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Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names
August 14th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.

The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.

Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.

And it could become even more popular in 2012, given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the Olympics.

The popularity of the name comes as Britain's Muslim population is expected to double in the next 20 years.

The country, which was about 2% Muslim in 1990, grew to 4.6% Muslim in 2010, with nearly 2.9 million followers of the faith, according to analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

By 2030, the United Kingdom will be just over 8% Muslim, with more than 5.5 million adherents, the Washington-based think tank projected in a 2011 report, "The Future of the Global Muslim Population."

Mohammed first became the most popular boy's name in England in 2009, then was knocked back into second place the next year as Oliver enjoyed a huge surge in popularity.

Harry, the name of Prince William's younger brother and J.K. Rowling's boy wizard, leaped into second place in 2011, with 7,523 boys given the moniker, topping the 7,007 Olivers.

But the name of the Muslim prophet was given to 7,907 baby boys, according to CNN analysis of Office of National Statistics data. Mohammed, Muhammad and Mohammad were all among the top 100 most popular names, with Muhammed and Mohamed also coming in the top 200.

A total of 37,564 babies have been given a variation of the name in the past five years. Some 36,653 Olivers and 36,581 Jacks were born in England and Wales since 2007. The British government keeps separate statistics for Scotland and for Northern Ireland, the other two nations that make up the United Kingdom.

The 2011 British census had an optional question about religion. Results are expected in November.

At least four different spellings of the name Mohammed are among the 1,000 most popular American boys' names in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration.

Mohamed is the top, in 428th place, with Muhammad in 480th, Mohammed in 562nd and Mohammad in 609th.

The United States is about 0.8% Muslim, with about 2.6 million adherents, the Pew Forum calculates.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,026 Responses)
  1. Citizen

    Halt muslim immigration to the West and stop bilking tax payers to subsidize their jihadist breeding.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Farhat

      So that would mean shortage of Doctors, engineers, and industralized countries whining about their poor quality education. Go to any city hospital and you see how many Muslims are doctors. Go wake up.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Rob

      @ Farhat and those men could spend half their efforts not patching up shredded bodies and infrastructure from suicide bombers if we could end the tyranny of their ridiculous religion.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      Farhat, we don't need muslims for those positions, we need to change the education system so our own people can attain these skills without the current elitest exclusionatory sytem that is in place now. I would'nt want a muslim doctor to be anywhere near me if I am in a crisis, I know all about how they feel about me because I am an infedel. There have been cases of muslim doctors purposfully botching surgerys because the patient was an infedel. We know all about muslim taquiyya and jihadism, no thanks!

      August 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Benjamn

      Farhat, I am doctor and there's barely any muslim doctors. So stop making muslims look better than they are. Muslims have lower education, lower income than regular Americans according to a Pew study.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  2. youpetthatkittynow

    haha

    August 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  3. Joann

    They are taking over...

    August 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • littleBearFN

      Yes.. Been going on for years... A passive takeover.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • wow

      Or they lack creativity. But if you want to be paranoid, knock yourself out.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      @ wow

      Paranoid? it is happening right now! There are neigborhoods in France where french citizens and police cannot go because the neighborhoods are muslim! Doesn't that sound like a takeover? So how is this being paranoid?

      August 15, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  4. Muhammad Umer

    MashaAllah...!

    August 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Mohamiss Shafik-Kaddir

      A mountain of dirty diapers shall be Allah's revenge on the Infidel !

      August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Mohamiss Shafik-Kaddir

      A mountain of dirty diapers shall be Allah's revenge .

      August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      Allah's revenge for what, the infedels treating allah's people with charity, equality and kindness?

      August 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  5. cn

    @JuliusDavies Here's a list of the top 100 boy/girl names according to the government report, via Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/aug/14/baby-names-2011-harry-amelia-data?newsfeed=true.
    Some iteration of the Mohammed name appears three times in the top 100, but to add five different spellings of it then compare that to the top name of Harry seems a stretch. CNN is simply raking for a religious controversy story.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • littleBearFN

      Still does not change the fact their passive takeover is successful...

      August 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @littlebear,

      how do you call a 4.8% minority a passive 'takeover'?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • msnb

      Good info cn. Guardian paints a better picture.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • PerceivedReality

      @ GOP'er

      Compare the birth rates of muslims to the people native to the UK, then think about the geometric spread over the next 20 years, Muslims are averaging 8 children per father compared to 2 children for the indigenous people.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • Anglo-Saxon

        Be fruitful and multiply. Have more babies.

        July 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  6. Big Bob

    What could possilbly go wrong?

    August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  7. Cherries

    While I respect traditional values and all, its not always fair to the kid who has the same name as everyone else. Imagine the nightmare for future teachers.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • I blow minds for a living

      That's why I named my son Tarzan

      August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  8. Jacob

    Its a great name and not surprising. It will always be the top name.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  9. New Gawker

    What a sad day for Britain

    August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  10. brussell

    Yep here in the US it is Achmed.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • littleBearFN

      I am unable to confirm this. Where did you see this?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  11. Luke

    England today: Hi, my name is Mohammed, what's your name? Mahamaud, nice to meet you, eh, meet my brother Muhammad.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Becca

      Luke! Way to funny. I can not believe England would be so proud of that name .....Geezz that is not a name that belings to anyone born in England or Wales! My family roots are Wales. Infact we have Items from Wales with our Last names in it that was from family from Wales. I can not believe Mohammad is the most popular name! Well they must have forgot what country they are from.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Sheikh Muhammad

      Don't worry. Most of the time they are not called Muhammad. Muhammad is sort of added to the name in honor of the prophet s.w.t.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Person of Interest

      Becca,

      Funny, enough I have an old Army buddy who's name is Jason Foley. He's 3rd generation AMERICAN. He's heritage is 66% Irish and 33% Korean. He has more Irish heritage than I do (Heritage: Irish/Polish) but I'm tall white, blonde, with green eyes. He's short dark, black hair, and brown eyes. On St. Patty's Day I laugh at all the people that act like it's funny he's talking about being Irish. He is. He is more than they probably are.

      Oh and BTW, you are not from Wales. Your ancestors were. So you are not Welsh, you are an American (assumption). Probably even a mut (not pureblood Welsh), more than likely mixed with another Anglo-Saxon race. The fact that there are Muslims that have lived in Wales, Scottland, and England for several generations they, in fact, are more Welsh than you are (Having actually been born and raised in the country).

      August 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  12. Derrik

    I really am afraid that "tolerance" is going to lead to the conquering of Christianity. How many people are foolish enough to believe that they can truly coexist peacefully? I don't. History doesn't either.

    Muslims can muslim all they want. I just want them to do it in their world and not mine.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • New Gawker

      People and religions can co-exist. Except for muslims, there's no living with them.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Politics and Religion ???

      First – learn to COUNT!!! the UK is over 90% christian. Here's a clue ... add up all the other names, male and female.
      Second – If Christians don't have babies That's their perogative. What are you going to do FORCE them??
      Lastly – As a christian you should be more friendly .... pppsssttt FYI – we're, christians, much better at converting others over ... or haven't you heard?? They alll come over in the end. The straglers that remain are few and far between when you add us all up. Our religion is by far more inclusive. Here's a key game changer .... give the muslim women freedom

      August 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Person of Interest

      So freedom of religion is cool, just if you do it away from you. Funny, American was polytheist until a group of oppressed Christians came here a few centuries back and killed off the natives. People back than said it was God's will. So if the Muslims kill all of us off isn't that God's will?

      Plus, Christians killing other Christians is nothing new. Read about history: Protestant Reformation. If we weren't currently killing them, we would be killing eachother. Destruction is man's true gift. What we create we destory.

      "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties..." more like what a piece of $#!^ is man, how greedy and selfish in his reason, how infinite in cruelity and hate. Want examples? Read the posts here.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  13. Brad76

    England has massive problems.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. MrId

    Dirka dirka jihad!

    August 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  15. scott

    i can see some liberal idiot in the uk naming their son this because it's cool. Traditional names like John, or William or Charles I guess are out of style for the hipper lefts over there. Somuch for Englands culture and way of life, nice knowing ya.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      Yep say to boiled beef, mushy peas, and over fried fish.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Karl

      The naming trend has nothing to do with "liberal idiots," or with more Muslim immigrants, but with Muslims in the UK becoming more religious.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      In this country, it is hip to give a kid a misspelled name.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Truefax

    the olypics are over, it's time to cut the tall trees down.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    I suppose the same might be said of a Roach Motel.

    When you let lunatics emigrate in, don't be surprised when your culture heads out!

    August 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. Julius Davies

    This is an outright lie... Oliver is the number 1 name for boys in 2011 in England and Wales with Muhammad in at 36. Just do a search and you'll find the original source.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Julius,

      I suspect you are wrong here about 36. "Mohammed" is 19th. Muhammad is 22nd etc. Combining the multiple spellings of what are clearly the same Arabic name bumps them high on the list – though not to the top as asserted by this article.

      You can find the data here for the top 100 names:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/aug/14/baby-names-2011-harry-amelia-data

      The top boys names are:
      1. Harry: 7.523
      2. Oliver: 7,007
      3. Combining: Mohammed/Muhammad/Mohammad: 6,945

      August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  19. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Interesting but un-news.

    Many (if not most) Muslims name their first born son Mohammed and (to a lesser extent) their first born daughter Fatima, increasing the concentration of the name.

    The meaningful statistic are these for the Muslim population of Britain.
    1990 ... 2%
    2010 ... 4.8%
    2030 ... 8%

    A growing and vigorous minority, but a minority nonetheless.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • EricLr

      At that rate they'll be the majority by 2080.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  20. Fogul

    I'm Mclovin ! chicka chicka wooot!

    August 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.