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. Olala

    I named my dog Mohammad last week, and my cousins pig.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Wotan

      Good one!

      August 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  2. Ed M.

    Imagine if as many Christians named their sons "Jesus", or Buddhists called theirs "Siddhartha", or Jews, "Moses".

    Somebody's got a serious lack of imagination going on.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Larry

      Moses is a popular name in the Jewish community. Jesus is a popular name among Hispanic Catholics.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      I agree with you on that one. Too many parents all wanting their kid to be named the same, and this is what happens.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      "and this is what happens" <– Could also refer to the ridiculous number of comments where people take this as a sign that it is "THE END OF GREAT BRITAIN".

      August 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Wotan


      Massive non-White 3rd world immigration combined with insanely high non-White birth rates and low indigenous British birth rates equals the end for Britain. Mohammed should never be a name associated with anywhere in Europa, especially not as one of the most common child names. This is a government sanctioned genocide.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • JG

      Lots of Mexicans named Jesus.......but they ain't like Jesus......

      August 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  3. Larry

    Could be worse...they could be named Blanket.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  4. werewolf1

    You Blokes are in BIG Trouble.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  5. kbrooks11

    Good for Great Britian!!!!

    August 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  6. Dan

    Last month I was waiting in a local eatery when the parents of two three year old twins came in. The twins started rough housing in the middle of the dining area. They yelled at their children, 'Bella' and 'Edward', to stop. Wrong on so many levels.

    In the grand scheme of things, 'Mohamed' is not the worst name you could give a child.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Brbank

    They will soon teach their sons to blow themselves and innocent people off and spread sharia law into Europe. It starts slow.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Amro

      Oh, you just missed it. August 6th, blowing 100 thousand people away in one shot, and then another 100 thousand a few days later.
      Such a fool.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  8. :::::::::::::::::::::::::>

    Islam is cancer of society..... F-u-c-k Mohammad

    August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      I realize logic is difficult for someone like you to grasp, however... If you were to try, you would find that your brain might actually enjoy the stimulation.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  9. sagewy

    How scary is that? Maybe the number one name in England will be Harry Mohammed.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  10. Greg

    You would think it would be William or Kate? Something is wrong with this Britain.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  11. Rob

    Awwwww, man ... and I was so hoping it was going to be Jesus.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  12. Wotan

    What a shame, the indigenous British folk are being bred out of existence and replaced by 3rd worlders.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      At 5% of the population? Hardly. Instead, you are seeing the trend for Muslims to name their children Mohammed or some variant of it. No, your "getting bred out to extinction" theory is pretty much bullplop.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Wotan

      White folk do not breed as rapidly as non-White 3rd worlders. Massive 3rd world immigration combined with high non-White birth rates = Britain is doomed in 40 years or less.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  13. Sam

    Whew, scary. They will take over the world the old fashioned way, just mass produce their own.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  14. JT

    You have got to be kidding.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  15. the_dude

    And so the great United Kingdom fell without so much as a whimper....

    August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  16. Kelly

    This is less to do with immigration to the UK, which is extremely stringent, than it does to do with the fact that Muslims name their kids after a single person, as often as devout Christians named their kids after a whole host of saints.
    That's the only thing that explains this phenomenon. It's unfair to initmate or to allow readers to believe otherwise.
    It should also be recognized that especially in Britain, not everyone (hardly anyone) who answers the name Mohammed, is an Arab, or from the Middle East. Most of from South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc), the area that accounts for the largest of Britain's minority groups. It's also worth noting that not all of them are Muslim, either. More responsible journalism, please.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Wotan

      The real story is that British folk are being bred out of existence and replaced by 3rd world non-Whites. This is a case of government sanctioned genocide.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • jimmer

      Indians don't name their children Muhammed. Raja is the Indian equivalent of Muhammed.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      You are the one who mentions Arabs, not the CNN piece. And yes, Muslim parents are far more fixated on one name than Christian or secular parents, but it is also true that the number of Muslims in GB has increased 230% in just 20 years.

      Now, whether one views it as a good thing or not, European culture appears destined for a radical shift over the course of the next 50 years as their populations become increasingly of non-European origin.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  17. Flugerio15

    So will this generation be the New and improved Baby Boomers generation?

    August 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  18. guest


    August 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Once they become majority through their pre-planned baby boom..they will bring in Sharia Law

    August 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Why would you ever want to name your kid after a pedophile rapist?

    August 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
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