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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. crappygovernment

    Why can't Western Europeans or Americans vote to end all of these silly Tower of Babel immigration policies anyway?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • civic

      well, USA is based on immigration. Built by africans and owned by chinese.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      1st Worlders made the USA into the powerhouse which the 2nd and 3rd worlders are leeching off of...

      August 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  2. crappygovernment

    Do they beat people in the UK for not being gay or multicultural enough?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Lanfear

    That's no surprise... Mohammed... has a nice.. uh.. ring to it?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  4. BigAl

    when immigration runs amok. why don't people stay in their own damned countries?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • civic

      that's because in damned countries mcdonnalds and southpark not allowed

      August 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      Did your ancestors, BigAl?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Lanfear

      Who made you ruler of the earth? We are all humans sharing this planet. No need to get territorial, we're not animals.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Texas Gene

        Lan, Damm right we need to be territorial... The rag heads and mooselms need to stay in Middle east,
        There religion Is Not Welcome in America, A Christian Born Nation...

        July 25, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • civic

      my ancestors surely came to USA to take land and jobs from native americans...

      August 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • BillyBob

      You are right – As a native American, Cherokee, my ancestors been asking for hundreds of years that same question.
      Why don't you all white people leave my land go back to Europe.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  5. Prayer changes water into wine

    As the cult Chritianity falls, two other cults Mormonism and Islam rises.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Don't forget the Talmudic hand behind the Tower of Babel immigration changes since the 1960's in the West.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Exactly what cult is

      "Chritianity"? Athiests and spelling, tsk, tsk, tsk

      August 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Wayne Gregory

      Yeah Christianity is failing. Been saying that for over 2000 years. Just give it up. It will never fail. Because true Christianity is
      smiply of GOD.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Texas Gene

      Christianity will Not Fall , Jesus Said I am The Way The Truth and The Light, A Man cannot enter heaven unless you are Born Again, In Jesus Name

      July 25, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  6. Sam

    A typical CNN article with a deliberate purpose to incite hate and fearmongering. It fails to mention that by tradition, there should be at least one Mohammed within the Muslim family. While Christians typically go for unique names, Muslim tend to follow traditions. Compare this with the total number of Muslim/Non-Muslim births and one should see that its not alarming.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • civic

      there are ignorant people on both sides, muslim and non-muslim. musims are persecuted because they ARE ignorant as well of other cultures...

      August 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Yank33Z

      Not only that, but its hysterical how paranoid the idiots on the comment section are. Less than 5% of the entire English population as the article says; and these idiots are already wetting their pants, lacking the testicles to speak to a Muslim and removing their fears of Muslims people

      August 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  7. civic

    and here we go with the avalanche of ignorance

    August 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  8. blinky

    Calm down, people. "Mohammed" is an exceedingly common name for Muslim parents to give to a baby boy. Much more common than Latino Catholic families naming their boy "Jesus." Of course, since CNN just loves to push sensationalism, they conveniently left out those relevant facts. "Mohammad" holding the number one spot in the UK doesn't mean nearly as much as you might first suspect.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Yank33Z

      @ blinky: a realistic statement. Thanks for condolence to these paranoid idiots on the comment section

      August 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  9. KennyG

    A religion that even has the word 'sharia' concerns me. We don't convince others if we only do so by threats.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  10. Shangheyed

    Can some cult member please let me know if the 77 virgins are good muslim virigns or infidel virgins?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • zzzzz

      why are you asking, are you interested in becoming one of them, looking for a jobin after life?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Wayne Gregory

      Neither. It is 77 Virginians!!!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  11. KennyG

    A lot of people have the 'Jesus' as a part of their name; many who don't care the least about our savior. A name is just what we call each other to identify ourselves, but not to describe us.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  12. kilo

    vas

    August 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  13. Prayer changes water into wine

    Wow, I had better visit there before I wont be able to speak the language.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  14. DC

    It's not that Muslims make up the majority of Europeans...not even close! They just don't have the capacity for much creativity, so every boy born to a Muslim family gets the name 'Mo'

    August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • KennyG

      A religion that even has the word 'sharia' concerns me.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  15. wildman

    god help the brits...and us.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • civic

      even your post is an opinion, it could be viewed and inciting hatred towards someone's religious belief, which goes against the first amendment and basic right of any amercan.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Bob B

    If it's spelled five different ways, how could it be the top name?

    August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bob B,

      the premise of the article, had you read it, would tell you that if you added the totals for the different spellings of Mohammed, it is a very popular name in England and Wales in 2011 – at least the third most popular name based on the data I saw (limited to the top 100 spellings).

      August 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bob B

      @GOPer My point was it was a dumb article.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      OK, then just say that!

      I would agree with you that it's really not very newsworthy given the Muslim tradition of naming a first-born son "Mohammed".

      August 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Shangheyed

    Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Why would anyone want to be part of this revolutionary cult. When will the world start to ask the questions about the lies that are inherent in islam.

    -Mohammed was kicked out of Mecca by his own tribe.

    -Mohommed was a thief, constantly robbing traders from Mecca to Medina

    -Mohommed was a pedaphile, marrying a 9 yr old girl when he was 53

    -Mohammed was a polygamist, married 9 or 11 women(depending on the historian) and only allowed his cult followers to have 4 (if they could offord the property).

    -Mohommed was one of the first to promote genocide, exciling 2 jewish tribes from Medina and totally eliminating a 3rd killing every man women and child in the clan.

    -He was from a prominent trading family in Mecca and married his first wife for money and protection from others in his clan after his parents died.

    -He went to Ethopia and was protected(litterally saved his life) by Christians there.

    -The Kabal has nothing to do with islam it was there 1000 yrs before mohammed was born, was home to 360 pagan religions before they were eliminated by islam

    -Pilgrimage to mecca was orginally a pagan religious rite of peace from all the different pagan religions a week of peice and trade (making the person or tradesman who owned mecca the wealthiest man and most powerful man in the region no wonder mohommed wanted it back so much was a money thing).

    -Mohammed NEVER went to Jerusalem it was just a so called dream he had when his cult was searching for followers, and placing his cult along with other cults of the one "true" god just gave islam the credibility it needed to add more followers as was just an extension of judism or christianity. He never met any of the people he said he met... it is like saying he met a pegasus...and is just a way to usurp anothers culture.

    -Mohammed originally had all its followers bow to Jerusalem (you making this up as you go along now arent you prophet?).

    -Sharia Law is not written anywhere in the koran, it is made by men 200 yrs after the death of Mohammed.

    Talk about women mutlitation... talk about wherever islam goes it destroys the host culture, look at Persia, Egypt, or Turkey once the center of christianity... most islamic states where delivered by war... look around you today... what you see all over the world is exactly what islam has been from DAY ONE. A revolutionary cult used to take over, repress its followers and expand.

    -

    August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mojonaamdi

      you forgot.. we marry white women. I personally have 3 and am looking for number 4. We already have 16 children with 2 more due before end of this year. Thanks to help from the Govt., we are able to make it financially. I have my eyes set on this blonde... really cute 19 years old. She and I hit it off really when we met in New York last week. My goal is to get 4 more boys, so we can have at least 11 for a football (soccer) and cricket teams. I think that if all of us get enough children, we can become majority Muslim in NY within 20 years or earlier. Gonna get that blonde to marry me – unofficial of course, so we can get that govt check each month. All I got to do is turn on the old charm. You white American men have no chance. You are dirty and you stink. Gotto go to the mailbox and check..my disability check is late this month and then I have to go play some soccer with my 7 sons.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • TROY

        This dude is bull$*** he ain't a Muslim. He don't have the writing accent. he is just a troll trying to get a rise out of people.he isn't even smart enough to know how to write with the correct accent.

        July 24, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Shangheyed

      Why would anyone want to be part of this revolutionary cult. When will the world start to ask the questions about the lies that are inherent in islam.

      -Mohammed was kicked out of Mecca by his own tribe.
      -Mohommed was a thief, constantly robbing traders from Mecca to Medina
      -Mohommed was a pedaphile, marrying a 9 yr old girl when he was 53
      -Mohammed was a polygamist, married 9 or 11 women(depending on the historian) and only allowed his cult followers to have 4 (if they could offord the property).
      -Mohommed was one of the first to promote genocide, exciling 2 jewish tribes from Medina and totally eliminating a 3rd killing every man women and child in the clan.
      -He was from a prominent trading family in Mecca and married his first wife for money and protection from others in his clan after his parents died.
      -He went to Ethopia and was protected(litterally saved his life) by Christians there.
      -The Kabal has nothing to do with islam it was there 1000 yrs before mohammed was born, was home to 360 pagan religions before they were eliminated by islam
      -Pilgrimage to mecca was orginally a pagan religious rite of peace from all the different pagan religions a week of peice and trade (making the person or tradesman who owned mecca the wealthiest man and most powerful man in the region no wonder mohommed wanted it back so much was a money thing).
      -Mohammed NEVER went to Jerusalem it was just a so called dream he had when his cult was searching for followers, and placing his cult along with other cults of the one "true" god just gave islam the credibility it needed to add more followers as was just an extension of judism or christianity. He never met any of the people he said he met... it is like saying he met a pegasus...and is just a way to usurp anothers culture.
      -Mohammed originally had all its followers bow to Jerusalem (you making this up as you go along now arent you prophet?).
      -Sharia Law is not written anywhere in the koran, it is made by men 200 yrs after the death of Mohammed.

      Talk about women mutlitation... talk about wherever islam goes it destroys the host culture, look at Persia, Egypt, or Turkey once the center of christianity... most islamic states where delivered by war... look around you today... what you see all over the world is exactly what islam has been from DAY ONE. A revolutionary cult used to take over, repress its followers and expand.

      England is now part of islams 3rd invasion of Europe.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Mohammed

      I would love to know what you think about God. because I want this to stay in records and it will be read back to you someday in the future.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • zzzzz

      You are talking 7th century geneciodice ?
      Give me a break teh Jews people helpe initally Mohammed, but later turned against him when they saw the larger then Mohammeds army in the door steps of Medina and jews men/boys were killed and women/kids distributted/shared as wife or slaves. That was the norm of the "dark ages"
      And all of the things you wrote of is part of his jorney as prophet, you can see similar things in Jesus's past, being kicked out or helped by Jews or non-Christians, Christianity did not exist . What is the point of "negativity" . Islam relegion he peached, that also includes Jews and Jesus teachings, is much better than some of religiouns Arabs had at that time.
      And all muslims believe in the same god as Jews and Christians, and the only differnece is that they believe in "One God as 10 com.s state, and that Mohammed is a Prophet". And in his own words he is not a God and another mortal as all of us.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Farhat

      Still with your lies and lies of others. Islam is the fastest growing religion just because of One Man spreading the truth peace and blessings be upon him and his beautiful name.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Mandie Grace Taylor

      You can't criticize Islam that specifically in a Muslim community – you will end up like the dude who wrote that book, "The Satanic Verses." In hiding the rest of your life. We are all going to become aware of that – at that point – the words of Christ, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Will have so much more meaning -

      August 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Ahmed

      @Shangheyed: From your post it seems you have NO knowledge of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) life and teachings . Where did you got all those FALSE informations? What is your source???

      To contradict your self and get the real knowledge about Islam, you are requested to read the Nobel Quran with translation ,life and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

      By fabricated false statements about Islam you cannot become a good faithful of your religion. Peace and blessings be upon prophet Muhammad.

      Seek forgiveness from GOD. I wish you good health and a better life.

      September 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  18. fatherheathen

    Europeans typically bend over and/or drop to their knees as foreigners poor in and use them and their countries as door mats.

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

      Correction: pour. My apologies.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jim Crow

      it's the will of God and nature

      August 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • abbot

      Correction. Its the will of the liberals.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • zzzzz

      Europeans used teh foreiners as "door mats", to pick up their garbage and clean their street. You got it wrong on who is using who ?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  19. abbot

    Not to mention most of these kids are inbred, parents marrying first cousin. The genetic gene pool of England is now irreversibly messed up.
    Good bye England.

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

      " parents marrying first cousin "
      – they follow English royalty and USA Red Neck examples .
      What is wrong with that?
      Unless you think that, if you are white it is allowed: since it keeps the genetic pool of whites "clean" of mongolian blood...
      and it is a rasist comment?!

      August 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Yank33Z

      HAHAHAHA... "abbot" got a "Z" in butt by "zzzz" hahahhaahha

      August 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  20. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    So much for Mitt Romney's anglo-saxon roots. And by the way Great Britain, congratulations on a terror-free and successful Summer Olympics. See Mitt, you're wrong again. people with Muslim names don't go around attacking people when the world come together for the world's biggest celebration! That's unlike what your right wing Christian-Brotherhood do in America.

    August 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Robert

      We should let Iran host the next olympics

      August 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • john j

      Aren't you tired of posting yet? Everyone else is....that is of your postings.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Sir Osis of Liver

      When you see "Blah Blah" you know you are in for a real gem!

      August 14, 2012 at 2:11 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.