Want to earn £100K? Best make sure you're called David or Susan

2005

A good degree, wide-ranging experience, leadership ability, enthusiasm and soaring ambition will all help you to get on in business, but if you really want to earn big bucks it'll help if you're called David or Susan.

A survey by Barclays bank in the UK has found men called David and women called Susan (rather than the other way round) are more likely to earn in excess of £100,000 a year.

Being christened John, Michael, Elizabeth or Sarah also gives you a higher chance of being a six-figure earner, it added.

The bank analysed 60,000 of its Premier Banking customers, who earn more than £100,000, and pinpointed the names that came up most often.

Mark Till, Barclays marketing director, said: "If you want your newborn to keep you in the manner to which you have become accustomed to in your old age you should consider the latest list of high earners' names.

"My mother is slightly disappointed that I only make number nine but my job is looking after other people's money, but I'm pleased my boys James and Simon will hopefully keep me in my old age!" he added.

The top earning men's names, according to the poll, were: David, John, Michael, Peter, Paul, Andrew, Richard, Robert, Mark and Stephen.

For women it was: Susan, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jane, Helen, Patricia, Jacqueline, Alison, Anne and Nicola.

But if current trends are anything to go by, the future generation of British workers, at least, could end up disappointed.

The most popular names last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, were Jack for a boy (its tenth year at the top) and Emily for a girl.

Other top boys' names included Thomas, Joshua, James and Daniel – none of which were on the Barclays' list.

The other most popular girls were Chloe, Ellie, Jessica and Sophie, again notable by their absence.

An analysis of Premium Bond prize winners has also found that Matthew is the UK's luckiest name, followed by Adam and Daniel, with Barry and Diana the names least likely to come up trumps.

This may all seem light-hearted but, if this year's U.S bestseller Freakonomics by economist Professor Steven Levitt is anything to go by, what you name your child can have real consequences for his or her future.

He has controversially argued that men with, say, a traditionally "black" name such as DeShawn are more likely to have poorer life chances than those with a "white" name such as Jake.

The Barclays' survey also gives no indication as to whether two successful names that join forces – for instance a Nicola and a David – are more likely to make a packet than if they operated separately.