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London - Harry and Amelia were the most popular babies’ names in England last year.
They pushed the previous year’s favourites – Oliver and Olivia – into second place on the lists for boys and girls.
The popularity of Harry appears to have been fuelled by the success of One Direction singer Harry Styles, the continuing influence of Harry Potter and the prominence of Prince Harry.
Harry – the name given to one baby boy in 50 – would be even further ahead if it were counted with its more formal version, Henry.
While there were 7,523 Harrys, 2,625 babies were called Henry, the 28th most popular boys’ name.
For girls, the rise of Amelia – the name given to 5,054 babies – may have been driven by pop singer and X Factor finalist Amelia Lily, with Lily climbing a place to become the third most popular name.
Teen fantasy fiction also appears to have had an influence. Jacob rose five places to become the seventh most popular name for boys – given to more than 5,000 – while Bella entered the top 100 for girls in 69th place. Both are names of characters in the Twilight book and film series.
The Office for National Statistics, which released the figures, said: “The popularity of names can be influenced by names of famous figures or current celebrities and what they name their own babies.
“However, it is an individual choice which can be influenced by a number of other factors such as the religious, cultural or ethnic identities of the parents or the names of family, friends or fictional characters.”
Muslim parents commonly name baby boys after the Islamic prophet, which put Mohammed at 19th in the rankings last year, given to 3,054 babies. A further 3,891 boys were named by two other versions, Muhammad and Mohammad.
Blake, Frankie, Elijah and Jackson were new entries in the top 100 for boys, while Aidan, Bradley, Sam, Brandon and Kieran all fell out.
For girls, Ava and Isabella were promoted by parents to the top ten, in place of Evie and Chloe.
And new to the top 100 alongside Bella were Willow, Elsie, Kayla, Francesca and Lydia.
There was no appearance for Catherine or Kate – perhaps surprising given the popularity of the Duchess of Cambridge – although Katie, while down, still ranked at 57.
In Wales, Oliver remained the most popular boys’ name, while Riley, Ethan and Dylan were all in the top ten there. - Daily Mail