The most popular name in Israel in 2014, among some 2,650 newborns, was Mohammed, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Sunday.So why is a Muslim name the top result when Muslims take u about 20% of the population? Simple math:
The most popular Jewish name for a boy, and the second most popular name overall, in 2014 was Noam, with some 1,600 boys (and 400 girls) given this name. Also making the list of the top 10 most popular names was Ori/Uri, David, Yousef, Eitan, Itay, Ariel, Daniel, Yonatan, and Moshe.
“The most common name among those born in 2014 was Mohammed,” the CBS reports. “This name was very common among the population because it is given to one out of every seven Muslim boys. In comparison, the most common names among Jews and Muslim girls were given to one out of 40 children.”Which means that the percentage of Muslims naming their sons Mohammed is nearly six times the percentage of Jews naming their sons Noam, or Muslims naming their daughters Maryam.
People were a little freaked out when a similar story came out of London, where Muhammad was the most popular name and Mohammed came in at #10. But that is what happens when there is so little name variation among newborns in one population.
(In Hebrew and Arabic, there is no difference in spelling between Mohamed, Mohammed, Muhammed or Muhammad as there is in English, so the effect is magnified beyond what we see in Western countries.)
Interestingly, Israel's CBS noted that Yosef/Yousef was the fourth most popular name, with 1350 Jews naming their sons Yosef and 600 Muslims naming their sons Yousef.