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How popular is your name?

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What’s in a name? An awful lot, according to a new website which reveals the most popular baby names in England and Wales.

Created by computer programmer Anna Powell-Smith from Stoke-on-Trent, the England & Wales Baby Names website analyses official birth data from the Office of National Statistics and tracks baby naming trends from 1996 to 2010.

ABOVE: Lily tops the list of the most popular girls' names

The site reveals that the most popular name for girls in absolute terms is Lily, while Oliver is the out-and-out winner for boys. Powell-Smith notes that, “Broadly, in recent years, girls’ names have become more flowery and old-fashioned, while Biblical boys’ names are out of favour,” reports the Telegraph.

ABOVE: Graphic by Conrad Quilty-Harper

Diversity has also been a key trend over recent years, with parents choosing names inspired by celebrities (we spotted that the names Chandler and Courteney were particularly popular in the late 90s, which may just have a little something to do with one hit TV show called Friends), or opting for unusual spellings, such as Macey or Jakub.

ABOVE: Jenson races to second place in the biggest proportional rise in names for boys

Despite the rise in unusual names across the board, parents appear to be more comfortable taking risks with girls’ names than those for boys’: “Parents consistently show more variety when naming their daughters than their sons.” Expect to see a few Harper Sevens and Blue Ivys popping onto the list in a couple of years then. Click here to find out how popular your name is.

What do you think? Do you favour traditional or unusual names? What's the most bizarre baby name you've ever heard? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Image credit: Rex

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