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Most popular baby names revealed (and the least popular too)

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Published on 06/10/2022

Noah and Olivia were the most popular baby names for boys and girls in 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Popular baby names

Oliver dropped to second place, having been the most popular boys’ name for eight years, while Olivia topped the girls’ list for the sixth year in succession. Just imagine how tough that is for primary school teachers who have just noticed that each new intake includes at least 15 Olivers or Olivias.

popular boy names

popular girl names

The ONS data also shows that Henry replaced Jack in the top 10 names for boys, while Freya, Florence and Willow replaced Isabella, Rosie and Sophia for girls.



Unpopular baby names

It’s not such good news for other names though. Fewer than five girls were given the names Glenda and Kerry, in each of the last few years since 2018. This makes them ‘endangered’ according to the ONS.

For boys, Clifford, Nigel and Norman are on the wane. Each were used for ten or fewer babies last year. Leslie is also among the least popular baby names, with fewer than seven babies given that name each year since 2018.

Celebrity baby names

Many parents take inspiration from the world of entertainment. Both Luca and Raya boomed in popularity last year after Disney released films containing those names as title characters. In addition, there are a number of little Ezras, possibly named after singer George, and Mabels, matching the rising popularity of the singer of the same name.

There were even a number of kids named after Kim Kardashian’s brood. 2021 saw 59 babies called Saint, six boys called Psalm, four girls called Chicago and three girls with the name North.

What to think about when naming your child

There are loads of considerations when naming kids. Perhaps you like the idea of one of the popular baby names. Alternatively, you might prefer something more obscure. The thing is, naming a child is hugely personal to you and your other half. It’s not for anyone else to tell you what to call your child. But there are some things you should consider.

  • How does the child’s first name sound when you say it out loud? Think Wayne Kerr, for example.
  • Do you like all the possible nicknames that go with that name? At some point, you will hear them all.
  • Have you and your partner made certain you are both 100% behind the name? You only get this one shot.
  • Do you have a back up name that you both love? It is possible that you will not think your new baby matches the name when they are born.
  • Will the child be able to find their name on novelty keyrings when they go on holiday? Okay, this isn’t a serious one, but if not, you need to plan an alternative treat for them to avoid meltdowns.


How did you come up with your baby names? Let us know in the Comments below

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