100 Most Common US Surnames

Trace the ethnicity, origin and meaning of your surname.
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Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these 100 most common surnames from the 1990 federal census? Our list of the top commonly occurring U.S. surnames includes details on each surname's popularity, plus its origin, meaning, and even common alternate spellings. Did your name make this list of most popular surnames in the United States?
 

Most Common US Surnames by Rank

RankSurnameSurname OriginEstimated Population 
1SmithEnglish2,772,200
2JohnsonEnglish, Scottish2,232,100
WilliamsEnglish, Welsh1,926,200
JonesEnglish, Welsh1,711,200
5BrownEnglishScottish, Irish1,711,200
6DavisEnglish, Welsh1,322,700
7MillerEnglishScottish, German, French, Italian1,168,400
8WilsonEnglishScottish934,200
9MooreEnglish859,800
10TaylorEnglish857,000
11AndersonSwedish, Danish, Norwegian, English857,000
12ThomasEnglish, Welsh857,000
13 JacksonEnglish854,200
14WhiteEnglishScottishIrish768,800
15HarrisEnglish, Welsh757,800
16MartinEnglishFrenchScottishIrishGerman752,300
17ThompsonEnglishScottish741,300
18GarciaSpanish699,900
19MartinezSpanish644,800
20RobinsonEnglish, Jewish642,100
21ClarkEnglishIrish636,500
22RodriguezSpanish631,000
23LewisEnglish622,800
24LeeEnglishIrish, Chinese606,200
25WalkerEnglishScottish603,500
26HallEnglish551,100
27AllenScottishEnglish548,400
28YoungEnglishScottish531,800
29HernandezSpanish529,100
30KingEnglish523,600
31WrightEnglish520,800
32LopezSpanish515,300
33HillEnglish515,300
34ScottEnglishScottish509,800
35GreenEnglish504,300
36AdamsEnglishJewish479,500
37BakerEnglish471,200
38GonzalezSpanish457,400
39NelsonIrish446,400
40CarterEnglish446,400
41MitchellScottishEnglishIrish440,900
42PerezSpanish427,100
43RobertsWelsh, German421,600
44TurnerEnglish418,900
45PhillipsWelsh410,600
46CampbellScottish410,600
47ParkerEnglish402,300
48EvansWelsh388,500
49EdwardsEnglish377,500
50CollinsScottish369,300
51StewartScottishEnglish366,500
52SanchezSpanish358,200
53MorrisEnglishIrish344,500
54RogersEnglish338,900
55ReedEnglish336,200
56CookEnglish330,700
57MorganWelsh325,200
58BellScottishEnglish322,400
59MurphyIrish322,400
60BaileyScottishFrench316,900
61RiveraSpanish311,400
62CooperEnglish311,400
63RichardsonEnglish308,600
64CoxEnglishFrench, Welsh, Irish303,100
65HowardEnglish303,100
66WardEnglish297,600
67TorresSpanish, Portuguese297,600
68PetersonEnglish294,900
69GrayEnglishScottish292,100
70RamirezSpanish289,300
71JamesEnglish289,300
72WatsonEnglishScottish283,800
73BrooksEnglish283,800
74KellyIrish281,100
75SandersEnglishScottishGerman275,600
76PriceWelsh272,800
77BennettEnglish272,800
78WoodEnglishScottish270,100
79BarnesEnglishScottish267,300
80RossEnglishScottish264,500
81 HendersonEnglishScottish261,800
82ColemanEnglishScottish261,800
83JenkinsEnglish, Welsh261,800
84PerryEnglishFrench259,000
85PowellWelsh256,300
86LongEnglish253,500
87PattersonEnglishScottish253,500
88HughesEnglish253,500
89FloresSpanish253,500
90WashingtonEnglish253,500
91ButlerEnglishIrish250,800
92SimmonsEnglish, GermanFrench250,800
93FosterEnglishFrench250,800
94GonzalesSpanish239,700
95BryantEnglishScottish239,700
96AlexanderGreek, EnglishScottish234,200
97RussellEnglishScottishIrish234,200
98GriffinWelsh231,500
99DiazSpanish, Portuguese231,500
100HayesEnglishScottish228,700


 

 

Since personal census data less than 72 years old is protected by confidentiality, names are not even entered into the databases that the U.S. Census Bureau uses 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 over sampled 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 of a large percentage of family members with a less-common surname 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 information!

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