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. Blind Faith

    Religious people (of any denomination) frighten me. That is all.

    August 23, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  2. ..


    August 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  3. Steve

    Imagine if the Muslims had conquered Europe 1000 years ago or so. Imagine no Renaissance, no great art, no Shakespeare, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel, no beautiful music and poetry, no wonderful architecture and technical innovation. Imagine no freedom for the great philosophers, thinkers, scientists, artists, no Leonardo Da Vinci, no Michelangelo. Imagine no Enilightenment, no democracy......only a world dominated by the Koran and Islamic law, just the way it is in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan or Pakistan or the other extremist countries today. There is virutally NOTHING in 1500 years of Islam that compares to the incredible cultural development of the Judaeo-Christian Western World, or the Asian, or anywhere else. There is only repression and darkness and fear. How dull, how awful, how boring, how tedious and sad a Muslim world would be.

    August 21, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Democracy was around a long time before the xtians were. True that you would not know most of those names but they would be replaced by names that were just as stunning in their fields. And we would probably be much more advanced than we are today without the constant religious wars like WWII.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • ikenelson

      World War II, a religious war? Give us a break from the atheist rhetoric. It was a war about land, money and cultural dominance.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dean

      You need to learn more about the Islamic Faith, their people, and their different culture. I the Science, technology, Math, Music, Arts ,,,,,,,etc. all started with in Muslim communities hundred of years ago. it has been shared thought to other communities.
      you have been blinded with all fake media and other anti Muslim propaganda. Islam is the only religion in the world that believes in all prophets and their teachings. Muslim love all Prophets that includes Ibrahim, Moses and Jesus. Muslim also believes that Jesus will comeback and rule the world. Muslim believes that there is no God but the only God and Mohammed the Messenger.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Jon

      The muslim world had their own "renaisance" during Europes Middle Ages, a period of relative intellectual freedom and flowering of philosophy, science and art. What could be called the first economic science treatises ever was written there for example. Women on the arab peninsula at that time could become professionals and officials.
      Saying the European renaisance was BECAUSE of arab influence might be exagerating the case a bit, but what is true is they generally came into contact with classical greek philosophy through Arab translations because in Europe most of the copies of those texts had been lost.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  4. AlienShark

    "History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated." –De Lacy O'Leary, ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS, London, 1923, p. 8.

    “The Christian World came to wage crusades against Muslims but eventually knelt before them to gain knowledge. They were spellbound to see that Muslims were owners of a culture that was far superior to their own. The Dark Ages of Europe were illuminated by nothing but the beacon of Muslim Civilization.” (F.J.C Hearushaw, The Science of History.)

    “The Renaissance of Europe did not take place in the 15th century. Rather it began when Europe learned from the culture of the Arabs. The cradle of European awakening is not Italy. It is the Muslim Spain.” (Robert Briffault, The Making Of Mankind)

    “The lies which we [Christians] have heaped round this man (Mohammed), are disgraceful to ourselves only.” (Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship)

    “Muhammed was the most successful of all religious personalities.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 4th & 11th editions)

    “The greatest crimes, the greatest “sin” of Mohammed in the eyes of Christian West is that he did not allow himself to be slaughtered, to be “crucified” by his enemies. He only defended himself, his family and his followers; and finally vanquished his enemies. Mohammed’s success is the Christians’ gall of disappointment… He did not believe in any vicarious sacrifices for the sins of others.” (Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.)

    August 21, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Steve

      The Renaissance was because of the Arabs? That's the biggest pile of nonsense I have heard yet! Absolutely NO WAY, in fact exactly the opposite!

      August 21, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Steve

      In fact, every one of these statements is nonsense.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Actually there is some validity to these statements. At the time the Persians/Arabs were much more advanced in the sciences and mathmatics than the Europeans. The stagnation of the Middle Ages was caused mostly by religion.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  5. Bazoing

    When Islamics get to a certain percentage, they start fighting to establish an Islamic government. In Southern Thailand they are a minority, but they are doing this. Likewise in Mindanao, Philippines. They are less than 1/3 of the population in these two places. Their scriptures require this behavior. England is next.

    August 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  6. truth

    Kiss women rights, any rights, and tolerance goodbye!

    August 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  7. Soraya

    Show respect for Mohamed Peace Be Upon Him.Read ,ask people,talk to people and THINK many times before insulting such a great man.In the Qur'an,other prophets are mentionned because Muslims believe in all other prophets and there is a surat in the Qur'an called Maryam.Do read it and then you will undrestand.Never accuse people without trying to get more information about them.At work ,I have some christian workmates...and no one says anything bad about them.There is respect and tolerance and they feel secure among us.Don't insult people you don't know .The prophet Mohamed got married to many women not because he was crazy.Some women were widows ,and some were much older than him...So he wasn't looking for beauty and youth.And hehads to get married to those women for spreading Islam.Please read and use your common sense and don't just be blinded by prejudice and stereotype.tHANKS FOR READING

    August 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  8. veronica

    why wud u wana name ur kid after the stupidst guy muhhumud who was an idiot not a prophet if i was muslim i wud be ashamed to be one please watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92uOTF6Tho

    August 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Spoken out of hindism, ignorance, way of hindu's, ignorant's, having no knowledge of truth absolute, but always, in following of their hindu soul, filthy desire. in hindu Judaism, filthy secularism like animals.An insult to be called human, "HIS DESIRE"

      August 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  9. smk

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    (they are condemned) for disbelieving and uttering about Mary a gross lie. [4:156]

    Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran [5:46]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    August 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  10. Mei

    A video for everyone to think about:

    August 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Cindi

      thanks for posting this, it was an eloquent rebuttal without being critical of anyone's beleifs.

      August 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  11. ruth


    August 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  12. Sagebrush Shorty

    What's the big deal? The UK is practically a Muslim country right now. Amazing what unchecked immigration and political correctness will do for a country. US take note.

    August 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  13. tucsand

    Its because the population throughout London is becoming more Muslim. Look at what the East end of London has become during the last few years.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hindu's, deniers of truth absolute can go to hind, hell, not just London, rest assured children of hindu's pagans will recognized hinduism, absurdity of hinduism, pagan ism and live by Islam in near future, as was the case in past.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  14. CanOnTo

    Muslims oppose showing prophet's Muhammed image for fear of idolatry, but isn't mass naming of children his name a form of idolatry?

    August 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  15. Seyedibar

    Mohammed.... Who wants to name their child for a famous murderer/racist/child molestor?

    August 19, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Word Mohammad or Muhammad means nothing else but spirit of truth, translated and quoted in book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism called Bible and hindu's ,pagan's of hindered land india as Mohammad,i plagiarized from Hebrew teachings. Mayhem, means Karma, will of truth absolute or spirit of truth absolute, Letter D donates word, "The" in hindu corrupted language Sanskrit in beginning of a sentence and on end in Latin, Arabic or Hebrew language. Every hindu, pagan follower of hindu Christian, pagan savior ism believes in it by faith but denies Mohammad pbh in his hindu soul, filthy desire.
      It is interesting to see hindu christian, pagan Mithriac by faith to disapprove of Mohammad and lay on him, their hinduism absurdity for marrying a young girl. He married her after she reached puberty, as he was commanded for a reason to give law's for female protection, non existent at time. But they forget, hindu filthy Enoch hindu's ignorant by faith prayed to as their RAM, deity of hindu pagan origin was married to his sister to keep hinduism racism intact, or their other hindu sanatans, filthy shaman man god such as Plato, Pythagoras and Aristotle along with King James author of King James bible were young boys abusers by faith and followed by hindu's pagans of hindered gutter land india along with hindu priest of hindu pagan Catholicism, as a some thing of holy nature. read your hindu filthy history hindu's pagans of hindered land swamp of filth india and hindu Christians, pagans of hindu filthy Mithra ism, savior ism before spewing your hinduism absurdity against Mohammad.
      Have no doubt hindu's, denires of truth absolute, TRUTH ABSOLUTE WILL RULE WHOLE WORLD TO HAVE PEACE, ISLAM AMONG HUMANITY BY ELIMINATION OF hINDUISM, DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE AND hINDU'S DENIERS OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE. Obey the truth absolute or vanish., The one who denied truth absolute is not living but a dead.

      August 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Fred

      Agree... Muhammed was a child molester who had 11 wives and murdered innocent women and children. Great role model. Shows what morons most Muslims are!

      August 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

      MURDERER? PROVE IT ! Where do you get that info from.????No historical evidence even by Christian Theologians.

      RACIST? How do you figure Islam is spread across every corner of the globe with 1.5 Billion adherents. Less than .0003 percent are of terrorist nature according to CIA stats.

      Child Molester?? Why because he married a girl that was 9 and not only accepted by her father but also by all the Christian tribes that lived next to the Prophet. Scriptures claim many Christians and Jews followed the same accepted practice.

      STOP GETTING YOUR EDUCATION FROM FOXNEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  16. Meki60

    and Peterhead was second

    August 19, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  17. Meki60

    that's because they are not properly controlling their immigration

    August 19, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • eroteme

      Like we are doing?

      August 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  18. Atheist For Sanity

    How nice. Too bad the "prophet" was a murderous lunatic and child rapist..

    August 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Anon

      You cant compare a 9 year old to today to a 9 year old 1400 years ago. Today 9 year old are running around with barbie dolls and backpacks. 1400 years ago children helped with chores and even cooked!
      Back in the day the average life span of a human was 35years, today its 75 years. Back then people married young, if it was disallowed back then, then you are basically CONDEMNING 60% OF THE HUMAN RACE.
      Mohamed(pbuh) married Aisha when she was 6, and consummated the marriage when she was 9. If he was a pedophile would he really wait 3 years!!!!
      Mohamed(pbuh) had many people who ridiculed and even planned assassination attempts. The called him a liar, traitor, crazy etc. but not once did anyone call him a pedophile which shows that 1400 years ago that was the common practice. He traveled to may lands and was never accused of such a thing!

      August 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Average life expectancy was only 32 years during that time, If they would have married at the age of 25 and above like current time than they could have not time for raising the kids.

      August 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

      MURDERER? PROVE IT ! Where do you get that info from.????No historical evidence even by Christian Theologians.

      RACIST? How do you figure Islam is spread across every corner of the globe with 1.5 Billion adherents. Less than .0003 percent are of terrorist nature according to CIA stats.

      Child Molester?? Why because he married a girl that was 9 and not only accepted by her father but also by all the Christian tribes that lived next to the Prophet. Scriptures claim many Christians and Jews followed the same accepted practice. BY THE WAY SHE WAS ALREADY ENGAGED TO ANOTHER MAN WHEN HER FATHER TOLD HER TO MARRY THE PROPHET INSTEAD. VERY COMMON PRACTICE AMONG ALL TRIBES.

      STOP GETTING YOUR EDUCATION FROM FOXNEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  19. slmnop

    Mohammad as the most popular first name is not entirely true as it is used differently in Muslim culture. It is often used as a pre-name. If someone is named 'Mohamed Suleman', their actual name is Suleman. But when they would move to US, UK etc, people would call them by their official first name, Mohamed. It is different then someone being named Harry Potter as their actual name is Harry.

    August 19, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  20. muslimmangler

    How disgusting,,,They are like vermin, or locusts, consuming everything in their path.

    Start the Holy War and forever shall we rule !!!!

    August 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Reality

      You are disgusting.

      August 19, 2012 at 7:09 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.