‘Nigels’ are threatened species in UK, say stats experts... as they reveal baby names that are disappearing

·2-min read
Nigel Farage...one of the famous ‘Nigels’  (PA Archive)
Nigel Farage...one of the famous ‘Nigels’ (PA Archive)

“Nigels” are a threatened species in Britain, official stats experts said on Monday.

Other names disappearing include Carol, Gordon and Cheryl, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But Maeve, Otis and Lucifer are becoming more popular names.

Dr James Tucker of the ONS explained how the annual list of the top baby names in England and Wales unfailingly reflects changing times.

“There are always a lot of names that are going extinct and the name Nigel has become one of the most critically endangered,” he told the ONS podcast series “Statistically Speaking”.

“On the other hand we’ve seen some more Maeves and Otis’, which are characters from the TV series ‘Sex Education’ and even some Lucifers, from the series of the same name.”

Famous Nigels include politician Nigel Farage, former Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson, racing driver Nigel Mansell, cook and food writer Nigel Slater and fashion photographer and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker.

ONS podcast host, Miles Fletcher, said: “It’s a sobering fact for serious-minded fans of GDP and other important statistics that the list of baby names is among the most-visited sections of the ONS website.

“But, popular as they are, baby names are merely the froth on the surface of a deep reservoir of crucial population data produced by the ONS. In this podcast we look at how its gathered, why it matters and hear some of the fascinating stories it has to tell.”

Olivia is the most popular girls name, according to Office for National Statistics released in October 2021.

It was the fifth year in a row the moniker topped the list. Second on the list for England was Amelia, followed by Isla.

Oliver was most popular boys name in England and Wales. Second on the list was George, followed by Arthur and Noah.

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