Following Friday's release of the 2017 England and Wales name stats, we've had a look at the top 100 and also the top 1000. Now let's dig a little deeper to see what's been shifting below the surface.
This table was part of the ONS statistical bulletin which provides information on the number of different names registered to boys and girls and 2017:
Wow! There is only a 3 percent difference between the number of girls given a top 10 name (10%), and girls given a name that was registered only once in 2017 (7%)?
Admittedly, a lot of these "unique" 2017 names will have been hyphenated names, as the ONS data ranks hyphenated names separately. Thus, Olivia-Beau Smith would rank in the 7% "unique" names, whereas Olivia Beau Smith would make up part of the 10% top ten named babies.
However, it does show an increasing shift towards diversity. Especially that the top 100 now represents less than 50% of all babies born.
For the first time in 2017, the ONS have released the top baby names in each local authority. You can search them below:
There are some interesting results. David ranks #1 in five local authorities: Corby, Barnet, Brent, Hackney and Harrow. Maryam was top in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge, Luton and Leicester. In Powys, it's Ffion.
You can also see a breakdown of all the top 100 boys' and girls' names in an interactive local authority distribution graph here.
New Names in Wales top 100:
We've seen from a headlines that the new names to the top 100 in England and Wales in 2017 were Hunter, Ralph, Aurora, Orla, Edith, Bonnie, Lyla and Hallie.
In England alone, this list is largely the same, but it's the new names to Wales that has me especially fascinated:
Here we see some traditional Welsh names, "English" staples such as Hugo and Eleanor finally make a mark in Wales and more of a passion for surnames. Hudson, Lincoln and Parker, for example, remain below the top 100 in England.
Hallie: A Name of Two Countries:
Hallie was one of the names to break into the top 100 of England and Wales in 2017. However, when we dig a little deeper, we see that this is a little misleading.
In fact, Hallie broke into the top 100 of Wales back in 2016 when it ranked #72. In 2017, it saw a 25 place rise to #47. In England, on the other hand, Hallie was #103 in 2017.
Here we see a perfect example of how combining the statistics for England and Wales can sometimes muddy the picture.
Once again, Poppy and Holly prove to be popular seasonal favourites.
Poppy, ranked #8 overall, moved up to #3 in November, coinciding with Remembrance Day and the wearing of poppies.
Holly, ranked #56 overall, moved to #6 in December -- the only month in which it ranked in the top 10.
Summer moved down 12 places from #74 to #86, and Autumn stayed much the same at #154 only moving down two places. Winter, however, moved up 384 places from #837 (45 births) in 2016 to #453 (97 births) in 2017.
Top Brand New Names:
Now let's move on to the highest ranking names in 2017 that did not rank at all in the 2016 data -- i.e. it wasn't given to three or more babies in 2016.
For boys, Kaizer was the highest of these names (up to #1289 with 27 births) followed by Kaif (#1470 with 17 births).
However, we strictly can't call these names "new" as Kaizer ranked in every year from 2008-2015 and Kaif has ranked from 1997-2015.
Next in line, however, at #1627 with 15 births, is Bligh. This we can call a genuine "new" name, as it has never ranked in the official data from 1996-2016.
Bligh is a surname which has been borne by the Earls of Darnley and several other members of the British peerage. Most famously, I think of Captain Bligh in the Mutiny of the Bounty. but there are several other famous bearers. Bligh fits in well with other trending names such as Beau, Bear and Bay.
For girls, the highest ranking name that did not rank in 2016 was Elizabete at #1995, followed jointly by Harsimran, Lanah, Liyah and Pariza at #2341. As with Kaizer and Kaif, all of these names have ranked before from 1996 to 2015.
In joint third place (#2502), Kataleja,has only ranked once before previously, but the highest strictly "new" name is Zarnish in joint fourth place at #2706 with 9 births.
Zarnish is a Persian name meaning "flower" which is perhaps partly inspired by Pakistani actress Zarnish Khan.
Arthur (#19) and Luna (#48) win the prize for the names which increased the most overall in birth count while Eissa (#1289) and Zariya (#1911) increased most overall in rank.
Other names which made notable rises:
|#164 > #114
#310 > #226
#400 > 273
#139 > #109
#647 > #414
#168 > #129
#225 > #156
Celebrity and TV have also had an impact with Blake, Bowie, Kit and both Harley and Quinn seeing a rise in 2017.
British celebrity babies have also served as inspiration: Nellie (Billie Faiers), Valentina (Rochelle & Marvin Humes), Wren (Helen George) and Kit (Wayne & Colleen Rooney) have all risen in 2017.