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. hOT cARL

    OF COURSE! The muslims have already taken over the UK, just like you've heard and most likely didn't believe. America is next unless we stop it NOW.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • omz

      I feel so silly even reading about this. Is there some real news in the world anymore, or is this channel turning into cheesy entertainment for the uninformed.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Patricia

      France has already had problems with the teenagers named Mohammad. The French police were in gun battles last night with these thugs who were complaining of unemployment.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Karen

      In the strongly patriarchal society of Islam, women don't really have a choice but to bend to the husbands desires and stay pregnant throughout the breeding years.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Greg

      Soylent Green is people!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Serita

      There are a millions girls in Mexico named Mary or Maria who can't keep their legs closed from a million boys named Jesus.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • sultan

      where's the "democracy" you are claiming that you have ,, tell me exactly are a religious nations , racist nations ,, do you really care of the ppl despite their religions or with their religions ,, let's say you have the chance to kick them out ,, would u kick the native British Muslims out as well ,, do u have the rights ??

      September 4, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  2. sybaris

    1890 Standing Rock Gazette: "William Number One Name for Boys in the U.S."

    Chief Sitting Bull, "There goes the neighborhood!"

    August 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Indians didn't make the US into the 1st world power 2nd & 3rd worlders leech from today, that was Europeans.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • sybaris

      Indians weren't trying to make their nation(s) into a 1st world power m0r0n. They were fine as they were until white european locusts arrived.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  3. omz

    Mulsim population globally is almost one third of the world population. I find it funny that for the past twenty years statistics of muslims in the USA has not changed. Reality, there are probably 9-8 million muslims in the USA. Just in our small local community there have been more than 7 converts in the past year who converted from christianity to Islam. I am sure they are not counted.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Thad

      I wonder if the American Muslims are as illiterate as the rest of the Muslim nations?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Jason


    August 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Nate Higgers

      A mental disability, at least.

      August 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Todd

    Not to sound racist. But there doesn't seem to be that many Muslim names. At least compared to christian names.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Jason

      That's why they name all their boys muhammad or a variation of that name because theyre too stupid and un educated to remember any names!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Sam

      The least amount of education you have, the more you will breed. The Palestinian breeding practices are quickly outpacing the Israelis by leaps and bounds. Palestinians see these numbers as a weight against the Israeli occupation. They have yet to learn that this many children creates a vicious cycle of poverty, extremism and religious fanaticism. Somebody educate the Muslim world please. Muslim countries have extremely high illiteracy rates. The English social system is a magnate for everyone named Mohammed, Mohammad, Muhamed or any other spelling.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Greg

      There are quite a few, but they tend to name their kids after significant figures in Islamic history. Then again a lot of Christians name their kids after religiously significant individuals, too.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. Pants

    "Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England"

    Oh, crap....

    August 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  7. Jason

    Eliminate Welfare except for Veterans and the disabled!

    August 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Sam

      That would leave about 3,000 Mohammeds hungry this year.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  8. Jason

    We should stop ALL immigration to the US for at least a decade!

    August 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Frances

      It is just a matter of time before the Muslims infiltrate the educational systems, divide the genders, erase history and add religion to every hour of learning. Math, Science and the Arts are down the toilet. Islam will reign supreme.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Greg

      Frances, don't be such a xenophobe.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Frances

      Greg, don't be so naive. Go visit Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan and learn about the high illiteracy rates, religious extremism, blasphemy laws and the strong desire to place Mohammad above all else. There is nothing xenophobic about that. If the truth has a sting, then take a benodryl.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • sultan

      you should first stop invading other countries ,, and come here who's the real nation of the USA ??? craap man racist ppl

      September 4, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  9. no_worries

    remmember who was doing Diane

    August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  10. Albert B

    Saddest, scariest thing I have ever read.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • sultan

      and I am really so saaaad for you and for the brain you are holding !!!

      September 4, 2012 at 5:01 am |
  11. crappygovernment

    A world without 1st Worlders = a New Dark Ages for mankind

    August 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Jim

    Wow, that concerns me about as much as if something like Harry or Jack were the most popular baby name in a place like Iran. I think we in the U.S. have some severe problems, but I often feel even worse for England. We sometimes have our differences, but I still want England to be mostly English and France to be mostly French.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • kls817

      I agree. As much as the French and British dislike Americans for spoiling their culture, their worst fear for the future of their culture should be all the Arab immigrants that come in and overbreed. This is sad.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Brendan

      Actually it's be the equivalent of Jesus being the mostly popular name in Iran. Naming your son after your prophet is weird and disturbing regardless of religious affiliation.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  13. KEKC

    Too late to save Europe, but not too late to save the US.
    Just stop accepting new immigrants from developing countries.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • what's in a name???

      ....I think I read that in Sweden?, Muslims account for 5% of the population but uses up to 80% of welfare/social services $$$....why wouldn't they (Muslms) all move from their respective motherland to another country that will provide them with $$$ they'd never see at home? I think I would too !! We won't be here in 100 years from now but I shutter to think what the world will one day look like...I'm a strong advocate of work for welfare...or get nada !!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  14. rjo3491

    I will most likely be dead in 2030. Thank God!

    August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Greg

      Yes, thank God!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  15. R. U. Musl

    Must be Bush's fault

    August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  16. IslandAtheist

    Do they all get to ride winged horses when they die?

    August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  17. crappygovernment

    Parasitic dual citizens and illegal foreign scabs are killing Western Civilization.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Easy E

      Amen. England is DONE. It will be "fun" to watch the nannystate collapse under the weight of young men who collect their welfare check on Monday and commit jihad on Friday.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      I wonder if Hitler bombed the UK with Estrogen. The UK is crying itself out of existence to be PC.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  18. EricLr

    How long before the Queen is in a burqa?

    August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • rjo3491

      she would look better!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  19. blackhawkmom


    August 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  20. joe

    Wow, England dominated by Islam? Now I've heard everything.

    August 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Dominated??? By a 4.8% minority.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      They do breed much faster than 1st worlders, and will breed them out comrade! Don't be naive! It should be 0%

      August 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • omz

      Haha, youve heard nothing. Go watch Foxnews..

      August 14, 2012 at 3:41 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.