Muhammad is the top name for baby boys in the English regions of London and the West Midlands in 2016, and was the top scoring across the whole of England and Wales in the year when slight variations in spelling are taken into account.
The annual release of the most popular names for baby boys and girls by the Office for National Statistics also reveals that Muhammed has pushed traditionally popular boy’s name William out of the top 10 in the past recorded year.
Whilst the statistics showed the most popular name for boys and girls were Oliver and Olivia respectively, the decision by the Office to list slight changes to the spelling of Muhammed as completely different names masked the fact that the popular Muslim name was actually in first place, and not in eighth as reported.
The variations in the name such as Muhammad, Mohammed, and Mohammad may come from the imprecise nature of transliterating Arabic names into English. Muhammed and other similar spellings of the name of the Islamic prophet, which is often given to Muslim boys in honour of the religious figure, have taken the top spot in England and Wales every year since 2011.