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List of most popular family names
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List of most popular family names

Family names can be unique or come in large numbers. In different countries some names are the most popular. Here is the listing (alphabetical by country names):

Table of contents
1 Argentina
2 Belgium
3 Brazil
4 Bulgaria
5 China
6 Czech Republic
7 Denmark
8 Estonia
9 Finland
10 France
11 Germany
12 Hungary
13 India
14 Ireland
15 Israel
16 Japan
17 Korea
18 The Netherlands
19 Norway
20 Nuevo León, (Mexico)
21 Poland
22 Quebec, Canada
23 Romania
24 Russia
25 Serbia and Montenegro
26 Spain
27 Sweden
28 United Kingdom
29 United States
30 Vietnam
31 See also

Argentina

Belgium

(on January 1, 2002)

  1. Peeters 33,273
  2. Janssens 31,529
  3. Maes 25,654
  4. Jacobs 20,229
  5. Mertens 18,927
  6. Willems 18,604
  7. Claes 16,822
  8. Goossens 16,202
  9. Wouters 15,950
  10. De Smet 14,491

These are all names of Flemish origin; the most popular French name is Dubois (about 11,000).

Brazil

Most of Brazilian surnames refer to poor colonists and convicts who were the first immigrants into the nation, in 16th century. Since many of them had no family name, they were called "da Costa" when living near the sea cost or "da Silva" (from the jungle) if lived inland. The surname "dos Santos" (from the saints) was given to orphan children. Other common people names include some from Iberian origin, such as Pires, Rodrigues, Lopes, Mendes, Fernandes - notice that they end with -es, not -ez as in Spanish. "New Christians" (converted Jews) adopted names after trees (Pereira, Oliveira) geographic (Ribeiro, Matos) or animals (Coelho, Peixe). The middle and upper classes generally have non-Portuguese names, especially Italian, German and Jewish, from more recent immigrations (this is reflected in several of Brazilian presidents).

Bulgaria

China

Main article: Chinese family name
(based on statistics published in 姓氏人名用字分析統計 Beijing, PRC, 1990)
Chinese family names come in large numbers. In the 1990 study, the top 200 family names accounted for over 96% of the random sample of 174,900 persons, over 500 other names accounted for the remainder. The sample was taken from 1982 census data.
(王) Wang2
  • (陈) Chen2
  • (李) Li3
  • (张) Zhang1
  • (刘) Liu2
  • (杨) Yang2
  • (黄) Huang2
  • (吴) Wu2
  • (林) Lin2
  • (周) Zhou1
  • (叶) Ye4
  • (赵) Zhao4
  • (吕) Lü3
  • (徐) Xu2
  • (孙) Sun1
  • (朱) Zhu1
  • (高) Gao1
  • (马) Ma3
  • (梁) Liang2
  • (郭) Guo1
  • In a different study (1987) which combined data from mainland China and Taiwan (sample size of 570,000 persons), the outcome was a bit different. The number one Chinese family name was (李) Li3 at 7.9% of the sample, followed by (王) Wang2 at 7.4% and (张) Zhang1 at 7.1%, the study showed that the top 19 names covered 55.6% and the top 100 names covered 87% of the sample. Chinese family names distributed differently according to regions. The north was dominated by (李) Li3, (王) Wang2, (张) Zhang1, and (刘) Liu2; the south was dominated by (陈) Chen2, (赵) Zhao4, (黄) Huang2, (林) Lin2, and (吴) Wu2. There were over 450 family names in Beijing, but there were less than 300 family names in Guangdong and Fujian. Apparently the distribution of the statistics was significantly affected by the bias from the Taiwanese data.

    Czech Republic

    1. Novák (70 504)
    2. Svoboda (52 088)
    3. Novotný (49 962)
    4. Dvořák (46 099)
    5. Černý (36 743)
    6. Procházka (33 274)
    7. Kučera (31 286)
    8. Veselý (26 481)
    9. Horák (25 174)
    10. Němec (22 795)
    11. Marek (22 548)
    12. Pokorný (22 203)
    13. Pospíšil (22 189)
    14. Hájek (21 276)
    15. Jelínek (20 733)
    16. Král (20 510)
    17. Růžička (19846)
    18. Beneš (19 600)
    19. Fiala (19 121)
    20. Sedláček (18 484)
    Feminized names included (m. Novák - f. Nováková).
    Source: Ministry of Interior (as of 2002).

    Denmark

    Most popular Danish family names (as of 2004) [1]

    1. Jensen 303089
    2. Nielsen 296850
    3. Hansen 248968
    4. Pedersen 186913
    5. Andersen 172894
    6. Christensen 133033
    7. Larsen 129662
    8. Sřrensen 124175
    9. Rasmussen 104130
    10. Jřrgensen 98354
    11. Petersen 92189
    12. Madsen 70176
    13. Kristensen 65074
    14. Olsen 54044
    15. Thomsen 40514
    16. Christiansen 40224
    17. Poulsen 34203
    18. Johansen 33120
    19. Knudsen 31977
    20. Mortensen 31252

    The most popular danish family names all end with "sen", meaning "son". That means, that for example "Jensen" is "Son of Jens", "Poulsen" is "Son of Poul". An example would be if Hans Petersens father was Peter Sřrensen, Hans' fathers name was Peter, and his grandfather Sřren. His son would then be Firstname Hansen. This method of naming children was widely used up to the middle of the 19th century. Sometimes it was also common to name girls f.ex. "Jensdatter" or "Poulsdatter", meaning daughter of Jens, or daughter of Poul. These names are seldonly seen in Denmark, but in Iceland, the "datter"-phrase, which in icelandic is "dottir", is stil widely known and used.

    Nowadays, the "sen" names have lost their meanings, as women use the names too. It is not common anymore, that Hans Petersens son would be Hansen, but more likely Petersen. Though, the "old" method is still used.

    Estonia

    Finland

    Source: Population Register Centre, 17 May 2004. (Percentages based on the population of Finland on 1 January 2004.)

    1. Virtanen - 24,298 (0.466%)
    2. Korhonen - 23,698 (0.454%)
    3. Nieminen - 21,906 (0.420%)
    4. Mäkinen - 21,773 (0.417%)
    5. Mäkelä - 19,716 (0.378%)
    6. Hämäläinen - 19,577 (0.375%)
    7. Laine - 18,952 (0.363%)
    8. Koskinen - 18,023 (0.345%)
    9. Heikkinen - 17,892 (0.343%)
    10. Järvinen - 17,442 (0.334%)

    France

    Source: [1]

    1. Martin
    2. Bernard
    3. Thomas
    4. Petit
    5. Durand
    6. Richard
    7. Moreau
    8. Dubois
    9. Robert
    10. Laurent
    11. Simon
    12. Michel
    13. Leroy
    14. Garcia
    15. Lefebvre
    16. Roux
    17. David
    18. Bertrand
    19. Fournier
    20. Girard
    21. Bonnet
    22. Morel
    23. Rousseau
    24. Lambert
    25. Blanc

    Germany

    data from 1995
    Müller (9,5%)
  • Schmidt (6,9%)
  • Schneider (4,0%)
  • Fischer (3,5%)
  • Meyer (3,3%)
  • Weber (3,0%)
  • Schulz (2,7%)
  • Wagner (2,7%)
  • Becker (2,7%)
  • Hoffmann (2,6%)
  • (Data according to Kunze (1999): dtv-Atlas Namenkunde. München: dtv, S. 198)

    Hungary

    official data of the Central Personal Data Processing Office at Hungary's Ministry of Interior in 1998 [1] via [1]

    Nagy (244663)
  • Kovács (228274)
  • Tóth (223291)
  • Szabó (217066)
  • Horváth (201524)
  • Kiss (139919)
  • Varga (137398)
  • Molnár (112878)
  • Németh (97715)
  • Farkas (83755)
  • Balogh (79653)
  • Papp (56235)
  • Takács (55180)
  • Juhász (54267)
  • Mészáros (42738)
  • Lakatos (41005)
  • Simon (39881)
  • Oláh (37147)
  • Fekete (34755)
  • Rácz (34518)
  • Szilágyi (32628)
  • Török (27888)
  • Fehér (27262)
  • Gál (26557)
  • Balázs (26158)
  • In Hungary, the family name is usually given first.

    India

    Main article: Indian family name

    1. Singh
    2. Kumar
    3. Sharma or Sarma
    4. Patel
    5. Shah
    6. Lal
    7. Gupta
    8. Bhat
    9. Rao
    10. Reddy
    11. Jain
    12. Sastri or Shastri
    13. Iyer
    14. Iyengar
    15. Yadhav
    16. Choudary or Chowdary
    17. Gowda or Gouda

    Ireland

    top 20, see: [1]
    Murphy (#1)
  • Kelly
  • O'Sullivan
  • Walsh
  • Smith
  • O'Brien
  • Byrne
  • Ryan
  • O'Connor
  • O'Neill
  • O'Reilly
  • Doyle
  • McCarthy
  • Gallagher
  • O'Doherty
  • Kennedy
  • Lynch
  • Murray
  • Quinn
  • Moore

  • Places starting with O' were to start with patronymic.

    Israel

    1. Cohen (כהן)
    2. Levi (לוי)

    The name Cohen belongs to the members of the ancient family of priests (Kohanim, descendants of Aaron). The name Levi belongs to the members of the family of Levites, descendants of Levi.

    Japan

    Main article: Japanese family name

    1. (佐藤) Sato
    2. (鈴木) Suzuki
    3. (高橋) Takahashi
    4. (田中) Tanaka
    5. (渡辺) Watanabe
    6. (伊藤) Ito
    7. (山本) Yamamoto
    8. (中村) Nakamura
    9. (小林) Kobayashi
    10. (斎藤) Saito
    11. (加藤) Kato
    12. (吉田) Yoshida
    13. (山田) Yamada
    14. (佐々木) Sasaki
    15. (山口) Yamaguchi
    16. (松本) Matsumoto
    17. (井上) Inoue
    18. (木村) Kimura
    19. (林) Hayashi
    20. (清水) Shimizu

    Korea

    Main article: Korean name#Family names

    1. 김 (Kim, Gim)
    2. 이 (Lee, Yi, I)
    3. 박 (Park, Pak, Bak)
    4. 최 (Choi, Choe)
    5. 정 (Jung, Chung, Jeong)
    6. 강 (Gang, Kang)
    7. 조 (Cho, Jo)
    8. 윤 (Yoon, Yun)
    9. 장 (Jang, Chang)
    10. 임 (Lim, Im)
    11. 한 (Han)
    12. 신 (Shin, Sin)
    13. 서 (Suh, Seo)
    14. 권 (Kwon, Gwon)
    15. 손 (Son)
    16. 황 (Whang, Hwang)
    17. 송 (Song)
    18. 안 (Ahn, An)
    19. 유 (Yoo, Yu)
    20. 홍 (Hong)

    Korean surnames have a variety of ways of being romanized.

    The Netherlands

    from the 1947 census

    De Jong 55,256
  • De Vries 49,298
  • Jansen 49,213
  • Van den Berg 37,678 (including Van der Berg and Van de Berg)
  • Bakker 37,483
  • Van Dijk 36,578
  • Visser 34,721
  • Janssen 32,824
  • Smit 29,783
  • Meijer, Meyer 28,256

  • Source: Meertens Instituut

    Norway

    1. Hansen (1.31%)
    2. Olsen (1.21%)
    3. Johansen (1.21%)
    4. Larsen (0.90%)
    5. Andersen (0.88%)
    6. Nilsen (0.83%)
    7. Pedersen (0.82%)
    8. Kristiansen (0.55%)
    9. Jensen (0.54%)
    10. Karlsen (0.50%)
    11. Johnsen (0.48%)
    12. Pettersen (0.47%)
    13. Eriksen (0.44%)
    14. Berg (0.41%)
    15. Haugen (0.32%)
    16. Hagen (0.32%)
    17. Johannessen (0.31%)
    18. Andreassen (0.28%)
    19. Jacobsen (0.27%)
    20. Halvorsen (0.27%)
    Names ending in sen are originally patronymic.
    Source: Statistics Norway

    Nuevo León, (Mexico)

    1. Martínez (8.50%)
    2. Rodríguez (8.14%)
    3. García (7.14%)
    4. González (7.09%)
    5. Hernández (7.06%)

    Source: GARCÍA, Miriam Para regios...los Martínez Periódico El Norte 18 de marzo de 2003.

    Poland

    1. Nowak (203 506)
    2. Kowalski (139 719)
    3. Wiśniewski (109 855)
    4. Wójcik (99 509)
    5. Kowalczyk (97 796)
    6. Kamiński (94 499)
    7. Lewandowski (92 449)
    8. Zieliński (91 043)
    9. Szymański (89 091)
    10. Woźniak (88 039)
    11. Dąbrowski (86 132)
    12. Kozłowski (75 962)
    13. Jankowski (68 514)
    14. Mazur (66 773)
    15. Wojciechowski (66 361)
    16. Kwiatkowski (66 017)
    17. Krawczyk (64 048)
    18. Kaczmarek (61 816)
    19. Piotrowski (61 380)
    20. Grabowski (58 393)
    Source: Zawadzki J.M, 2002, 1000 Najpopularniejszych nazwisk w Polsce [1000 of the most popular names in Poland], Warsaw: Świat Książki

    Quebec, Canada

    The 50 most popular surnames in Quebec
    1. Tremblay (1.13%)
    2. Gagnon (0.82%)
    3. Roy (0.77%)
    4. Côté (0.74%)
    5. Bouchard (0.56%)
    6. Gauthier (0.55%)
    7. Morin (0.51%)
    8. Lavoie (0.49%)
    9. Fortin (0.47%)
    10. Gagné (0.47%)
    11. Pelletier (0.45%)
    12. Bélanger (0.44%)
    13. Bergeron (0.41%)
    14. Lévesque (0.41%)
    15. Simard (0.38%)
    16. Girard (0.37%)
    17. Leblanc (0.37%)
    18. Boucher (0.35%)
    19. Ouellet (0.34%)
    20. Caron (0.32%)
    21. Beaulieu (0.31%)
    22. Poirier (0.31%)
    23. Dubé (0.31%)
    24. Cloutier (0.31%)
    25. Fournier (0.30%)
    26. Lapointe (0.30%)
    27. Lefebvre (0.29%)
    28. Poulin (0.28%)
    29. Nadeau (0.28%)
    30. Martin (0.27%)
    31. St-Pierre (0.27%)
    32. Martel (0.26%)
    33. Grenier (0.26%)
    34. Landry (0.26%)
    35. Lessard (0.26%)
    36. Leclerc (0.25%)
    37. Bédard (0.25%)
    38. Bernier (0.24%)
    39. Couture (0.24%)
    40. Richard (0.23%)
    41. Michaud (0.23%)
    42. Desjardins (0.23%)
    43. Hébert (0.22%)
    44. Blais (0.22%)
    45. Turcotte (0.22%)
    46. Savard (0.22%)
    47. Lachance (0.22%)
    48. Parent (0.22%)
    49. Demers (0.21%)
    50. Gosselin (0.21%)
    Percentage of total population: 17.82%

    Sources: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Quelques Statistiques sur les Noms de Famille and Les 6 000 premiers noms de famille par ordre alphabétique, Québec

    Romania

    1. Popescu
    2. Popa
    3. Radu
    4. Ionescu
    5. Şerban
    6. Matei
    7. Stoica
    8. Gheorghe
    9. Constantin
    10. Stan
    11. Dumitrescu
    12. Mihai
    13. Ioniţă
    14. Dumitru
    15. Dinu
    16. Tudor
    17. Dobre
    18. Barbu
    19. Ştefan
    20. Florea
    21. Ene
    22. Vasile
    23. Marin
    24. Ghiţă
    25. Georgescu

    Russia

    Source 1000 sirnames of Krasnoyarsk
    1. Иванов (Ivanov)
    2. Кузнецов (Kuznetsov)
    3. Попов (Popov)
    4. Петров (Petrov)
    5. Васильев (Vasiljev)
    6. Смирнов (Smirnov)
    7. Козлов (Kozlov)
    8. Михайлов (Mihajlov)
    9. Семенов (Semenov)
    10. Степанов (Stepanov)

    Serbia and Montenegro

    Spain

    Source: [1] - Data from December 1999.
    García - 1,378,000 people (3.48%)
  • Fernández - 851,000 (2.15%)
  • González - 839,000 (2.12%)
  • Rodríguez - 804,000 (2.03%)
  • López - 796,000 (2.01%)
  • Martínez - 788,000 (1.97%)
  • Sánchez - 725,000 (1.83%)
  • Pérez - 709,000 (1.79%)
  • Martín - 459,000 (1.16%)
  • Gómez - 440,000 (1.11%)
  • Ruiz - 321,000 (0.81%)
  • Hernández - 305,000 (0.77%)
  • Jiménez - 293,000 (0.74%)
  • Díez - 293,000 (0.74%)
  • Álvarez - 273,000 (0.69%)
  • Moreno - 261,000 (0.66%)
  • Muńoz - 241,000 (0.61%)
  • Alonso - 206,000 (0.52%)
  • Gutiérrez - 170,000 (0.43%)
  • Romero - 170,000 (0.43%)
  • Navarro - 158,400 (0.40%)
  • Torres - 134,600 (0.34%)
  • Domínguez - 134,600 (0.34%)
  • Gil - 134,600 (0.34%)
  • Vázquez - 130,000 (0.33%)
  • Serrano - 122,700 (0.31%)
  • Ramos - 118,000 (0.30%)
  • Blanco - 118,000 (0.30%)
  • Sanz - 106,900 (0.27%)
  • Castro - 102,900 (0.26%)
  • Suárez - 102,900 (0.26%)
  • Ortega - 99,000 (0.25%)
  • Rubio - 99,000 (0.25%)
  • Molina - 99,000 (0.25%)
  • Delgado - 95,000 (0.24%)
  • Ramírez - 95,000 (0.24%)
  • Morales - 95,000 (0.24%)
  • Ortiz - 87,120 (0.22%)
  • Marín - 83,160 (0.21%)
  • Iglesias - 83,160 (0.21%)

  • Family names ending in -ez are typically patronymic

    Sweden

    official statistics
    The most common names in Sweden are originally patronymic, which means that the son of e.g. Karl received the surname Karlsson (Karl's son). The daughter received the name Karlsdotter (Karl's daughter). Since the 19th century these names are inherited exactly as in e.g. USA or the United Kingdom and women also receive "son-names". Compare this with the "mac-names" in Scotland. Even though these "son-names" are the most common names in Sweden, a majority of the Swedes have other family names such as Lindberg (linden/lime mountain), Sjöman (Seaman) and Nyman (Newman), but because of the greater diversity of these names each specific name is less common than most "son-names". Noble persons in Sweden often, but not always, have surnames referring to their coat of arms or non-swedish names.

    United Kingdom

    The following list is for England, Wales, and the Isle of Man, and is based on a survey of the National Health Service Central Register[1]:

    1. Smith (1.15%)
    2. Jones (0.94%)
    3. Williams (0.66%)
    4. Taylor (0.53%)
    5. Brown (0.51%)
    6. Davies (0.48%)
    7. Evans (0.39%)
    8. Wilson (0.35%)
    9. Thomas (0.35%)
    10. Johnson (0.34%)
    11. Roberts (0.33%)
    12. Robinson (0.29%)
    13. Thompson (0.28%)
    14. Wright (0.28%)
    15. Walker (0.27%)
    16. White (0.27%)
    17. Edwards (0.27%)
    18. Hughes (0.26%)
    19. Green (0.25%)
    20. Hall (0.25%)

    United States

    see Census data
    (Numbers in parenthesis are percentage of population with that name.)
    Smith (1.006%)
  • Johnson (0.810%)
  • Williams (0.699%)
  • Jones (0.621%)
  • Brown (0.621%)
  • Davis (0.480%)
  • Miller (0.424%)
  • Wilson (0.339%)
  • Moore (0.312%)
  • Taylor (0.311%)
  • Anderson (0.311%)
  • Thomas (0.311%)
  • Jackson (0.310%)
  • White (0.279%)
  • Harris (0.275%)
  • Martin (0.273%)
  • Thompson (0.269%)
  • Garcia (0.254%)
  • Martinez (0.234%)
  • Robinson (0.233%)
  • The distribution of family names in the U.S. reflects the history of immigration into the country. Many immigrants from non English speaking countries adopted English family names. Good examples of this are the popular Swedish name Johansson which was frequently changed to Johnson, and the German Müller changed to Miller. Some very common Swedish names were so similar that only a minor change of spelling was necessary, such as Andersson and Jonsson. This is why these names are much more common in the U.S. than in the United Kingdom.

    Vietnam

    See also