Muhammad joined the perennial favorites Jack and Joshua in 2004 as one of
the most popular names given to British boys, a sign of growing ethnic
diversity and a legacy of Muslim immigration decades ago.
The Office of National Statistics said Thursday that Muhammad, meaning
''one who is praiseworthy'' or ''exalted,'' had moved up two places, to
enter the top 20 for the first time.
''It is all about demographics,'' said Dr. Jamil Sherif, of the Muslim
Council of Britain, an umbrella group of 400 organizations. ''There are now
more Muslims being born in Britain than previously. About 40 percent of
Muslims here are under 25; there are a lot of young families.'' Immigration
from Asia and Africa surged during the 1960's and 70's and Britain, with
about 61 million people, is home to about 1.6 million Muslims