Monday, December 19, 2016

Trends in Surnames

By now you've probably heard the news: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, and Jones are the five most common last names in the United States, according to a Census Bureau analysis of 2010 census data. The same five surnames were at the top in 2000 as well. The Census Bureau surname project also found...

  • Americans reported 6.3 million surnames on the 2010 census
  • Eleven surnames were reported by more than 1 million people—the five listed above, followed by Garcia, Miller, Davis, Rodriguez, Martinez, and Hernandez. 
  • The 62 percent majority of surnames were reported only once.
  • A quarter of Hispanics share just 26 surnames.
  • 87 percent of those with the surname Washington are Black. 
  • 98 percent of those with the surname Yoder are non-Hispanic White.

If you think these facts are fascinating, there's much more. Visit this Census Bureau site, and download the Excel table, "Surnames Occurring 100 or more Times." The table lists all 160,000-plus surnames reported on the 2010 census by at least 100 respondents, the number reporting each surname, its rank, and the race and Hispanic origin distribution of those with the name. Check out your own name, your friends' names, or names in the news. "Trump," for example, is the 8,484 most common surname, reported by 3,886 census respondents in 2010. Among those with the name Trump, 95.6 percent are non-Hispanic White. Clinton is the 2,242 most popular name, reported by 16,263 respondents, 65 percent of whom are non-Hispanic White and 27 percent of whom are Black. Hours of fun!

Source: Census Bureau, What's in a Name

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