Archie catching up with Oliver as UK baby names show shift in preference

Olivia tops girls' list as parents aged 35 and over continue to choose more traditional names

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

Archie has entered the top 10 most popular name for boys in England and Wales for the first time but Oliver remains top for 2020 for the eighth year in a row.

Olivia topped the girls' list for the fifth year in succession.

Changing tastes have led to many of the names popular 100 years ago, from Margaret to Rebecca and Paul and John, falling out of favour, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

But the national delight in a royal-linked name continues with Archie, the name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son, entering the top 10 names for boys in England and Wales for the first time in 2020, replacing Charlie.

Muhammad keeps a place in the top 10, moving into 5th with 3,710 new babies going by the name in England and Wales in 2020.

George, the name of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's oldest child, was second on the boys’ list and the highest ranked name with royal cache.

Ivy and Rosie replaced Grace and Freya in the top 10 girls' names, the ONS said.

Parents aged 35 and over continue to choose more traditional names, while younger families opt for more modern and shortened names.

In total, 4,225 baby boys were named Oliver in 2020, down from 4,932 the previous year, while 3,640 newborn girls were named Olivia, down from 4,082.

Archie moved up the boys' list from 19th to ninth, with 2,944 babies taking the name in 2020, up from 2,544 in 2019.

Dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since 2005, Charlie slipped to 12th place with a total of 2,810 babies taking the name in 2020, down from 3,355 in 2019.

Since 2010, Ivy has risen 221 places to become the sixth most popular name for girls in England and Wales in 2020.

Traditional names that once dominated the lists are becoming less popular.

Margaret was the number one girls' name in 1924, 1934 and 1944 while Susan topped the list in 1954 and 1964.

Today, Margaret is 357th and Susan is ranked at 2,042nd, with only 13 baby girls given the name in 2020.

John was top in 1914, 1924, 1934 and 1944 but has fallen to 150th in 2020. Paul was the top name for boys in 1974, but sits at 384th on the 2020 list.

Updated: October 19th 2021, 10:22 AM
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