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Mohammed Is the Most Popular Baby Name in Israel

Israel's population authority published a list of baby names that excluded those that were Arab in origin
Sep 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM ET
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On Sunday, Israel’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority released the list of the most common baby names in the Jewish year 5774. On it, Yosef and Tamar took home the titles for most popular boys’ and girls’ names, respectively.

There was, however, one fairly large flaw in the list. As reported in Haaretz, the authority included only Hebrew baby names, omitting any of Arab origin. Turns out that the most popular baby name in Israel isn’t Yosef. It’s Mohammed.

Just for context, according to recent data from the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 8.18 million people living in Israel, of which roughly 1.68 million are Arabs and 6.1 million are Jewish. In excluding Arab names, the authority left out about 21 percent of the population and thus, skewed results.

The population authority confirmed to Haaretz that only Hebrew names were featured on the list and then provided a new one that factored in all those mistreated Arab names. Mohammed shot to No. 1, with former leader Yosef just behind. Ahmed grabbed the ninth spot overall. Interestingly, the list of girls’ names didn’t change much with the inclusion of Arab names.

“The statistics published were the statistics requested during the past few years by everyone who contacted us to obtain this information, and for that reason the list relating to the most popular Hebrew names was issued. Contrary to the assumptions of the Haaretz newspaper, there is no plot to deliberately hide information,” Sabine Hadad, a spokesman from the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, told the outlet.

A disclaimer would have been nice.