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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 12:41 GMT
Blair baby sets name trend
Leo and Tony Blair
Leo has proved a popular children's name
Prime Minister Tony Blair's influence on the country does not stop at politics - it seems his choice of children's names has also made an impact on parents across the land.

Leo - the name given to Mr Blair's youngest child - has taken the top name league tables by storm, climbing 42 places to 101.

It's notable that the prime minister's son was named Leo - we can't say whether there's any link but it has gone up quite a large number of places

ONS spokesman

But while Leo - which derives from the Latin word for lion - is proving a popular choice - the Office for National Statistic's annual list of most frequently registered names is again topped by Jack and Chloe, for the seventh and fifth years respectively.

The table, for England and Wales, suggests that the names celebrities give to their offspring is having an affect on the names bestowed on our own children.

High climbers

In the girl's chart, Mia was the highest climber (up 20 places to number 25), possibly due to Titanic actress Kate Winslet's daughter.

Dylan rose 10 places to number 28 in the boy's table, perhaps as a result of the name chosen by film stars Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas for their son.
Top 10 names
1 Jack, Chloe
2 Thomas, Emily
3 Joshua, Megan
4 James, Jessica
5 Daniel, Sophie
6 Harry, Lauren
7 Samuel, Charlotte
8 Joseph, Hannah
9 Matthew, Olivia
10 Lewis, Lucy
Source: ONS

Rocco is beginning to appear in the statistics - a likely influence from Madonna and Guy Ritchie's choice of name for their son.

But whether Chancellor Gordon Brown's choice of Jennifer for his daughter born seven weeks premature, will have a similar influence on the tables to his Number 10 neighbour, remains to be seen.

Jennifer is currently in 80th place, and was given to 550 baby girls last year.

Meanwhile, Tyler, at number 41, was the highest new entry in the boys' top 50, up 10 places from last year.

Harrison was the only other boys' new entry, up eight places to number 48.

Ethan showed the biggest increase in popularity among the boys, up 11 places to number 21.
Rocco, the name of Madonna's son, is gaining in popularity

Among the girls, Erin was the highest new entry up 10 to number 41 - following the Julia Roberts movie Erin Brockovich - and Millie came in at number 42 (also up 10), while seasonal Holly rose (up 10 to 19).

An ONS spokesman said: "There's not been many changes at the top this year but there are one or two unusual names coming through at the lower end.

"It's notable that the prime minister's son was named Leo - we can't say whether there's any link but it has gone up quite a large number of places."

Harry Potter power

An alternative explanation for Leo's popularity may be the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

The top five boys' names remain virtually the same for the sixth year running, the only change being Joshua and James exchanging places on last year at numbers three and four respectively.

The top three girls' names remain the same, with Jessica moving up one place to number four and Sophie moving up two places to number five, knocking Charlotte out the top five.

Harry Potter
Harry is a name to watch for 2002

The ONS predicts that Harry - following the popularity of Harry Potter - might be "one to watch" for next year, as it remained stationary at number six.

Another name which was beginning to be reported, but in numbers too small to chart, was Maximus - probably after Russell Crowe's protagonist in Ridley Scott's hit movie Gladiator.

A total of 522,853 births were registered during the year - 267,875 boys and 254,978 girls.

The General Register Office in Scotland also found Jack and Chloe were the most popular names given to babies in Scotland in 2001.

Name Game
Does your name dictate your personality?
See also:

21 Dec 00 | Scotland
Rocco all over the world
15 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Kate Winslet names baby Mia
03 Jan 02 | Scotland
New mum Sarah leaves hospital
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