Special Report

Most Common Last Names in the US

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“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Juliet asked that rhetorical question more than 500 years ago. This question still rings true today in 21st century America. Names tell a story – they can help shed light on heritage as well as on America’s population makeup.

For centuries, people have come to the U.S. to escape war, oppression, and poverty, or to pursue employment opportunities and success. Most Americans can trace their roots to immigrant ancestors. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Census data to find the 50 most common last names in the U.S.

Today, the vast majority of the most common surnames in the U.S. can be traced back to England and other European origins. Among the top 50 most common surnames, 12 have Spanish, Cuban, or Mexican heritage.

The rise in Spanish surnames makes some people uncomfortable, a fact President Donald Trump tapped into in his presidential campaign. For a country built on immigration, fear of immigrants has somehow been a recurring theme.

All 12 Spanish-origin names found on this list have dramatically increased since they were last counted in 2000 — a stark contrast to English names that are mostly growing at a slower pace.

Do you think your last name made the list?

Click here to see the most common last names in the U.S.

To determine the most common surnames in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed past and present census counts to understand population diversity in America. The origin of each family name was obtained from open data on Ancestry.com. Photos of celebrities, well-known historical figures, areas of a name’s heritage, or imagery reflecting origin were used to represent each name.

50. Roberts
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 127.7
> Total occurrences: 376,774
> Growth since 2000: 2.8%
> Heritage: England

 

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49. Carter
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 127.8
> Total occurrences: 376,966
> Growth since 2000: 3.8%
> Heritage: England

48. Mitchell
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 130.3
> Total occurrences: 384,486
> Growth since 2000: 4.4%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

47. Campbell
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 130.9
> Total occurrences: 386,157
> Growth since 2000: 3.7%
> Heritage: Ireland, Scotland, England

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46. Rivera
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 132.6
> Total occurrences: 391,114
> Growth since 2000: 23.4%
> Heritage: Spain

45. Hall
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 138.0
> Total occurrences: 407,076
> Growth since 2000: -16.3%
> Heritage: England

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44. Baker
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 142.2
> Total occurrences: 419,586
> Growth since 2000: 1.5%
> Heritage: England

43. Nelson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 144.1
> Total occurrences: 424,958
> Growth since 2000: 3.0%
> Heritage: Sweden

42. Adams
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 145.1
> Total occurrences: 427,865
> Growth since 2000: 3.5%
> Heritage: England

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41. Green
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 145.8
> Total occurrences: 430,182
> Growth since 2000: 3.9%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

40. Flores
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 147.1
> Total occurrences: 433,969
> Growth since 2000: 28.0%
> Heritage: Spain, France, Mexico

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39. Hill
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 147.4
> Total occurrences: 434,827
> Growth since 2000: 5.3%
> Heritage: England

38. Nguyen
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 148.4
> Total occurrences: 437,645
> Growth since 2000: 29.1%
> Heritage: Vietnam

37. Torres
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 148.4
> Total occurrences: 437,813
> Growth since 2000: 25.7%
> Heritage: Spain

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36. Scott
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 149.0
> Total occurrences: 439,530
> Growth since 2000: 4.4%
> Heritage: England, Ireland, Scotland

35. Wright
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 155.6
> Total occurrences: 458,980
> Growth since 2000: 4.1%
> Heritage: England

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34. King
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 157.8
> Total occurrences: 465,422
> Growth since 2000: 5.7%
> Heritage: Ireland, England

33. Allen
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 163.6
> Total occurrences: 482,607
> Growth since 2000: 4.0%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

32. Young
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 164.2
> Total occurrences: 484,447
> Growth since 2000: 3.8%
> Heritage: England, Scotland, Ireland

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31. Walker
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 177.3
> Total occurrences: 523,129
> Growth since 2000: 4.2%
> Heritage: England, Ireland, Scotland

30. Robinson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 179.6
> Total occurrences: 529,821
> Growth since 2000: 5.1%
> Heritage: England

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29. Lewis
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 180.3
> Total occurrences: 531,781
> Growth since 2000: 4.1%
> Heritage: England

28. Ramirez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 189.0
> Total occurrences: 557,423
> Growth since 2000: 30.2%
> Heritage: Spain, Cuba

27. Clark
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 190.8
> Total occurrences: 562,679
> Growth since 2000: 2.5%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

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26. Sanchez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 207.7
> Total occurrences: 612,752
> Growth since 2000: 28.0%
> Heritage: Spain

25. Harris
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 211.6
> Total occurrences: 624,252
> Growth since 2000: 4.9%
> Heritage: England

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24. White
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 223.9
> Total occurrences: 660,491
> Growth since 2000: 3.2%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

23. Thompson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 225.3
> Total occurrences: 664,644
> Growth since 2000: 3.1%
> Heritage: England, Ireland, Scotland

22. Perez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 231.1
> Total occurrences: 681,645
> Growth since 2000: 28.3%
> Heritage: Spain

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21. Lee
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 234.9
> Total occurrences: 693,023
> Growth since 2000: 12.6%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

20. Martin
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 238.2
> Total occurrences: 702,625
> Growth since 2000: 4.3%
> Heritage: Ireland, England

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19. Jackson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 240.1
> Total occurrences: 708,099
> Growth since 2000: 5.9%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

18. Moore
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 245.6
> Total occurrences: 724,374
> Growth since 2000: 3.5%
> Heritage: Ireland, England

17. Taylor
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 254.7
> Total occurrences: 751,209
> Growth since 2000: 4.1%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

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16. Thomas
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 256.3
> Total occurrences: 756,142
> Growth since 2000: 6.0%
> Heritage: England

15. Anderson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 265.9
> Total occurrences: 784,404
> Growth since 2000: 2.8%
> Heritage: Sweden

 

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14. Wilson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 271.8
> Total occurrences: 801,882
> Growth since 2000: 2.3%
> Heritage: England, Ireland, Scotland

13. Gonzalez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 285.1
> Total occurrences: 841,025
> Growth since 2000: 28.9%
> Heritage: Spain

12. Lopez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 296.5
> Total occurrences: 874,523
> Growth since 2000: 28.9%
> Heritage: Spain

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11. Hernandez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 353.7
> Total occurrences: 1,043,281
> Growth since 2000: 32.3%
> Heritage: Spain

10. Martinez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 359.4
> Total occurrences: 1,060,159
> Growth since 2000: 26.9%
> Heritage: Spain

 

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9. Rodriguez
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 371.2
> Total occurrences: 1,094,924
> Growth since 2000: 26.5%
> Heritage: Spain

8. Davis
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 378.5
> Total occurrences: 1,116,357
> Growth since 2000: 3.9%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

7. Miller
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 393.7
> Total occurrences: 1,161,437
> Growth since 2000: 2.9%
> Heritage: Germany, England

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6. Garcia
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 395.3
> Total occurrences: 1,166,120
> Growth since 2000: 26.4%
> Heritage: Spain

5. Jones
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 483.2
> Total occurrences: 1,425,470
> Growth since 2000: 4.4%
> Heritage: England, Wales, Ireland

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4. Brown
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 487.2
> Total occurrences: 1,437,026
> Growth since 2000: 4.0%
> Heritage: England, Ireland

3. Williams
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 551.0
> Total occurrences: 1,625,252
> Growth since 2000: 5.6%
> Heritage: England, Wales

2. Johnson
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 655.2
> Total occurrences: 1,932,812
> Growth since 2000: 3.9%
> Heritage: Sweden, England

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1. Smith
> Occurrences per 100,000 people: 828.2
> Total occurrences: 2,442,977
> Growth since 2000: 2.7%
> Heritage: England

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