Which Last Name Has The Highest Population in The U.S?

Naming is the first attempt by man at communication. This means that names have been around since the beginning of, well everything. Here is a riddle about it: “What do you have that is yours, but everyone else uses it way more than you do and ever will?” The answer, of course, is your name. It is believed that the earliest history of names had to do with occupations, landmarks, and deities. Names were one of the earliest and most common forms of identification. It was like a unique id in a database, the only issue being that eventually, keeping records of people by name became a problem because names began to overlap.

When it comes to first names, they change every day. This is because about approximately three hundred and sixty-one thousand babies are born every day in the United States and about seven thousand four hundred people also die in the United States every day.

The same cannot be said about the last names. When looking at last names we take into consideration the last names of people born in the early nineteenth century to date, since no one born in the eighteenth century is still alive.

And it is not just the statistics of people born in the United States that has to be taken into consideration since there has been a very high flux of immigrants over the years. With all this in mind, the most commonly used Last name in the United States is Smith. About 2.5 million Americans bear the surname Smith and 11 million bear the first name Michael. One would expect that since women outnumber men in the USA according to the U.S. Census Bureau, one hundred and sixty-one million to one hundred and fifty-six million, the most common first name should be female.

This is not the case because parents usually pay more attention to naming their female kids. Girls bear more unique names than guys.
And the most common name is not Michael Smith either, it is James Smith. Smith is the most common last name in the United States followed by Johnson with about a five hundred thousand difference. Then there are Williams and Brown. Garcia has also recently joined the top ten last names in the United States.

Native Americans originally had no surname and used only their first names. When last names were introduced, the Native Americans also had to adopt foreign last names. Today the most popular Native American surname is also Smith.

Although surnames were introduced in England as early as 1066, it was not common in the United States until the seventies when the bureaucracies mandated it. The rising population and information management systems made is necessary to have a last name. That was when people started adopting last names based on occupation, their nicknames, location, and clan. It was much later that people started passing down the last names.

Some people even took their father’s name. I.e. a son with a father called John had a surname Johnson which is John’s son, a blacksmith took a surname Smith and a cook adopted the surname Cook amongst other things.

The earliest people to settle in the USA apart from the native Indians that were born there were Europeans, people from Scotland and the Irish. This explains the high level of Irish, Scottish and English names in the United States today.


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SOURCES: U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION + USER SUBMISSIONS
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This site combines data and design in an artistic way to make it fun and interesting to learn about names. You can begin by using the search box to type in a first and last name. Available name combinations will be suggested below the search box - please select one of the suggestions and you will be taken to a page that displays data about that name. Some examples include John Doe and Mary Jane. As noted clearly at the top and bottom of these types of pages on the website, "THIS SITE IS PROVIDED FOR FUN AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL." Occasionally, however, if the community has provided or requested information about a celebrity/public figure, we may also provide "bio" pages that offer in-depth information about the individual. Some examples include John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Aretha Franklin. We hope that you enjoy using our website and find it fun and interesting!
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