Common American Surnames

From “Surnames and Her-Names

On the whole, in two centuries, the most common names in the United States have not changed all that much.  Smith is still the best name for signing into a hotel anonymously.  Johnson has moved up a notch to second.  And the top five at the turn of the 18th century are still in the top six.

35 of the original top fifty were still on the list more than two centuries later.  Of the fifteen that fell from the list, ten (Stewart, Rogers, Reed, Cook, Bailey, Richardson, Bennett, Foster, Parker and Russell) were still in the top 100 while just five (Cole, Stevens, Stone, Pierce and Wheeler) fell further.  Notice the rise of nine Latino names into the top 50.

The biggest decline in popularity was the once popular Wheeler which fell from 45th to 223th in ranking. Another notable decline can be seen with the name of Clark, once sixth most common, now merely 25th.  My guess is that the Wheelers and Clarks of the country either produced a lot of daughters or else chose prosperity over posterity and had few children.

But change did occur. Nine Latino names (isn’t it peculiar that Latino refers to Spanish-speaking people outside of Spain instead of Italians living in Rome?) were so common in the homelands that, with the continuous influx of immigrants, they became common in the U.S, too. As can be seen in the table below, Latino names like Garcia, Rodriguez and Martinez have surpassed such starkly colonial names as Hall, Allen and Lewis in the census – kind of like the taco becoming more popular than the hot dog.

50 Most Common Surnames in the United States

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

2000 Rank


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Surname


Smith
Johnson
Williams
Brown
Jones
Miller
Davis
Garcia
Rodriguez
Wilson
Martinez
Anderson
Taylor
Thomas
Hernandez
Moore
Martin
Jackson
Thompson
White
Lopez
Lee
Gonzalez
Harris
Clark
# per 10,000


88
69
57
52
51
42
40
32
30
29
28
28
27
26
26
26
25
25
24
24
23
22
22
22
20
1790 Rank


1
3
7
2
4
8
5
-
-
9
-
-
11
23
-
14
22
42
12
10
-
49
-
30
6
 
2000 Rank


26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
46
47
49
50

Surname


Lewis
Robinson
Walker
Perez
Hall
Young
Allen
Sanchez
Wright
King
Scott
Green
Baker
Adams
Nelson
Hill
Rameriz
Campbell
Mitchell
Roberts
Carter
Phillips
Evan
Turner
Torres
# per 10,000


19
19
19
16
18
17
17
16
16
16
16
15
15
15
15
15
14
14
15
15
13
13
13
12
12
1790 Rank


21
37
31
-
15
28
13
-
26
34
44
20
19
17
-
16
-
43
-
39
-
35
-
46
-