys' name sitting at its highest position since records began in 1904 as the fourth most popular, 11 years since returning to the top 100.

Alfred, Chester, Hudson, Ibrahim and Oakley entered the 2019 top 100 boys’ names replacing Alex, Dexter, Dominic, Kai, Sonny and Tobias, the ONS said, while Lara and Mabel replaced Aisha and Francesca in the top 100 girls’ names - the first time Mabel has been in the top 100 since 1924.

Mothers under 25 were also more likely to choose a shortened version of a boy's name.

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