Mohammed Most Popular Baby Boy’s Name in Berlin and Hamburg

21 October 2020, Berlin: The Mevlana Mosque at Kottbusser Tor in the Berlin-Kreuzberg dist
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Sophie and Noah were the most popular baby names in Germany last year, but in several regions including the national capital strong local variations exist, including the primacy of Mohammed for boys.

Germany’s state funded language institute has revealed its baby name statistics in 2023, and said Mohammed is the most popular boy’s name in a group of cities. The German statistics combine homophones, meaning Mohammed is counted alongside Mohamed, Muhammed, Mohammad, Muhammet, Muhamet, and others, in the same way it counts Sophia and Sofia together, which is the most popular girls’ name for 2023.

While Noah is the most popular boys’ name nationwide, German newspaper Die Welt notes buried within regional statistics Mohammed is the most popular name in Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen. As reported by RBB24, Mohammed has now been the top name in Berlin for several years.

The Society for the German Language (GfdS) also points out major regional differences. For instance, Mohammed is a top-ten name in the north of Germany, but doesn’t make the cut in the south, where the society notes traditional Christian names are more common than the national average. The society cites the prevalence of “tradition, history or customs” for this difference.

Mohammed had been the 29th most popular name in north Germany in 2022, but rose to 8th place in 2023.

This naming phenomenon seen in Berlin and other German cities has also been observed across Europe in countries practicing mass migration over the past decade.

People noticing the government funded statistics showing Mohammed to be an increasingly popular forename in Germany has been attended by some controversy in the past. Fact-checkers have scrabbled to point out that Islamic custom dictates that pious families should always name one of their sons Mohammed, thereby skewering the statistics compared to German families who can pick any names they wish.

A 2019 report in government owned, taxpayer-funded broadcaster Deutsche Welle finger-wagged at other media, politicians, and the public noticing the trend, for instance, while nevertheless acknowledging it to be factually correct. The outlet cited academic Gabriele Rodriguez, who said discussion about the name was taking statistics out of context to prey on the fears of German people about the way their society is changing, it reported.

She said “German ears need a bit of time to adjust” and said discussing Mohammed being a popular baby name ” is just feeding into the [populist right-wing party] AfD, which has the express goal of creating fear about such things so that they can sustain themselves.”


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