Top 100 UK Baby Names of 2016 Released

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  • Marvel and DC Comics’ popularity leading to a generation of superheroes

  • The Force is strong as parents look to Star Wars and space for inspiration

  • Celebrities continue to set the trends for baby names with their unusual name picks

  • Olivia and Oliver top the chart

Today, Babycentre, the leading global parenting site, announces the UK’s top 100 boys’ and girls’ names of 2016. Super moons, Space Odyssey and Star Wars have given parents cosmic baby name inspiration this year and there’s a hot new trend for superhero names.  The top 100 list for boys and girls reveals that more new parents are taking inspiration from the world of celebrity and showbiz for their baby name choices and the great outdoors has seen nature names grow in popularity.

Calling all superheroes!

We all want our children to be amazing, and for some parents, that means getting them started early by giving them a superhero name. DC and Marvel Comics’ continued success at the box office provides plenty of inspiration. Kara from Supergirl, Harley (and Quinn) from Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman’s alter ego Diana (Prince) have all charged up the charts this year. Felicity (Smoak), from the smash hit comic book series Arrow, flies into the top 100 after a long absence and Thea (Queen) from the same series has also gone up thirteen places.

Deep space inspiration

Names inspired by all things heavenly have been rocketing up the charts this year. Nova, Orion and Luna have all increased in popularity. Even the name Jupiter has been spotted in the far flung reaches of the baby names universe! Could Tim Peake’s epic space voyage have ignited parents’ imaginations?

Star Wars names Leia, Kylo, and Finn have all had a boost. And Ezra, from spin-off animation Star Wars Rebels, has had a meteoric rise, entering the top 100 for the very first time in 2016.

Celebrity influence

This year, Rolling Stones rock ‘n’ roll legend Ronnie Woods called his twin girls Gracie and Alice and many other parents have followed suit, with both names rapidly gaining popularity in 2016.

Jamie Oliver’s unusual name choice for his new baby boy, River, saw a last minute surge in popularity, with more babies called River than ever before.

Victoria Beckham’s uncanny ability to spot a trend, or start one, means that Harper is still a popular name choice and is one of this year’s biggest risers, jumping an astonishing 31 places to sit at number 56. The Beckhams named their daughter after the author Harper Lee, who died earlier this year. Perhaps that news inspired other parents to honour the writer too?

Coleen and Wayne Rooney’s baby name choices are also proving popular, with Kai a new entry to the top 100, and twice as many babies called Kit and Klay compared to last year.

Mother Nature lends a hand in baby naming

Baby names inspired by nature have been shooting up in 2016 too. Traditional names like Lily, Poppy, Daisy and Holly have all seen their positions rise within the top 50.

However, parents are proving even more creative with their baby name choices, with Eden jumping up to secure a spot in the top 100 and Hazel also leaping up. Outside the top 100, Maple, Forrest, Bluebell and Yew have all featured this year too, some for the very first time.

Who’s at the top?

Although more adventurous names are on the rise when it comes to the top baby names for boys and girls, tradition wins over trends. Oliver and Olivia remain the most popular choices with parents.

George has risen four places to take a spot in the top ten for the first time since 2012, while Harry also continues to rise, appearing in the top five this year with a jump of two places from 2015.  (Other royal names continue to rise.  Charlotte has risen ten places, Kate and Catherine have both risen, although William has fallen slightly from 13th to 19th place).

Olivia has held on to the top spot for girls’ names for another year and Ava is a new entry to the top 10 having steadily risen year after year.

The top 10 girls’ and boys’ baby names of 2016 

Rank           Girls                             Boys
1     Olivia (non -mover)               Oliver (+1 place)
2     Lily (+ 1 place)                    Muhammed (-1 place)
3     Sophia (- 1 place)                Noah (+1 place)
4     Emily (non-mover)                Harry (+2 places)
5     Amelia (non – mover)            Jack (- 2 places)
6     Ava (new entry +5 places)    Charlie (+1 place)
7     Isla (new entry +5 places)    Jacob (-2 places)
8     Isabella (+ 2 places)            George (+ 4 places)
9     Isabelle (- 2 places)             Ethan (- 1 places)

Biggest risers and new entries

Biggest risers in the baby name charts include Jenson, up 31 spots to number 62, Stanley, up 21 spots to number 77 and Darcie, which rose 26 places to sit at number 34.

The highest new entries to the top 100 include Arlo, Ezra, Kai, Jesse and Albie for boys and Mya, Luna, Lexi, Heidi and Lyla for girls.
Sarah Redshaw, Managing Editor of BabyCentre, comments: “Luna is one of the highest new entries and with 2016 being all about Major Tim Peakes’ epic space adventure, Star Wars and Super Moons it’s no wonder names like this have seen a rise.  With more Marvel and DC Comic films planned for next year and beyond, I suspect superhero names will increase further in popularity in 2017.”

About BabyCentre

BabyCentre is the #1 pregnancy and parenting digital destination, reaching more than 45 million parents worldwide each month.  In the UK it is the most used and most recommended site among new and expectant mums, reaching over 3 million parents and parents-to-be who are seeking information and support that’s Remarkably Right ® at every stage of their child’s development. BabyCentre is the most trusted site for pregnancy or parenting information amongst new and expecting UK mums after the NHS website and more new and expectant mums have visited BabyCentre in the past 30 days than any other pregnancy or parenting magazine or site. BabyCentre is also accredited by The Information Standard, an NHS England certification programme which accredits BabyCentre as an official source of reliable, high quality health and care information.

About the BabyCentre annual Baby Names Survey

The baby names survey includes the names chosen by 76,993 (41,158 boys and 35,775 girls) BabyCentre members who gave birth in 2016.

  • The charts combine names that sound the same but have different spellings. The spelling used in the chart is the one most commonly used.

  • BabyCentre releases its Top 100 Baby Names chart each year. In addition, the team spots trends and analyses the psychology of baby naming via onsite surveys and conversations on social media and the BabyCentre Community.

Image by Freepik

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