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. Jay

    That is a very scary piece of information!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  2. Wotan

    Mohammedans of various shades and 70IQ Ebon-skinned beasts from Africa are destroying Europe. European politicians need to be removed from power and hung for treason to their folk and attempted genocide.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  3. John Fitz

    i think belief in God is much like a skill-set...some folk have it, and some folk don't. Some people can play music, some cant. It's a capacity. Believing in aliens, or Gaia. Believing in the Norse and Roman gods. I liked the Roman gods in particular. We believe what we prefer.

    August 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  4. Billy

    You can name a kid after the guy, but don't draw him in a newspaper or you're DEAD

    August 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Those comics were done by well known Atheists, no wonder they flipped out.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  5. Andy in Oz

    The article I would suggest has to be about the worst bit of journalism I have seen in a while..... yes whilst that might be the most popular name for a child by the numbers it is also a VERY common traditional name whereas in the "Euro" UK their is no such firm traditional name........ even Harry, William or Charles cannot compete in terms of being the overwhelming choice.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Raghead

      Andy needs to learn the difference between their and there before he starts yelling about poor writing.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Billy

      Do the Grammar Nazis fight alongside the Arabic Numeral Militants? Ugh what an awful joke. Not even remotely funny.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  6. Mophkdkidz

    My alias explains exactly one major reason why no civilized, intelligent human being would ever be a Muslim.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  7. LOB

    This is incorrect. Would be good to fact check first. Mohammed was the 17th most popular name.
    Here is the correct list direct from the Office of National Statistics...


    August 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Terencio

      Looks like you are right... but it wouldn't have been much of a story to say the prophet's name WASN'T on top.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Big Al

      CNN does not check facts. It's against their rules!

      August 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • JB

      I'm afraid you're mistaken. If you have a look at the data, MOHAMMED comes in at #19 (3054), MUHAMMAD at 22 (2854), MOHAMMAD at 63 (1037), MUHAMMED at 113 (568), and MOHAMED at 151 (394). Together these add up to 7907, higher than the official first place Harry (7523).

      The article does accurately report "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."


      August 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Terencio

      Ahh! I see! I was only looking at the top 50! Good catch.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Peacemaker

    Actually, you'd be surprised how different Islam really is. It is based on Christian beliefs. It's just there are some losers that have ruined its reputation because they're plain old dumb. Even in the Muslim countries, the modern folk are struggling to get rid of the extremists who are tearing their countries apart with violence and hatred. But note that the extremists are a minority group..just very strong. I am a Muslim and damn proud to be born and raised in the U.S. My friends are Christian, Jewish, Hindi, atheists, etc. I am the norm, but unfortunately the extremist crazies get all the visibility.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • God

      What a crock. Who was the savior in Islam ? You need to go back to Sunday school deary.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  9. hamzazaie256

    Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan (sort of), India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.


    P A Y B A C K . I S . S W E E T.
    We'll turn St.Paul's into a Mosque yet.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Mophkdkidz

      I've got a pig you can blow...you know you want to...

      August 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  10. dan

    Isn't that lovely.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  11. marcos

    How could anyone be so dumb as to think islam is true and mohammad was anything but a murderous pedophile? London needs to deport those thugs stat!

    August 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • God

      No dumber than the billions who think Mary was a virgin, and Jeebus was my son.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      2 Timothy 4:3-4

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
      4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV)


      August 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • kindless

      Oh my oh my, HeavenSent said ". . .fables. (KJV)"

      That's exactly what that KJV is – a fable; but really any other version for that matter. political garbage of the worst kind.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      how dumb must people be to believe a spirit knocked up a young girl to impregnate her with himself so that he himself can be whacked by the romans to satisfy himself because a rib woman ate a piece of fruit because she was talked into it by a talking snake?

      August 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  12. SRsage107

    Here we are once again with the media only reporting HALF of a story. Yes people England's most popular name for baby boys is MOHAMMED. The story however does not include the most popular last name associated with it was BLEWGOATS. Now the truth is told , thank you.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • George

      Thanks for that one, SRsage...I laughed so hard I started peeing my pants.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      Another village idiot comment from SRsage107.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • SRsage107

      Yes in my village all the free thinkers are the idiots. We leave the prayer and god-fearing to the sheeple...err people in charge!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • sportreform

      No, you're wrong.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • SRsage107

      You are correct and I agree 100%! Prayer turns living, thinking intelligent human beings into mindless automoton sheeple. Prayer does change things O.o

      August 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Prayer changing things since creation

      August 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • SRsage107

      Once again I agree 100% prayer has changed things since the creation of mindless religion like christianity and islam. Just look at all the fun they had in the dark ages!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • truth be told

      Prayer is ineffective to islam as allah is not God.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      And on earth there are signs [of G-D’s existence, visible] to all who are endowed with inner certainty, just as [there are signs thereof] within your own selves: can you not, then, see?
      And in heaven is [the source of] your sustenance [on earth] and [of] all that you are promised [for your life after death]:
      for, by the Lord-Creator of heaven and earth, this [life after death] is the very truth – as true as that you are endowed with speech!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • SRsage107

      Chin....I just have an odd feeling you where groping yourself as you wrote that..... just sayin...

      August 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • kindless

      Actually, atheism is wonderful for children and all people! Prayer as it turn out, is just a time-sucker-upper. Who would've thought. Meditation is a better way to rest your mind.

      Atheists help people be productive and spend more time contributing to society rather than wasting it on make-believe notions.

      Atheists encourage people to take responsibility for their actions within society instead of having their misdeeds excused and often hidden within their religion (comforting their weak minds, but simultaneously disserving society).

      Break the matrix of deception by all religions. Break the fallacy of revelation.

      If the thought leaving your imaginary friends behind is just too much, or makes you want to go p00py, then try Atheism Lite™ (agnosticism) for a period of time to ease your way into a much more rewarding, peaceful life.

      It is written. This is my experience. Thank you. RIF


      August 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  14. Concerned Citizen

    Islam is like a leech which sticks on the host and kills it at the end. They dwell on the weak, mainly males looking for power over their women and those looking for easy salvation by following the crap written in Quran(f..king virgin crap). Beware of the evil and lets all rise against it before it kills our Freedom and way of life.

    August 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • hamzazaie256

      Payback is sweet buddy. I recall the filthy English invading and colonizing nearly every single Muslim country existing today, nearly a century ago.
      I recommend a solid education my lad, you might yet do something with yourself yet.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  15. Davin Borje

    This is pretty crappy.

    I mean, why can't these Muslims simply stay in their own lands and make their lives the way they want – there. It seems that they spread like a virus throughout Europe- ostensibly at first, because of new opportunities, but then, it seems they took advantage of freedoms, over reproduced (like Mexicans in America) and made their presence very unwelcome. I think that any people or culture that moves into an area, takes advantage of the host nation and begin to push the local culture down and make the land theirs has become THE ENEMY. This is shrewd tactical aggressive behavior and real thinkers and observers know this is what is happening.

    I think Muslim and its culture are positively revolting and your trickery and lies against unsuspecting western nations is retrubution for the Middle Ages defeat you have hated ever since....

    August 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • WhitemakesRight

      Anders Breivik says hi.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • dipstick

      ah buddy we weren't defeated in the middle ages, ironically enough you guys were living in the dark ages at that time, secondly a big chunk of the muslims that are here are african american's who were enslaved and forced over here by your family! Davin, there are such things as stupid questions and stupid idea's! unless your a fifth grader, i would suggest you keep your comments to yourself! you might want to google the following terms to educate yourself: bigot, racist, ethnocentrism, nazi, foolish,

      August 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      O ignorant one, that population total is made up of many converts to the religion. They didn't come from anywhere into the UK. Did you know (I am sure you didn't) that the sister of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair had embraced Islam a couple years ago. It is not reported in most news outlets but Islam is the fastes growing religion around the world. You can hate it as much as you want, but that will not stop people from joining it.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • SRsage107

      See Chin you bit the hook now I have to pull you out of the water...Why is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world? Well I'll inform you from a strictly not judgemental third person perspective. It is seen by many (especially western nations) as the Religion of the Rebel. The religion of the opressed and militant. As more and more people become frustrated with their governments and life in general they tend to look for more "civil" ways to protest and as we all can see just from this one article and its comments, Islam is a very heated subject and the militant are looooooooving it. Stop feeding them the attention =)

      August 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      Your response as to why people are joining Islam makes as much sense as your original comment. I know the main reason is because Islam offers a more sensible definition of who the Lord-Creator of the heavens and the earth is. Also it offers a more understandable and easy way to serve G-D in our daily everyday lives.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • SRsage107

      Uh no.... no it does not.....the Quran is like one long book of Leviticus. It is solely based on Religion by the Sword. I'm not even a religious nut job and I can see that =) . By the way...GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD. Let me know if that annoys you.....

      August 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  16. David

    You think this would wake the western world up to the fact that we are under siege... but it won't.
    We do not do anything pro-active.
    We only react.
    In this case though, in the end, it will be too late.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      Are we under seige from G-D? The foolish people of Noah felt that they were 'under seige' from Noah's words. Pharoah felt that Moses and the Israelites had them under seige. The hypocritical Jews felt that Jesus and his followers had them under seige. Wicked people always reject the goodness that comes to them from G-D.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  17. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  18. crappygovernment

    It just shows that all immigration to Western Europe and America should be stopped indefinitely. We are tired of Multiculturalism.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • KEKC

      Too late for Europe. Not too late for America yet, but time is running out.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • dipstick

      get your business and bases out of countries and we will reciprocate!

      August 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • crappy education system

      And just who is going to get the PhD's ? The idiots for the Creation Inst'itute ? LOL

      August 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  19. RickBangkok

    Old news. Bill Maher covered this about 2 years ago.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  20. Moe

    despite all the spreading lies the media and haters of Islam , Islam is spreading because it's the true religion. so dies in your jealousy haters. in the future i'll make sure my son is named Mohammed. Peace be upon u prophet Mohammed

    August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Prayer changes water into wine

      True religion remains true only as long as people follow it. After that it joins the other myths on the shelf. Without followers gods die in the pages oif history.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Moe – Its a religion for people who are stupid ... How can you be sure you will have a son? What if you have a daughter then you can kill and torture her as per ur stupid book - Quran? hehehehehehe

      August 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • moe curly and larry

      you are a moron, mohamsandwich was a gay theif, who wrote a very silly stupid book of lies so stfu

      August 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • crappy education system

      Islam is a moon god cult. Why do you think a crescent moon the the symbol of Islam ? .

      August 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      SO based on symbols, christianity must be a torture cult. Afterall, the most well known symbol is the cross.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I'll bet that if you break your arm or leg, you whine like a 5 y.o.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      concerned citizen: all religions are for the stupid

      August 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
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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.