AVA- The newest report by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) published over the weekend showed that Muhammad had become the 10th most popular word for baby boys in capital London and a number of other major cities last year.
This indicates a huge rise in popularity since 2007, when it ranked only 38 on the list. The name was given to around 3,700 babies last year compared to just a little over 1,800 a decade before.
It must be noted that, when combined with its other spellings, such as Mohammad, Muhammed and Mohammed, the name of Islam’s prophet becomes the single most used name for new born boys in the UK.
The ONS documented this in 2015, when Muhammad was the 12th most popular name given to baby boys while Mohammed and Mohammad were in the top 100 as well – standing at 29 and 68 respectively. Muhammed stood just outside the top 100, at 121.
The reason the ONS data does not combine the different forms is because names with similar spelling variations such as Sophia, Sophie and Sofia will jump to the top of the lists and distort the real usage.
According to previous ONS reports, the increasing size of the Muslim community in England and Wales as well as the dominance of the name among Muslim communities are among the main reasons for Muhammad’s growing popularity.
An increasing diversity in names for baby boys also allowed the top Islamic name to climb the charts at unrivaled pace.
Interestingly, the ONS believes that the rise of popular sports figures such as late boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the British distance runner Mohammad (Mo) Farah also contributed to the trend.
Overall, however, the names Olivia and Oliver became the most popular names for British baby girls and boys last year.
The two top names, taken from the Latin-derived term for “Olive Tree,” were followed by Amelia and Isla for girls and Harry and George for boys.
The story was a little bit different in Scotland as Jack was last year’s top name for baby boys for the tenth year in a row, according to the National Records for Scotland (followed by Oliver), and for girls, it was, again, Olivia.
In Northern Ireland James was the most popular name for boys while Muhammad was the highest climbing.


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