By George! Royal town bucks UK trend for new baby names

Prince George

GEORGE was the most common name given to baby boys by parents in Tunbridge Wells last year, while Olivia was the most popular girls’ name in both the borough and the country.

According to annual figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), of the 611 boys recorded in 2021 as being born in Tunbridge Wells, 17 were called George.

The name has grown in popularity over the last few years after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge named their first child and heir to the throne Prince George.

Theodore, Leo and Henry were the joint-second most popular boys’ names in Tunbridge Wells, with ten baby boys each given the name last year.

But the UK’s most popular boys’ name, according to the ONS, was Noah – although just four boys were given the name in Tunbridge Wells last year.

Oliver has dropped to second place in the UK having been the most popular boys’ name for eight years, while George was only the country’s third-most common name for baby boys.

Olivia not only topped the girls’ list for the sixth year in succession in the UK but remains Tunbridge Wells’ most popular girls’ name, with ten of the 559 girls born in the area given the name in 2021.

Margot, Grace and Evelyn were the second-most popular names given to girls in Tunbridge Wells with nine baby girls each given the names last year.


“Olivia remained the most popular girls’ name in 2021, having held the top spot since 2016. Interestingly, Noah was not top in any of the English regions, but has risen up the ranks in most regions since last year to take first place overall.



Nationally, Isla, Ava and Amelia followed Olivia as the most popular girls’ names.

In Tonbridge & Malling, George also topped the list of the most common name for boys in that borough.

Arthur was the most common name given to boys in Wealden.

And Olivia was the most common name given to girls in both areas last year.

Data from the ONS also shows that Henry replaced Jack in the top ten names for boys in the UK, while Freya, Florence and Willow replaced Isabella, Rosie and Sophia for girls.

Mothers over the age of 35 were more likely to give their babies traditional names such as Thomas, while younger mothers were more likely to use shortened versions, such as Tommy.

Noah was the fourth-most popular boys’ name in 2020 and has risen 15 places since 2011.

In total, 4,525 baby boys were named Noah in 2021 across the UK, and 3,649 girls were named Olivia, up from 3,640 in 2020.


“Popular culture continues to influence parents’ baby name choices. Today we have also published analysis exploring cultural influences that could be inspiring baby name trends, from hit TV shows to musical icons.”


Olivia was the top girls’ name in every English region and Wales, except in the East Midlands, where Amelia was the most popular girls’ name.

Muhammad was the most popular boys’ name in four out of nine English regions.

James Tucker of the ONS, said: “Noah has replaced Oliver as the most popular name for boys in 2021, moving Oliver into second place and ending an eight-year reign at the top.

“While Noah and Olivia are enjoying their places at the top, some names could be in danger of falling out of favour.

“Leslie has had relatively little popularity in recent years, with fewer than seven boys named each year since 2018. Others such as Clifford, Nigel and Norman have not fared much better with 10 or fewer boys being named,” Mr Tucker said.

“Girls’ names such as Glenda and Kerry, that were more common before, are also becoming endangered and we have seen less than five girls being named each year since 2018.

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