List of most common surnames

List of most common surnames

Surnames are unique and there are thousands of them all over the world. In different countries, some names are more common than others. In the past, surnames were often given depending on one's occupation. For example, a blacksmith's surname would most likely be 'Smith,' and a baker's surname would probably be 'Baker'. This is a listing of the most common surnames (alphabetical by country names):



According to the survey conducted by Chinese Academy of Sciences released in January 2006, the top twenty surnames in China are listed as follows:

#(李) Li
#(王) Wáng
#(张) Zhāng
#(刘) Liú
#(陈) Chén
#(杨) Yáng
#(黄) Huáng
#(赵) Zhào
#(周) Zhōu
#(孙) Sūn
#(朱) Zhū
#(郭) Guō
#(林) Lín
#(高) Gāo
#(梁) Liáng


Based on the Japanese surname Dictionary (日本苗字大辞典) issued in July 1996, there are 291,129 different surnames in Japan.If surnames pronounced or romanized the same but written with different Chinese characters count as different surnames, there are believed to be approximately 300,000 surnames in Japan.The top 10 surnames cover approximately 10% of the population and the top ranked 7,000 surnames cover slightly more than approx. 96%.(Source: [ Top 7,000 Surnames of Japan] )

This ranking is based on the average number of the entries in all Japanese Yellow Pages for the past three years.

Source: " [ Conozca los nombres más curiosos del país] ," "Periódico Al Día".

Eurasia (transcontinental)


The 20 most common Russian surnames (from the European part of Russia, as calculated by Balanovska et al., 2006, [] ):

#Смирнов (Smirnov, 1.61%) - "quiet man's"
#Иванов (Ivanov, 1.30%) - "John's"
#Кузнецов (Kuznetsov, 0.90%) - "smith's"
#Попов (Popov, 0.79%) - "priest's"
#Соколов (Sokolov, 0.73%) - "falcon's"
#Лебедев (Lebedev, 0,65%) - "swan's"
#Козлов (Kozlov, 0,58%) - "he-goat's"
#Новиков (Novikov, 0,54%) - "novik's" (novik - a teenager on military service who comes from a noble, boyar, or cossack family in Russia of 16th-18th centuries).
#Морозов (Morozov, 0.53%) - "frost's"
#Петров (Petrov, 0.44%) - "Peter's"
#Волков (Volkov, 0.44%) - "wolf's"
#Соловьёв (Solovyov, 0.44%) - "nightingale's"
#Васильев (Vasilyev, 0.42%) - "Basil's"
#Зайцев (Zaytsev, 0.41%) - "hare's"
#Павлов (Pavlov, 0.39%) - "Paul's"
#Семёнов (Semyonov, 0,35%) - "Simeon's"
#Голубев (Golubev, 0,32%) - "pigeon's"
#Виноградов (Vinogradov, 0.32%) - "grape's"
#Богданов (Bogdanov, 0.31%) - "Bogdan's" (Bogdan - a Ukrainian given name)
#Воробьёв (Vorobyov, 0.30%) - "sparrow's"

Russian surnames may originally denote "son of" or "serf of". Women's surnames have an "-a" feminine ending. Thus, for example, "Ivanova" means "belonging to John" or "John's daughter".

The Russian equivalent of "Smith, Jones, and Brown" (that is, the generic most popular surnames) is Иванов, Петров, Сидоров, or "Johnson, Peterson, and Sidorson". The last of these, Sidorov - "of Sidor" is actually not a very common surname at all, while Sidor as a given name is virtually unknown. According to latest studies (2006), the most common Russian surnames are actually Smirnov, Ivanov and Kuznetsov.


#Yılmaz (means "dauntless")
#Kaya (means "rock")
#Demir (means "iron")
#Şahin (means "falcon")
#Çelik (means "steel")
# [name] oğlu (son of [name] )

Source: Turkish Directorate-General of Population and Citizenships: [,Ana_Sayfa_Isim_Istatistikleri_Sun.html] & []



The forty most common surnames in Austria as published in 2006 are shown below beside the approximate percentage of the Austrian population sharing each surname.cite web
title=Alles Gruber in Östereich und nicht Müller wie in Deutschland | author=Wiener Sprachblätter, 2006, issue 4, p. 4
accessdate=2007-10-20 | language=German

Source: Ministry of Interior (as of 2002).

Feminized names included (m. "Novák" - f. "Nováková").


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

#Jensen 303,089
#Nielsen 296,850
#Hansen 248,968
#Pedersen 186,913
#Andersen 172,894
#Christensen 133,033
#Larsen 129,662
#Sørensen 124,175
#Rasmussen 104,130
#Jørgensen 98,354
#Petersen 92,189
#Madsen 70,176
#Kristensen 65,074
#Olsen 54,044
#Thomsen 40,514
#Christiansen 40,224
#Poulsen 34,203
#Johansen 33,120
#Knudsen 31,977
#Mortensen 31,252

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: if Hans Petersen's father was Peter Sørensen, Hans' father's name was Peter, and his grandfather's Søren. His son would then be (first name) Hansen. This method of naming children was widely used up to the middle of the 19th century. Sometimes it was also common to give to girls names such as "Jensdatter" or "Poulsdatter", meaning daughter of Jens, or daughter of Poul. These names are now seldom seen in Denmark, but still widely known and used in Iceland (where the ending is -dóttir).

Nowadays, the "sen" names have lost their meanings, because women bear them too.


Many common Estonian surnames relate to nature and the natural environment:

# Tamm (5,180) - Oak/dam
# Saar (4,306) - Ash (tree)/island
# Mägi (3,565) - Mountain/hill
# Sepp (3,550) - Smith
# Kask - Birch
# Kukk - Rooster
# Rebane - Fox
# Ilves - Lynx
# Pärn - Linden
# Koppel - Paddock
# Luik - Swan
# Oja - Brook
# Kaasik - Birch grove
# Lepik - Alder grove
# Raudsepp - Blacksmith
# Kuusk - Spruce/fir
# Karu - Bear
# Kütt - Hunter
# Põder - Moose
# Vaher- Maple

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs Estonia, press release "Tamm, Saar, Mägi and Sepp are the most common family names in Estonia" 09.02.2005, [] February 1, 2005.


#Virtanen - 24,204 (0.461%)
#Korhonen - 23,721 (0.452%)
#Nieminen - 21,841 (0.416%)
#Mäkinen - 21,699 (0.414%)
#Mäkelä - 19,674 (0.375%)
#Hämäläinen - 19,518 (0.372%)
#Laine - 18,908 (0.360%)
#Koskinen - 18,058 (0.344%)
#Heikkinen - 17,939 (0.342%)
#Järvinen - 17,381 (0.331%)

Most of the names on this list are typical examples of surnames that were adopted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a time before which many Finns had no surname in today's sense. In the romantic spirit, they refer to natural features — "virta" "river", "koski" "rapids", "mäki" "hill" — often with the suffix "-nen" added after the model of older, mainly eastern Finnish surnames such as Korhonen and Heikkinen. "Hämäläinen" literally means an inhabitant of Häme. Heikki is a Finnish form of the man's name Henry.

Source: Population Register Centre, 20 June 2005. Percentages are based on the population of Finland on 21 June 2005.


#Martin - 235,846 (0.393%) - From Saint Martin, patron saint of France (from Martius, Latin for "warrior")
#Bernard - 105,132 (0.175%) - From Saint Bernard, from Germanic for "bold as a bear"
#Dubois - 95,998 (0.159%) - "From the wood"
#Thomas - 95,387 (0.158%) - From Saint Thomas (Jesus' Disciple), from Aramaic for "twin"
#Robert - 91,393 (0.152%) - From Germanic for "bright fame"
#Richard - 90,689 (0.151§) - "Rich/powerful"
#Petit - 88,318 (0.147%) - "Small" (size)
#Durand - 84,252 (0.140%) - From Durandus (Latin for "strong", "lasting")
#Leroy - 78,868 (0.131%) - "The King/The winner"
#Moreau - 78,177 (0.130) - Dark complexion (like Maures)
#Simon - 76,655 (0.127%) - From Saint Simon, from Hebrew for "God heard"
#Laurent - 75,307 (0.125%) - From Saint Laurent, from Latin "laurens", Laurel-crowned
#Lefebvre - 74,564 (0.124%) - "The smith"
#Michel - 74,318 (0.123%) - From Saint Michel, from Hebrew for "Who is like God"
#Garcia - 68,720 (0.114%) - Spanish surname
#David - 61,762 (0.103%) - From King David, from Hebrew for "Beloved"
#Bertrand - 59,817 (0.100%) From Germanic for "bright and vigorous"
#Roux - 59,440 (0.099%) - "Red-haired"
#Vincent - 57,351 (0.096%) - From Saint Vincent, from Latin "vicens", "winner"
#Fournier - 57,047 (0.095%) - "Baker"
#Morel - 56,760 (0.095%) - Dark complexion (like Maures)
#Girard - 55,642 (0.093%) - From Germanic for "bold as a spear"
#André - 55,228 (0.092%) - From Saint André, from Greek for "manly"
#Lefèvre - 53670 (0.089%) - "The smith"
#Mercier - 53622 (0.089%) - "Trader/Shopkeeper"

Source: [] (2004)


Source: "Census 2005: A focus on surnames in Malta", National Statistics Office Malta, [] November 27, 2005. Source of etymologies:] .

An older source gives a longer list of surnames. These are:

Female form is from male form + "ová" (Horváth → Horváthová).

Sources: P. Ďurčo, Database of surnames in the Slovak republic, Paris 1998. Wikipedia - Slovak version.


# Novak 11450
# Horvat 10258
# Krajnc 5839
# Kovačič 5699
# Zupančič 5187
# Kovač 4836
# Potočnik 4767
# Mlakar 4132
# Vidmar 4004
# Golob 3957

Source: []


#García - 1,378,000 people (3.48%) ("Of Pre-Roman origin, either Iberian or Basque. Garcia was a very common first name in early medieval Spain. It is a surname of patronymic origin, like most of the -ez ending Spanish surnames.")
#Fernández - 851,000 (2.15%) ("Son of Fernando, from Germanic Fredenand or Fridnand. Most of the common Spanish surnames originating from Germanic first names were introduced in Spain during centuries V-VII by the Visigoths, so almost all of them are from the Visigoth tradition")
#González - 839,000 (2.12%) ("Son of Gonzalo, from the Latinised form Gundisalvus, of Germanic origin")
#Rodríguez - 804,000 (2.03%) ("Son of Rodrigo, from Germanic Roderic")
#López - 796,000 (2.01%) ("Son of Lope, from Latin Lupus, meaning wolf")
#Martínez - 788,000 (1.97%) ("Son of Martin, also from Latin, derived from Martis, genitive form of Mars")
#Sánchez - 725,000 (1.83%) ("Son of Sancho, from Latin Sanctius")
#Pérez - 709,000 (1.79%) ("Son of Pedro, from Latin Petrus")
#Martín - 459,000 (1.16%) ("Martin")
#Gómez - 440,000 (1.11%) ("Son of Gome, Gomo or Gomaro, also of Germanic origin")
#Ruiz - 321,000 (0.81%) ("Son of Rui, variation or short for Rodrigo")
#Hernández - 305,000 (0.77%) ("Son of Hernando, variation of Fernando")
#Jiménez - 293,000 (0.74%) ("Son of Jimeno, from Xemeno or Ximeno, of Basque origin")
#Díaz - 293,000 (0.74%) ("Son of Diago or Diego, ultimately from Greek Didachos")
#Álvarez - 273,000 (0.69%) ("Son of Alvaro, from Alvar, also of Germanic origin")
#Moreno - 261,000 (0.66%) ("Brown-haired, tanned, brunet")
#Muñoz - 241,000 (0.61%) ("Son of Munio, of Pre-Roman origin")
#Alonso - 206,000 (0.52%) ("Son of Alonso, variation of Alfonso, from Germanic Adalfuns")
#Gutiérrez - 170,000 (0.43%) ("Son of Gutier or Gutierre, from Germanic Wutier")
#Romero - 170,000 (0.43%) ("walker, pilgrim")
#Navarro - 158,400 (0.40%) ("Navarrese, from Navarra; of Toponymic origin")
#Torres - 134,600 (0.34%) ("Towers; also toponymic")
#Domínguez - 134,600 (0.34%) ("Son of Domingo, from Latin Domenicus, ultimately from Dominus, meaning lord, master")
#Gil - 134,600 (0.34%) ("From older form Egidio; also patronymic")
#Vázquez - 130,000 (0.33%) ("Son of Vasco or Velasco, of Pre-Roman origin, either Iberian or Basque")
#Serrano - 122,700 (0.31%) ("Mountain Dweller")
#Ramos - 118,000 (0.30%) ("Branches; of patronymic origin, meaning 'born in or near the Christian festivity of Branch Sunday, or Palm Sunday"')
#Blanco - 118,000 (0.30%) ("White")
#Sanz - 106,900 (0.27%) ("Variation of Sanchez")
#Castro - 102,900 (0.26%) ("Hamlet, castro")
#Suárez - 102,900 (0.26%) ("Son of Suero or Suaro, of unknown origin")
#Ortega - 99,000 (0.25%) ("From Ortiga or Hortiga, a type of common plant from the nettle family; of toponymic origin; also pre-dates Roman influence, yet the name has derived from Ortún, ultimately from Latin Fortunius, meaning lucky or fortunate one, either Iberian or Basque")
#Rubio - 99,000 (0.25%) ("Blond, fair-haired; ultimately from Latin Rubeus, meaning ruddy, reddish")
#Molina - 99,000 (0.25%) ("Mill, place with mills; toponymic")
#Delgado - 95,000 (0.24%) ("Thin man")
#Ramírez - 95,000 (0.24%) ("Son of Ramiro, from Germanic Radamir or Radmir")
#Morales - 95,000 (0.24%) ("Place with abundant blackberry plants; of toponymic origin")
#Ortiz - 87,120 (0.22%) ("Son of Ortún; ultimately from Latin Fortunius, meaning fortunate one, similar to Ortega")
#Marín - 83,160 (0.21%) ("From Latin Marinus, meaning seaman, sailor")
#Iglesias - 83,160 (0.21%) ("Churches; toponymic origin")
#Calope-84,260 (1.21%) ("from latin meaning brave")Source: [] - Data from December 1999. ( [ 2004 data confirmation of top 25] )

Family names ending in "-ez" are typically patronymic

The top 10 surnames cover about 20% of population.


*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%)Source: [ 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 indifferent of the previous tradition and carried as family names. Even though these "son-names" are the most common names in Sweden, a majority of the Swedes have other family names consisting of two items from nature, for example Lindberg (linden/lime mountain), Bergkvist (mountain twig), Alström/Ahlström (alder stream). Other names like Sjöman (Seaman) and Nyman (Newman) contain professions and adjectives. Many families also have military-oriented names as Skarpsvärd (sharp sword) Sköld (shield) and Stolt (proud). Those names were originally appointed to soldiers from 16th century and onwards based on either character, merit or inheritance (a professional soldier had the right to change his name to that of his predecessor). Due to the greater diversity of these names each specific name is less common than most "son-names". Given the large quantity of citizens of foreign heritage it is a matter of time before their surnames will be present high up in the official statistics, especially when grouped together instead of listed as separate surnames because of slightly different spelling or omitted umlauts etc. Persons with ancestors of noble origin in Sweden often have surnames referring to their coat of arms and sometimes the names are also of non-Swedish origin.

The top 10 surnames cover about 20% of the population.

United Kingdom

England, Wales and Isle of Man

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. []

#Smith (1.15%)
#Jones (0.94%)
#Williams (0.66%)
#Taylor (0.53%)
#Brown (0.51%)
#Davies (0.48%)
#Evans (0.39%)
#Wilson (0.35%)
#Thomas (0.35%)
#Johnson (0.34%)
#Roberts (0.33%)
#Robinson (0.29%)
#Thompson (0.28%)
#Wright (0.28%)
#Walker (0.27%)
#White (0.27%)
#Edwards (0.27%)
#Hughes (0.26%)
#Green (0.25%)
#Hall (0.25%)
#Lewis (0.25%)
#Harris (0.25%)
#Dhesi (0.24%)
#Patel (0.24%)
#Jackson (0.24%)

Greater London

The following list is for Greater London. [ [ Most common surnames in Greater London, UK] ]



[ 100 most common surnames] from the General Register Office for Scotland (1999/2000/2001):

# Smith
# Brown
# Wilson
# Campbell
# Stewart
# Thomson
# Robertson
# Anderson
# Macdonald
# Scott
# Reid
# Murray
# Taylor
# Clark
# Ross
# Watson
# Morrison
# Paterson
# Young
# Mitchell
# Walker
# Fraser
# Miller
# McDonald
# Gray
# Henderson
# Hamilton
# Johnston
# Duncan
# Graham
# Ferguson
# Kerr
# Davidson
# Bell
# Cameron
# Kelly
# Martin
# Hunter
# Allan
# Mackenzie
# Grant
# Simpson
# Mackay
# McLean
# MacLeod
# Black
# Russell
# Marshall
# Wallace
# Gibson
# Slater

North America


In 2007, Canada was a country of about 33 million people, [ [ CIA - The World Factbook - Canada ] ] about one-fifth of whom lived in the province of Quebec.Cite web | url=
title= Population Estimates (April 2007) | author= Statistics Canada | authorlink= Statistics Canada
year= 2007| accessdate= 2007-07-22
] The twenty most common surnames across Canada listed below were compiled by InfoUSA and reported by the CBC.cite news
title = Common surnames | url =
work = | publisher = CBC News
date = 2007-07-26 | accessdate = 2008-01-27
quote = ...the source is a Nebraska-based company called infoUSA, which claims to have put together a directory of every telephone listing in Canada.
] It should be noted that this study is unscientific as it does not account for cell-phone users, people with unlisted numbers or multiple people sharing a single telephone line. Unlike many countries, the Canadian national government does not publish a common surnames listing based on the national census; however, Quebec's provincial government does make such information available.cite web |url= |title=Estimation de l'effectif des 1 000 premiers noms de famille par ordre alphabétique, Québec, 2005 |accessdate=2008-01-27 |date=2006-05-24 |publisher=Institut de la statistique Québec |language=French ]

outh America



Rio de Janeiro

#DiasSource: []


Refers to first surname only.



ee also

*List of most popular given names
*Family name affixes

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