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List of most popular family names

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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

Bulgaria

  • Ivanov
  • Petrov
  • Georgiev
  • Dimitrov

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.
  1. (王) Wang2 (#1)
  2. (陈) Chen2
  3. (李) Li3
  4. (张) Zhang1
  5. (刘) Liu2
  6. (杨) Yang2
  7. (黄) Huang2
  8. (吴) Wu2
  9. (林) Lin2
  10. (周) Zhou1
  11. (叶) Ye4
  12. (赵) Zhao4
  13. (吕) Lu3
  14. (徐) Xu2
  15. (孙) Sun1
  16. (朱) Zhu[?]1
  17. (高) Gao1
  18. (马) Ma3
  19. (梁) Liang2
  20. (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.

Estonia

  • Tamm
  • Mägi

France

  • Martin
  • Bernard
  • Dupont

Germany

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

Great Britain

  • Smith
  • Jones
  • Williams

India

  1. Patel

Ireland

top 20, see: [1] (http://www.cproots.com/surnameorigins/namesystems/namsysir6.htm)
  1. Murphy (#1)
  2. Kelly
  3. O'Sullivan
  4. Walsh
  5. Smith
  6. O'Brien
  7. Byrne
  8. Ryan
  9. O'Connor
  10. O'Neill
  11. O'Reilly
  12. Doyle
  13. McCarthy
  14. Gallagher
  15. O'Doherty
  16. Kennedy
  17. Lynch
  18. Murray
  19. Quinn
  20. Moore

Israel

  1. Cohen (כהן)
  2. Levi (לוי)

Japan

  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) Simizu

Korea Main article: Korean family name

  • Gim or Kim (; )
  • Yi or Lee or Rhee (이; 李)
  • Pak or Park (박; 朴)

The Netherlands

  • Jansen, Jansens, Janssen, Janssens
  • De Vries
  • Smit
  • De Boer

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 (http://www.ssb.no/emner/00/navn/etter100)

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

Russia

  • Tscherkasov
  • Ivanov
  • Vasiliev
  • Deternov

Sweden

official statistics (http://www.scb.se/statistik/be0101/be0101namntab15.asp)
  • Johansson (3.3%)
  • Andersson (3.2%)
  • Karlsson (2.5%)
  • Nilsson (2.2%)
  • Eriksson (1.7%)
  • Larsson (1.6%)
  • Olsson (1.4%)
  • Persson (1.4%)
  • Svensson (1.3%)
  • Gustafsson (0.90%)
  • Pettersson (0.83%)
  • Jonsson (0.72%)
  • Jansson (0.63%)
  • Hansson (0.54%)
  • Bengtsson (0.42%)
  • Jönsson (0.42%)
  • Petersson (0.37%)
  • Carlsson (0.34%)
  • Gustavsson (0.32%)
  • Magnusson (0.32%)
  • Lindberg (0.31%)
  • Olofsson (0.30%)

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 Great Britain 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). Noble persons in Sweden often, but not always, have surnames refering to their coat of arms or non-swedish names.

United States

see Census data (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.all.last)
(Numbers in parenthesis are percentage of population with that name.)
  1. Smith (1.006%, #1)
  2. Johnson (0.810%)
  3. Williams (0.699%)
  4. Jones (0.621%)
  5. Brown (0.621%)
  6. Davis (0.480%)
  7. Miller (0.424%)
  8. Wilson (0.339%)
  9. Moore (0.312%)
  10. Taylor (0.311%)
  11. Anderson (0.311%)
  12. Thomas (0.311%)
  13. Jackson (0.310%)
  14. White (0.279%)
  15. Harris (0.275%)
  16. Martin (0.273%)
  17. Thompson (0.269%)
  18. Garcia (0.254%)
  19. Martinez (0.234%)
  20. 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 Johanson which was frequently changed to Johnson, and the German Müller changed to Miller. This is why these names are much more common in the U.S. than in Great Britain.

Vietnam

  • Nguyen



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