Germany: Mohammed now most popular first name for newborns in Berlin, name soars in popularity across the country

FILE - Islamic women in a nikab walking through Monschau, Germany in 2017.
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

As seen in many other Western countries, such as France and Britain, the first name Mohammed has continuously gained popularity in Germany, including in the past year.

In cities like Berlin, the name Muslim name was the most popular name for boys in 2022, while in 2021, it ranked third. Previously, Noah ranked first and Adam second, with Noah now dropping to second place for 2022.

In other cities, like Hesse and Bremen, Mohammed was at the top of the list of most common names for newborns, according to the annual survey from the German Language Society on Monday.

In Bremen, the first name Mohammed, which is the name of Islam’s most holy prophet, is no longer far behind from the top spot, moving from third to second place. In first place, there is Matheo and in third is Finn. Last year, the ranking was Finn, Noah, Mohammed.

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In Hesse, Mohammed has also exploded in popularity, rising from eighth place to third. Noah is at the top while Matheo has dropped to second.

Among girls, names like Ella, Emma, Mila, and Sophie are continuing their streak at the top in three German states in 2022.

Data coming out of Germany shows the country is facing rapid demographic transformation, with the rise of Islamic names only one factor in the trend. For example, in most major cities, the majority of children have a migration background, including Hamburg. Overall, 38 percent of all children in the German school system have a migrant background, which has overwhelmed schools and led to a noted decline in reading and math results across the board. Increasing diversity within schools is also leading to conflict between students, increased violence, and teachers facing burnout.

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Some have been enthusiastic about the growing demographic changes, such as German-Iranian author and commentator Behzad Karim Khan, who said migrants would “inherit” Germany:

I think we’re at a point now where we should have an honest look at the situation. Let’s start with the simple statement that we — migrants, foreigners, people with … call us what you like — are not going to leave that easily. And neither will you, dear organic Germans, though, demographically, you’re definitely going away. You’re dying out, and your country needs about 400,000 new workers (every year) over the next 15 years, that’s about a million immigrants a year. We migrants will probably inherit this land. So we could play for time here, which is time you don’t have.”

There are also significant differences between the east and west of Germany. In the west, the most popular names are Noah and Matheo, which have a Biblical reference, while German names like Emil and Karl are preferred in the east.

In Germany, Noah still remains at the top of the rankings nationwide.

Mohammed is increasingly a popular name across the West. It soared to the top of the rankings in one Irish city last year. In France, one in five newborns has an Islamic name, with Muhammad being the most popular. In Brussels, it is now the most common boy’s name given to all newborns.

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