Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States

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Because personal census data less than 72 years old is protected by confidentiality, names are not entered into the databases used by the U.S. Census Bureau to tabulate statistics in various categories. For this reason, a surname study across the entire census population is not possible. Thus, this list of the most common surnames from the 1990 census was created by the U.S. Census Bureau from a sampling of 7.2 million census records gathered as part of an independent post-enumeration study conducted in the summer of 1990.

 

Why is this important? For the most common US surnames, the estimated population percentages from the sampling probably reflect the population at large with a fairly high degree of accuracy. However, the survey intentionally oversampled both blacks and Hispanics, so certain surnames such as Garcia, Rodriguez, Gomez, and Washington may be over-represented. Because the sample involved certain regional areas, it is also possible that some less-common surnames made their way onto the list because a large percentage of family members happened to live within one of the areas studied. Thus, this list is not an entirely accurate representation of the U.S. population in 1990 as a whole, although it is likely to be generally close. Either way, it's fun info.

Curious about how times have changed? Check out this list of the 100 most common US surnames from the 2000 federal census.

Most Common US Surnames By Rank

Rank

Surname

Surname Origin

Estimated Population 

1

Smith

English

2,772,200

2

Johnson

English, Scottish

2,232,100

Williams

English, Welsh

1,926,200

Jones

English, Welsh

1,711,200

5

Brown

English, ScottishIrish

1,711,200

6

Davis

English, Welsh

1,322,700

7

Miller

English, Scottish, GermanFrenchItalian

1,168,400

8

Wilson

English, Scottish

934,200

9

Moore

English

859,800

10

Taylor

English

857,000

11

Anderson

Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English

857,000

12

Thomas

English, Welsh

857,000

13 

Jackson

English

854,200

14

White

English, Scottish, Irish

768,800

15

Harris

English, Welsh

757,800

16

Martin

English, French, Scottish, Irish, German

752,300

17

Thompson

English, Scottish

741,300

18

Garcia

Spanish

699,900

19

Martinez

Spanish

644,800

20

Robinson

English, Jewish

642,100

21

Clark

English, Irish

636,500

22

Rodriguez

Spanish

631,000

23

Lewis

English

622,800

24

Lee

English, Irish, Chinese

606,200

25

Walker

English, Scottish

603,500

26

Hall

English

551,100

27

Allen

Scottish, English

548,400

28

Young

English, Scottish

531,800

29

Hernandez

Spanish

529,100

30

King

English

523,600

31

Wright

English

520,800

32

Lopez

Spanish

515,300

33

Hill

English

515,300

34

Scott

English, Scottish

509,800

35

Green

English

504,300

36

Adams

English, Jewish

479,500

37

Baker

English

471,200

38

Gonzalez

Spanish

457,400

39

Nelson

Irish

446,400

40

Carter

English

446,400

41

Mitchell

Scottish, English, Irish

440,900

42

Perez

Spanish

427,100

43

Roberts

Welsh, German

421,600

44

Turner

English

418,900

45

Phillips

Welsh

410,600

46

Campbell

Scottish

410,600

47

Parker

English

402,300

48

Evans

Welsh

388,500

49

Edwards

English

377,500

50

Collins

Scottish

369,300

51

Stewart

Scottish, English

366,500

52

Sanchez

Spanish

358,200

53

Morris

English, Irish

344,500

54

Rogers

English

338,900

55

Reed

English

336,200

56

Cook

English

330,700

57

Morgan

Welsh

325,200

58

Bell

Scottish, English

322,400

59

Murphy

Irish

322,400

60

Bailey

Scottish, French

316,900

61

Rivera

Spanish

311,400

62

Cooper

English

311,400

63

Richardson

English

308,600

64

Cox

English, French, Welsh, Irish

303,100

65

Howard

English

303,100

66

Ward

English

297,600

67

Torres

Spanish, Portuguese

297,600

68

Peterson

English

294,900

69

Gray

English, Scottish

292,100

70

Ramirez

Spanish

289,300

71

James

English

289,300

72

Watson

English, Scottish

283,800

73

Brooks

English

283,800

74

Kelly

Irish

281,100

75

Sanders

English, Scottish, German

275,600

76

Price

Welsh

272,800

77

Bennett

English

272,800

78

Wood

English, Scottish

270,100

79

Barnes

English, Scottish

267,300

80

Ross

English, Scottish

264,500

81 

Henderson

English, Scottish

261,800

82

Coleman

English, Scottish

261,800

83

Jenkins

English, Welsh

261,800

84

Perry

English, French

259,000

85

Powell

Welsh

256,300

86

Long

English

253,500

87

Patterson

English, Scottish

253,500

88

Hughes

English

253,500

89

Flores

Spanish

253,500

90

Washington

English

253,500

91

Butler

English, Irish

250,800

92

Simmons

English, German, French

250,800

93

Foster

English, French

250,800

94

Gonzales

Spanish

239,700

95

Bryant

English, Scottish

239,700

96

Alexander

Greek,  English, Scottish

234,200

97

Russell

English, Scottish, Irish

234,200

98

Griffin

Welsh

231,500

99

Diaz

Spanish, Portuguese

231,500

100

Hayes

English, Scottish

228,700

 

 

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Powell, Kimberly. "Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States." ThoughtCo, Feb. 2, 2018, thoughtco.com/most-common-us-surnames-1422656. Powell, Kimberly. (2018, February 2). Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/most-common-us-surnames-1422656 Powell, Kimberly. "Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/most-common-us-surnames-1422656 (accessed February 18, 2018).