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Unexpected top baby names from around the world

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Surprise: Top baby name in Britain is not George, it's Mohammed

As the world grows smaller and populations become even more blended, international baby name trends become more unpredictable than ever.

A recent poll revealed that the top baby boy name in Britain is not George (or Henry, or Oliver or Jack)… it's Mohammed! The growing immigrant population is having a tremendous impact on the nation's long-standing tradition.

"[Muslims] are only four percent of the population yet Mohammed is the most popular boys name in the U.K. England is lost already," tweeted one resident. Another tweeter complained that it was a, "disgrace our own government let this happen."

Official statistics from the British government, however, dispute the BabyCentre poll and rank Mohammed at number 15 in England and Wales and number 52 in Scotland. It is possible, perhaps, that the government didn't take into consideration the variety of spellings (Mohamed, Muhammad, Muhammed) in its count. Among the top 1,000 baby boy names in the U.S., Muhammad is No. 422, Mohamed is No. 445, Mohammed is No. 555 and Mohammad is No. 575.

Britain isn't the only country with surprising baby name rankings. Just check these out:

  • The number one baby name for boys in Spain is the Hebrew name Daniel.
  • In Sweden, Alice (Celtic) and Lucas (Gaelic) are the unexpected chart toppers. Alice is quite popular (currently number three) in Brazil as well. Also popular in Brazil? Arthur!
  • The Latin name Mia continues to rise among the U.S. ranks, but it's already at the top in Germany.
  • Sophia, Hannah and Sarah (numbers one, 23 and 48 in the U.S.) all made Malaysia's top 10 baby names for girls.
  • Charlotte and Ruby continue to dominate in Australia. In the U.S., these baby girl names rank 11 and 93, respectively.
  • Erik, a Danish name, is among the top 10 baby boy names in Armenia.
  • Jayden is the most popular boy's name in Jamaica, while Stevenson is the unofficial number one in Haiti. Top baby names for Haitian girls include Widelene, Islande and Lovelie.
  • The favorite name for female babies born in Mexico is Ximena.
  • The strong Roman Catholic presence in the Philippines pushed the name John Paul to the top spot. It's followed by the likes of Justin, Clarence, Richard and Xyriel. New baby girls in the Philippines are most often named Althea, yet names like Jane, April, Joy and Precious are also among the top 10.

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