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Naming names

Mohammad again most popular baby boys’ name; Tamar knocked off top by Miriam

Some 170,000 babies born since last Jewish New Year, despite slight downturn in population growth

Illustrative: A maternity ward in an Israeli hospital. (Flash90)
Illustrative: A maternity ward in an Israeli hospital. (Flash90)

The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Mohammad for boys and Miriam for girls, marking the first change in the top two names in five years, according to figures released Thursday by the Interior Ministry ahead of the Jewish new year.

Since 2015, Mohammad and Tamar have topped the lists every year. This year, while Mohammad again prevailed, Tamar dropped to number two for most popular girls’ names behind fellow biblical hero Miriam.

The 10 most popular girls’ names were, in order, Miriam, Tamar, Avigail, Adele, Yael, Sarah, Noa, Shira, and new entries Lia, Ella and Shira; with Noya falling off the list.

For boys, the most popular names were Mohammad, Adam, Yosef, Omer, Ariel, David, Lavi, Daniel, Ahmad and Eitan.

Some 170,000 babies were born in Israel over the past Jewish calendar year, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said Wednesday.

In total, the Jewish state added over 150,000 people to its population rolls since the last Jewish New Year, the CBS said, with the population now standing at an estimated 9,246,000 people, 1.6 percent more than a year ago.

The figure is a downturn after last year saw the population grow by 2.1%.

Another 25,000 people immigrated to the country, most under the Law of Return, which grants citizenship eligibility to anyone with a Jewish grandparent.

The number represented a large drop from the previous Jewish year, when some 38,000 people moved to the country, as well as than the years before that, during which some 26,000 to 30,000 immigrants moved to Israel annually.

Despite the slowed growth, the bureau kept its population projections from last year, which predict that the Jewish state will reach a population of 10 million in 2024, 15 million in 2048 and 20 million in 2065.

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