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. DeFace

    Europe needs another ReConquista.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Muslim, total submittion to God

    Knock knock!! The truth is coming, the truth and the faith of submitting to the one unseen creator who has no other like him. The one and only God of Adam, Noah, Ibrahim, Lut, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad and all of the other messengers and prophets mentioned in the Torah, the Bible and Quran. Peace be upon all of them. Islam is the faith of the believers of all children of Adam who followed the truth and the message of all messengers and prophets. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, especially in US and Europe. The biggest segment of new reverts (because we are all born Muslim, with the total submission to GOD), is women. Regardless what any one does, God will always shine the truth. Each and everyone has a choice, submit or not! Believe or not! hate or not. But just think for a second, you, me any of us could have been born to a family or a region that has a particular faith. It's up to each one of us to seek his or her own salvation and truth. Whom ever God guides, no one can misguide and whom ever God misguide no one can guide. Peace to all that would rather have love and peace in their heart and who ask guide daily to guidance, those who believe in the day of judgement where true justice is applied and who have traded good deeds in this short life for a heaven that GOD promised them where we hear nothing but "Peace" from angels. I also say Peace to whom ever does not feel the same way, God has created us and gave us the choice to believe or not. I love all human, because GOD created us all. I leave you with the best of words, GOD's words.

    76. Surah Al-Insan (Man)

    > 1. Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was nothing to be

    > 2. Verily, We have created man from Nutfah drops of mixed semen (discharge of
    man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer, seer.

    > 3. Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.

    > 4. Verily, We have prepared for the disbelievers iron chains, iron collars,
    and a blazing Fire.

    > 5. Verily, the Abrar (pious, who fear Allah and avoid evil), shall drink a cup
    (of wine) mixed with water from a spring in Paradise called Kafur.

    > 6. A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth

    > 7. They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil
    will be wide-spreading.

    > 8. And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him),
    to Miskin (poor), the orphan, and the captive,

    > 9. (Saying): "We feed you seeking Allah's Countenance only. We wish for no
    reward, nor thanks from you.

    > 10. "Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will make
    the faces look horrible (from extreme dislikeness to it)."

    > 11. So Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadratan (a
    light of beauty) and joy.

    > 12. And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they
    were patient.

    > 13. Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the
    excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise
    there is no sun and no moon).

    > 14. And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof
    will hang low within their reach.

    > 15. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of

    > 16. Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof
    according to their wishes.

    > 17. And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil
    (ginger, etc.),

    > 18. A spring there, called Salsabil.

    > 19. And round about them will (serves) of everlasting youth. If you see
    them, you would think them scattered pearls.

    > 20. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot
    be imagined), and a great dominion.

    > 21. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will
    be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure

    > 22. (And it will be said to them): "Verily, this is a reward for you, and your
    endeavour has been accepted."

    > 23. Verily! It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to you (O Muhammad ) by

    > 24. Therefore be patient (O Muhammad ) and submit to the Command of your Lord
    (Allah, by doing your duty to Him and by conveying His Message to
    mankind), and obey neither a sinner nor a disbeliever among them.

    > 25. And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon [i.e.
    offering of the Morning (Fajr), Zuhr, and 'Asr prayers].

    > 26. And during night, prostrate yourself to Him (i.e. the offering of Maghrib
    (prayer before sunset) and 'Isha' prayers (in the night)), and glorify Him
    a long night through (i.e. Tahajjud prayer (prayers in the last third of
    the night).

    > 27. Verily! These (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put
    behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard).

    > 28. It is We Who created them, and We have made them of strong built. And when
    We will, We can replace them with others like them with a complete

    > 29. Verily! This (Verses of the Qur'an) is an admonition, so whosoever wills,
    let him take a Path to his Lord (Allah).

    > 30. But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever
    All-Knowing, All-Wise.

    > 31. He will admit to His Mercy whom He will and as for the Zalimun,
    (polytheists, wrong-doers, etc.) He has prepared a painful torment.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Concerned in Cleveland

      There is only ONE God, and Muhammad was Not his prophet. He's burning now, in a special hot place in Hell.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  3. Person of Interest

    Gotta love religious zealots. I'm of course talking about all of you crazy people posting on here. Who cares? The world is going to hell because England is a whole 4.5% Muslim and the US is next. Good, great, grand. Now go build your bunkers and pray your not "left behind." Jesus however, thinks your all @$$#*!^$ because you forget half of what he taught us. "I love one another, as I have loved you." Notice there's no exceptions given there, no Jew nor Gentile left out, love eachother.

    In other words don't be d bags to people. Funny, the original Christians were familiar to hate, bigotry, and imprisonment (the ones in the US only act like they are). Sounds like the favor is being returned, too bad no where in the good book does it say that.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Shardik

      It's a perfect example how wingnuts don't understand numbers.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • JamesJ

        Muslims in England are averaging over 7 children per family, Anglos less than 2. You do the math, smart guy

        July 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  4. crappygovernment

    There isn't this foreign immigration nonsense in Israel, the Apartheid State, just the West. Thanks comrades!

    August 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  5. Gesus

    Wow...The UK has really been taken over.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  6. CACkle

    Islam is inexorable.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  7. china li

    You westerners blame the Chinese for "abusing human rights" for limiting number of kids a family can have. Now enjoy your diversity, freedom, human rights...... and rapid reproduction of cancer.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Young Autistic Man

      United States have fertility rate of 2.06 and for most or all European countries it is lower. I have the right to criticize China since a lot of autistic children end up in the orphanage.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  8. Jason

    alah and muhammad like to take it in the rear. They are fudge – packers and they love it!!

    August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  9. crappygovernment

    Great Britain LOST ww2 if this is the case. 'L'

    August 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Huebert

      I will say this, you are quite prolific for a troll.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Americans don't want this Tower of Babel future, comrade!

      August 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • ME II

      Don't you mean WW 1? At least that one involved a Muslim country, the Ottoman empire.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  10. shut_up

    I need MO HAM ED................

    August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  11. zzzzz

    The stats did not include names like Mehmet or Ahmet, which are Turkish, Bosnian, Azeri, etc., variations of Mohammed, from the days Turks did not care about the Arabs or Iranians and adjusted words as they chose to fit their language.
    Like Mehmet Oz – The doctor in the Dr. OZ show.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      You do realize this is for England and Wales, and not Turkey and Bosnia?

      The list provided by the Guardian is only the top 100 names – clearly there are more names than this.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Hu Phart Ngau

    I find that a bit unsettling...

    August 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  13. meh


    August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  14. JoeD

    How much do you want to bet Europe will see another bloodbath this century? Islam and violence go hand in hand.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Flash Gordon

      no kidding – they are already breeding everyone else out of every other country

      August 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      There will be a bloodbath when all the freeloading foreigners kill Britain's economy and collapse the government and no one has anything left to lose. You saw a preview in the London riots of a year or two back or in the Balkans.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Shardik

      Your overreaction to bad reporting is hilarious.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      You can't laugh off Mad Max time if our money and lives are shot to hell by insolvency, mr. glib.

      The USA saw a preview in the Trayvon Martin uproar and the Rodney King riots.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • msnb

      No bet! They already killed each other even though no Moslems involved. Remember WWI, WWII, Napoleon, 100 years wars, etc?

      August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  15. hawkechik

    *England* or *Great Britain?* Or even, the *United Kingdom*? There is a difference you know.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      This data is for England and Wales.

      Scotland is a separate country with its own parliament, though it is still under the umbrella of Great Britain for things like defense and I believe the Royal Mail.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Aloisae

      The article is slightly confusing in that it uses the term "country" in the 6th paragraph to refer to the entire United Kingdom when discussing the Pew study's estimates of the percentage of the population which is Muslim after having previously been discussing only England and Wales in conjunction with the popularity of boy's names. It isn't until the 7th paragraph that it rightly clarifies that the Pew numbers refer to the entire United Kingdom. However, other than that, it does clearly distinguish whether it is referring to the United Kingdom, England and Wales, or just England.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Shardik

    "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."

    So it's not "really" the top name, unless you add up all the different spellings and sound-alikes? And no mention that the vast majority of Muslim males are named Mohammed while the majority of non-Mulsims have any number of different names.

    Horrible reporting.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Especially bad reporting when you consider that the "CNN analysis" didn't bother to add up the various spellings/versions of Harry for the comparison. Just adding in Harrie and Harri to Harry, and the number of boys with variations on that climbs to 7,740... and that is just a quick glance at the data without going through all 4647 boys names and adding in all the other possible variations in spelling that might be in there or all the Harry-whatevers. It is likely that it will still fall behind the total of all Mohammed/Mohammad/Muhammed variations but if they are going to combine the total for all variations on one they should have done so for the other rather than singling out just the top spelling.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  17. Jason

    Alah is a homer-se-xu-al and muhammad is his bee – ach!

    August 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  18. PeterD

    Hitler was an astounding great Leader unlike weak Obama.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |

      nom nom

      August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Shardik


      August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  19. Ben


    August 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    I had a freind who noted the Olympic ceremony looked like a UN meeting.

    Up until 1970 England didn't even admit to having black people.

    Then "To Sir: With Love" messed the whole country up.

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

      "the Olympic ceremony looked like a UN meeting"

      Way to state the obvious.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Up until Caribbean immigration to Britain with the independence movement in the Commonwealth, they're weren't many black people in Britain.

      August 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • William Demuth


      You miss the point

      Have the Olympics in Holland, and without atheletes, the whole show is white on white.

      England is changing dude. Multi Ethnic, Multi Cultural and headed for the skids

      August 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
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