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Most popular baby names: Last year's favourites

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Most popular baby names: last year's favourites

 - Most popular baby names: Last year's favourites

For some new mums, picking a baby name is easy; they know before conception they want a Samantha Rose or a Christopher Robert. For others, it's one of the toughest decisions ever!

Whether you're looking for an unusual name, or want one that's loved by everyone, checking out the most popular baby names is a good way to get some inspiration.

On August 13, the Office for National Statistics released the top baby names in England and Wales for 2011, and there were new favourites for both boys and girls.

For the boys, Harry became number one, moving up two places from its 2010 number 3 ranking to knock Oliver from the top spot. Perhaps inspired by a certain royal?

As for the girls, Amelia stormed up the rankings four places to take the most popular baby name title from Olivia.

A few old favourites were also knocked out of the top tens: George gave way to Jacob, and Chloe and Evie were shifted out of their prime spots by Ava and Isabella.

While the popularity of names changes slightly year on year, there are few new entries into the top hundred.

New arrivals in the boys' list in 2011 were Tommy, Blake, Frankie, Elijah and Jackson (which sneaked in at number 99) and the latest additions for the girls were Bella, Willow, Elsie, Kayla, Francesca and Lydia.

There are many reasons why names gain or lose in popularity, and ultimately it comes down to personal choice.

Celebrities or pop culture figures might be responsible for some changes (perhaps Bella is inspired by the popular Twilight character?) and religious, cultural and regional differences also affect people's decisions.

For example, the list looks a bit different in Wales alone. There, Lily is number one for girls and some local favourites including Seren, Ella, Mia and Megan claim top ten positions. In the boys' list, Oliver has held onto the Welsh top spot for another year.

Here's the complete top 10 lists for baby names across England and Wales in 2011:

Boys Girls
Harry Amelia
Oliver Olivia
Jack Lily
Alfie Jessica
Charlie Emily
Thomas Sophie
Jacob Ruby
James Grace
Joshua Ava
William Isabella

Still having trouble deciding on a name? Try downloading our app!

Victoria Turk
14/08/2012 00:15:00
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