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. Steve Lyons

    Welcome to open borders and the decline of western civilization.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      Decline being an understatement. A return to the stone age of ignorance and brutality!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  2. martin

    I don't support any religious state, but I hope Israel nukes Iran soon. The Muslim Brotherhood has taken over Egypt and that will take it into Sharia law. Then I hope Israel nukes Egypt. Looks like Israel has a lot of nuking to do. England and Europe have already screwed up.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  3. E=MC2

    Islam was spread by the sword in Muhammed's day and today it is being spread by fear. People often investigate a religion such as Islam when there is something extreme about it. Just like TV, the more violent it gets, the more people watch. Islam is a violent religion. There are many good Muslims in the world, but that doesn't mean they are not deceived. The Bible is very clear about Islam coming one day and the evil it will spread. The Bible came long before the Koran. Muhammed was simply a crack pot who grew up under Judaism yet became delusional and came up with the Koran. The Koran is not even consistent. The newer teaching supersede the older ones. If you look at the history of Mohammed, when he raided caravans he promised his followers not just the spoils, but the women. Then some of his followers realized, what if they died in battle; what about their women promised? That's when Mohammed came up with the promised virgins in heaven. These guys were P(er)verts!!! Why are people so blind to the truth about this religion? It is the work of satan.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      Because Muslim families are the definition of sub-dictatorships. They control everything their offspring do...and the most important being their religion. They are a step above a ferral human...knowing no better!

      August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • crappy education system

      What a fricking idiot. "The newer teaching supersede the older ones."
      Exactly like the New Testament supersedes the Old.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  4. smhatworld

    all these comments frighten me. my my so much hate its sickening.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      You have a right to know many of us hate your fringe, minority-held Tikkun Olam opinions!

      August 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  5. Islam Spreader.

    We are taking over the world, become a Muslim, name ur son Mohamed and you will feel the difference. Trust me...

    August 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Ned

      More like taking over third world countries. Good luck with taking over the world with AK-47's and jeeps.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Roscoe Chait

      Let's see... Mohammed Robinowitz? I don't think so.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Raghead

      Stone every woman caught in adultery, and all apostates.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  6. ILikeIkev2

    The only thing this article/stats proves that the 95.4% non-Muslim majority population of UK has choices of 100s of names and they don't have a strong affinity to a single name to name their babies. That's all.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  7. Mom of Three

    Europe has HUGE problems. I can only hope America can take a lesson from England and France (and Denmark, and, and, and...) and limit the influx of Muslims. Religion of peace? I don't think so.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Multiculturalism is killing Europe and America, not Islam. Islamics did not change the laws to let these dregs in, that was others of a different religion.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • martin

      unfortunately you are hugely correct...Islam and Islamic birthing are the enemey of a democratic republic..there's no concept of separation of religion and state in Islam, it's a worse foe than Communism, or the Nazi's IMHO..Egypt is doomed...

      August 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • E=MC2

      Eventually, this will spill over into a cultural war. People deny this, but it will most likely happen. It's unfortunate, but Islam's evil will become apparent and it will be too intrenched to simply ignore.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      Absolutely correct...but it's not simply Muslims, it's any group that wholly believes in completely different set of virtues. It's a Civil War waiting to happen. Let's just hope the great race that made England the wonderful country it is will reign supreme when that time comes!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  8. CW

    You cannot draw the guy, but you can name your kid after him. Makes perfect sense....

    August 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Keksi

      Actually it does make PERFECT SENSE.

      Do you know Muhammad looked like?You don't so if you draw picture of person you are MANIPULATING with look of person without knowing and people judge based on looks.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  9. Li

    Muslims in western/Christian countries are more religious than at their home countries so they spread their cult fast and wants to impose sharia laws

    August 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  10. UK

    Islam gets converts by violence + high bith rate.. that's why they are second largest religion.

    Muhammad was a f/ucking pig

    August 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  11. French

    Too bad soon Islam will rapidly grow in the U.S. too.....

    August 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  12. chedar888

    WOn't be long, Mohammed will be the number one name in the US. as most christian get's converted to Islam. Islam has a way of presuading the gullible americans to become muslim. Pakistan and Afghanistan used to follow Buddhism based on many relics found in those two countries. But they were lost when Islam take over and maybe forced to Isalam to convince them of salvation without scientific basis.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  13. crappygovernment

    End of Christian, Western Civilization = New Dark Ages

    August 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      Psychotic white, hateful bunkerbillies on the loose. Yep, doesn't look good.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      The rest of the world won't have anyone to steal from or copycat anymore = New Dark Ages

      August 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      “If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”
      ― Penn Jillette

      August 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Imagine how much better our 1st world lives would be without all of the wasted dollars on the 2nd & 3rd world! and for what exactly?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Truth, you and Penn need not worry, we are in the end generation when Jesus comes back and wipes out all evil. Then again, you do have something to worry about.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " We are in the end generation..." Delusional twits have been predicting the end of days 1900 years, and they have all been wrong. So are you.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      End of days started in 1948 when Israel became a nation as predicted in the Bible.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  14. Haneefah

    Ignorance at its best. Maybe if you all read the Quran you would have a better understanding of the woman's role in Islam. Not just what you see on t.v. Have a mind of your own and do the proper research.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • CW

      We don't need to read the Koran to understand why you treat women like dogs. No one needs to know 'why'. The practice is abhorrent and claiming that a book allows for it is 7th century ignorance.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • DJS

      There is no justification for the way Islam or any religion for that matter treats women. There is NO reason or excuse for subjugating anyone.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "better understanding of the woman's role in Islam"

      You mean being forced by her religion to cover her natural beauty, to be oppressed; to not be allowed birth control; to be forced to take part, at a very young age, in female circumcision; to risk being stoned to death for disobeying her husband; to be forced to marry a man she doesn't love.

      I like my culture and my freedom...women are not material objects and you're a pig for supporting the oppression of them.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Haneefah

      I can tell you like Glen Beck and Fox News if your not going to read and understand for yourself shut up your invalid. I can tell you probably never even read your whole bible. Who has killed more than the west? The west has knocked a whole people out including the Indians, transported a whole people from one land to america and made them slaves. I'm appalled at whoever you are educated or not. Feel free to comment. What really cause 9/11 America not minding their business bullying for oil.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Haneefah: I'm not a believer idiot!! I'm not blinded by the reality and the stories that go with your belief. Women are treated like they are a possession...they do not have the same equal rights that women in other parts of the world and enjoy and thankfully when you do bring your women to civilized places, you no longer get away with treating them like trash without the risk of jail.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      btw: I only responded to your part about women but if you want to go the way of 9-11, those men who hi-jacked those planes that day did so in the name of your prophet. I don't give a rats ass what your pathetic excuse for it was or what the real reason was, thousands of people lost their lives that day...people who don't believe the crap you do and people who did absolutely nothing to deserve the fate they got.
      I don't need a book to guide me in this world, I'm quite capable of living a good life without the god factor....I'm an adult, not a child..I don't need an imaginary friend to assist me in making adult decisions. I'm quite well educated and I have read the buybull-the buybull reading is what made me an Atheist.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  15. crappygovernment

    Britain lost ww2 if this was the end result!

    August 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  16. America First

    England for the English! Go back to your third world hell holes.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      The story is about BRITAIN, IDIOT! Go back to your third grade hell hole.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Nellie

      Well...since the English are responsible for drawing so many borders all over the world, I'd say they probably came from an area that was part of the British Empire, more recently than America was, and so they are likely more English than you....AMERICAN BIGOT.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • BermudaTriangle

      And last time I checked, England is still synonymous with Great Britain...Andrew, I hope you're either in grade school, or you forgot that you need a special pass with one of the nurses to use the internet!

      August 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      this data is about England and Wales.

      It is not synonymous with Britain.

      Britain is the island that comprises England Scotland and Wales.
      Great Britain (or the United Kindom) consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  17. kindless

    Is this for real? I'm gonna have to get some tea and look into this more. mmm hmmm.
    Can't they come up with something better than mohammed? Maybe like abdulla or something like that? Well i know there was they dude in the news named abdulla abdulla. Maybe they could have a triple abdulla. But I wouldn't want other kids calling my kid mo – I never did like those three stooges very much, my oh my – they's just too many people running around – they done used all the names up. my goodness.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Andrew

      Thanks for that.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  18. Captain Choopa

    Wow. I'm also curious where the name ranks in France.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Here's a list from 2010. I can't vouch for it's autheticity. Google is your friend.


      August 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  19. rt

    they should go bac to the rat holes they came from

    August 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Andrew

      Apparently, we shouldn't have let your great grandparents out of THEIR rat holes.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  20. rt

    no wonder the country is going down the toilet

    August 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Andrew

      It's been going down the toilet long before your paranioa and xenophobia kicked in. Note the white people who do f#@% all.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
About this blog

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.