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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. alan

    This does not bode well for the future of the country.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  2. Marco

    That's alright. The most popular name in America for baby boys is Juan.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  3. caligula

    AAAaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha. that's hilarious!!!!
    mohammad....the number one name.....IN ENGLAND!!!!??!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

    July 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
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  12. hannah smith

    Mohammad is a Muslim name, and it's strange that its popular in England.
    I have searched for the meaning of this Boy Name and after knowing the meaning, i think this name deserve to be in top.

    November 30, 2012 at 2:32 am |
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  15. mohammed

    oh... there are way more muslims than you guys think. and thousands more were born as you read this. their women marry at 16 and have 8 kids each and in a hundred years could multiply more than any other race or religion. the stats you have are very incorrect. they will take over the world very soon.

    November 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
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  17. sultan

    I am not gonna comment on all these sick opinions ,, I understand now that most of westerns oppose Islam ,therefor they don't wanna hear anything good about it ,, all they do they lie and believe their lies ,, good for you guys but believe me no one in this world helps the US as Muslims do to the country in all important fields,, and please don't dare me to write novels what we've done to you and i am as a person from Saudi ,, You should be thankful instead of your sick racist minds ,, TRUST me no one can stop the huge flow of ISLAM anywhere ,

    September 4, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • alan

      They lie and lie? All over the world Muslims are killing muslims. Just today I read a guy poisoned 50 guests because of something between the two families. 25 dead because one muslim was mad at another. Face it, islam is a disgusting religion with no respect for human life.

      July 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • astute reader

      Reply to Sultan
      ...laughed Goliath as David picked up his five smooth stones.

      July 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • cogito ergo sum

      I don't have a problem with Muslims. Just stay in your own countries and we'll stay in our's. Also, I'm completely against any military actions in the Middle East. I don't support our government meddling in Islamic countries' affairs. You stay amongst your own and I'll stay amongst my own and we'll all be happy. Muslims don't like Christians (not that I am a Christian, but I live in a predominantly Christian nation and I'm happy with it) and vice versa. So, why don't we just stay amongst our own. The only reason Muslims want to come to Christian nations is to reap the rewards of the hard work done by Christians. It's wrong. You guys hate Christians, so stop trying to steal their money and live in their countries.

      July 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  18. m-ho-mad-h8

    I'm sorry I cant stand a religion that supports such horrific intolerance of just about everything and anyone. Seriously scary situation in the UK, next think you know we will have sharia law here! disgusting. This is an english country. If you love it so much (muslim) why not try and secularize! FFS sick of muslims and all the koran garbage!

    September 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Rob

    Nothing to see here... move along...

    September 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  20. monmoaner

    I always like to have a bit of a laugh at people who beleive in god, and thats any god, so called intelligent people beleiving in something so ridiclous.This so called loving god who stands by and lets thousands of children and babies totaly innocent die horribly and painfully every day all for a little food and water,whats gods problem is he having trouble navigating a few rain clouds to Africa all powerful yeh sure.If he does exist he is quite clearly one vile individual.oh dear I hope he doesent strike me down I wont be losing any sleep.As for the muslims what a joke if your god exists why does he keep letting American soldiers kill muslims, even more puzzling to me muslims murder each other every day just for being the wrong kind of muslim so which is best sunni or shiite even they can't get along what chance do any of us have.The one thing I know for sure is as people become more intelligent and less blinkered and continually see the true horror of this world they will finally realise there is no god and all religions will cease to exist a long lingering death.However we could all go about our business in a nice way being nice to each other looking after each other regardless of race or colour thats the world I would like to see.

    August 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jon Samuel

      God allows suffering to exist because He allows free will and does not micromanage every action on this planet. Most of the suffering is cause by human sin. That is hardly a rationale in which to reject God particularly since you do not see the whole picture. It is like ant questioning why the world is a particular way. The first step is to admit you are not so "intelligent" and accept some humility and are in no position to question how or why God does things His way.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • alan

        so if god allows free will, why pray? God has stepped aside and let people do their own thing. Screw praying if god isn't going to get involved.

        July 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • cogito ergo sum

          Not every person who believes in God is a Christian. Not every person that believes in God prays. You have a very limited idea of the God concept. Some of us think of him or it as the Ultimate, the First, the Unmoved Mover, the All-Encompassing. It's not a simple as a man in the sky, and yet it's far more simple. I pity that you look with such contempt at people you know nothing about and beliefs that you know nothing about. If you don't believe in God, what do you care? Mind your own business. Belief in God is not an indicator of intelligence or ignorance. To have faith and hope is very human. These virtues have existed since time unknown. It is YOU who is strange. Thinking that we have no purpose and that life came from nothing for no reason. It's your right to believe that. It's your right to believe that you don't have a soul or substance. So, believe it and leave the rest of us alone.

          July 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • cogito ergo sum

          My reply was to you and monmoaner both.

          July 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @cogito ergo sum,
          "So, believe it and leave the rest of us alone."

          This is a common refrain from the Atheist side.

          July 24, 2013 at 4:28 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.