Common American Surnames

A list of the most common surnames in the United States

Year 2000 compared to Year 1790

From “Surnames and Her-Names

On the whole, in two centuries, the most common names in the United States have not changed all that much.  Smith is still the best name for signing into a hotel anonymously.  Johnson has moved up a notch to second.  And the top five at the turn of the 18th century are still in the top six.

Thirty-six of the original top fifty were still on the list more than two centuries later.  Of the Fourteen that fell from the list, nine (Stewart, Rogers, Reed, Cook, Bailey, Richardson, Bennett, Foster, and Russell) were still in the top 100 while just five (Cole, Stevens, Stone, Pierce, and Wheeler) fell further.  Notice the rise of eight Latino names into the top 50.

The biggest decline in popularity was the once popular Wheeler which fell from forty-fifth to 208th in ranking. Another notable decline can be seen with the name of Clark, once sixth most common, now merely twenty-first.  My guess is that the Wheelers and Clarks of the country either produced a lot of daughters or else chose prosperity over posterity and had few children.

But change did occur. Eight Latino names (isn’t it peculiar that Latino refers to Spanish-speaking people outside of Spain instead of Italians living in Rome?) were so common in the homelands that, with the continuous influx of immigrants, they became common in the U.S, too. As can be seen in the tables below, Latino names like Garcia, Rodriguez and Martinez have surpassed such starkly colonial names as Hall, Allen and Lewis in the census-kind of like the taco becoming more popular than the hot dog.  (For 2010 estimated ranking of surnames, see U.S. Census list.)


50 Most Common Surnames in the U.S.
by Rank in Year 2000

 2000 
 Rank 
 Surname   No. per 
 10,000 
 1790 
 Rank 
1Smith881
2Johnson693
3Williams577
4Brown522
5Jones514
6Miller428
7Davis405
8Garcia32-
9Rodriguez30-
10Wilson299
11Martinez28-
12Anderson28-
13Taylor2711
14Thomas2623
15Moore2614
16Hernandez26-
17Martin2522
18Jackson2542
19White2410
20Thompson2412
21Lopez23-
22Lee2249
23Harris2230
24Gonzalez22-
25Clark206
 2000 
 Rank 
 Surname   No. per 
 10,000 
 1790 
 Rank 
26Walker1931
27Robinson1937
28Lewis1921
29Hall1815
30Young1728
31Allen1713
32Wright1626
33Scott1644
34Sanchez16-
35Perez16-
36King1634
37Roberts1539
38Nelson15-
39Mitchell15-
40Hill1516
41Green1520
42Baker1519
43Adams1517
44Rameriz14-
45Campbell1443
46Phillips1335
47Evan13-
48Carter13-
49Turner1246
50Parker1225

50 Most Common Surnames in the U.S.
by Rank in Year 1790

 1790 
 Rank 
 Surname   No. per 
 10,000 
 2000 
 Rank 
1Smith881
2Brown524
3Johnson692
4Jones515
5Davis407
6Clark2025
7Williams573
8Miller426
9Wilson2910
10White2419
11Taylor2713
12Thompson2420
13Allen1731
14Moore2615
15Hall1829
16Hill1540
17Adams1543
19Baker1542
20Green1541
21Lewis1928
22Martin2517
23Thomas2614
25Parker1250
26Wright1632
28Young1730
 1790 
 Rank 
 Surname   No. per 
 10,000 
 2000 
 Rank 
30Harris2223
31Walker1926
34King1636
35Phillips1346
37Robinson1927
39Roberts1537
42Jackson2518
43Campbell1445
44Scott1633
46Turner1249
49Lee2222
-Garcia328
-Rodriguez309
-Martinez2811
-Anderson2812
-Hernandez2616
-Lopez2321
-Gonzalez2224
-Sanchez1634
-Perez1635
-Nelson1538
-Mitchell1539
-Rameriz1444
-Evan1347
-Carter1348