The Most Popular Family Names: A Ranking of Familiar Surnames

Choose the family names you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 4, 2024 05:16
Welcome to StrawPoll, where opinions matter and voices are heard! We've gathered thousands of participants to create the ultimate ranking of "What are the most popular family names?" in our ever-expanding global community. Curious to see if your family name ranks among the greats? Excited to vote for your favorite or suggest an undiscovered gem? Dive into our interactive poll and join the conversation, as we unveil the fascinating stories behind these names, uncover hidden histories, and celebrate the rich tapestry of our shared heritage. Don't miss the chance to be a part of this amazing journey; cast your vote now and watch as your favorite family names climb the ranks!

What Are the Most Popular Family Names?

  1. 1
    59
    votes
    This is the most common surname in the United States and the United Kingdom, likely due to its history as an occupational name for a metalworker or blacksmith.
    Smith is a common family name originating from England and Scotland. It is derived from the occupational surname meaning 'blacksmith', referring to someone who works with metal. The name Smith is one of the most prevalent surnames in the English-speaking world.
    • Origin: England and Scotland
    • Meaning: 'Blacksmith' or 'metalworker'
    • Popularity: One of the most common surnames
    • Variations: Smyth, Smythe, Schmid, Schmidt, Schmitt, Ferro, etc.
    • Famous Individuals: Will Smith, Jimmy Smith, John Smith
  2. 2
    42
    votes
    This surname is also common in the United States and the United Kingdom, likely due to its history as a patronymic name meaning "son of John."
    Johnson is one of the most common family names, particularly in English-speaking countries. It has its roots in the given name "John", which originated from the Hebrew name "Yochanan" meaning 'God is gracious'. The surname Johnson signifies 'son of John' and has been passed down through generations over centuries.
    • Origin: Hebrew
    • Meaning: 'God is gracious'
    • Language: English
    • Popularity: Widely used and recognizable
    • Geographical Distribution: Predominantly in English-speaking countries
  3. 3
    27
    votes

    Lee

    This surname is common in many East Asian countries and likely originates from the Chinese character "Li," which means "plum."
    The Lee is a common family name originating from China and Korea. It is one of the most popular family names globally, known for its widespread adoption across many countries and cultures.
    • Origin: China and Korea
    • Popularity: One of the most common family names globally
    • Adoption: Widely adopted across many countries and cultures
    • Meaning: Varies depending on the characters used, but commonly associated with plum trees or beautiful
    • Pronunciation: Different variations based on country and language, but often pronounced as 'lee' or 'yi'
  4. 4
    17
    votes
    This surname is common in Spanish-speaking countries and is derived from the personal name "García," meaning "bear."
    Garcia is a common family name of Spanish origin. It is most prevalent in Spain and Latin American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. The surname derives from the personal name García, which originally meant 'brave warrior' or 'fearless leader' in Old Basque.
    • Origin: Spain
    • Popularity: Common
    • Meaning: 'Brave warrior' or 'fearless leader'
    • Distribution: Spain, Latin America
    • Variations: García, Garcy, Garza, Garcês, Garrido
  5. 5
    13
    votes
    Another common surname in Spanish-speaking countries, Rodriguez is derived from the personal name "Rodrigo," meaning "famous ruler."
    Rodriguez is a common family name of Spanish origin that is widely spread among Spanish-speaking communities around the world. It is primarily found in countries with a strong Spanish influence, such as Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. The name Rodriguez is derived from the Spanish variation of the Germanic name Roderic, which means 'famous ruler' or 'mighty king'. Due to the historical influence and migration patterns of Spanish-speaking populations, the surname Rodriguez acquired immense popularity and is often passed down through generations within families.
    • Origin: Spain
    • Meaning: 'Famous ruler' or 'mighty king'
    • Popularity: Widely spread among Spanish-speaking communities
    • Geographical Distribution: Primarily found in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia
    • Language: Spanish
  6. 6
    9
    votes
    This surname is also common in Spanish-speaking countries and is derived from the personal name "Martín," meaning "warrior."
    Martinez is a common family name of Spanish origin that is prevalent in many Spanish-speaking countries, as well as in communities around the world with Spanish heritage. It is derived from the given name Martin, which means 'warrior' or 'warlike' in Latin. The name Martinez signifies a proud and noble lineage, often associated with strength and courage.
    • Origin: Spanish
    • Meaning: 'Warrior' or 'warlike'
    • Popularity: Widely used family name
    • Geographical Distribution: Spanish-speaking countries and communities
    • Alternate Spellings: Martínez, Martin, Martí
  7. 7
    14
    votes
    Another common surname in Spanish-speaking countries, Hernandez is derived from the personal name "Fernando," meaning "adventurous."
    Hernandez is a common family name that originated from Spain and is prevalent in Spanish-speaking countries. It is derived from the given name Hernando, meaning 'bold voyager' or 'ardent explorer'. The name Hernandez signifies bravery, ambition, and a spirit of adventure.
    • Origin: Spain
    • Meaning: Bold voyager or ardent explorer
    • Popularity: Common in Spanish-speaking countries
    • Language: Spanish
    • Etymology: Derived from the given name Hernando
  8. 8
    12
    votes
    This surname is common in the United States and the United Kingdom, likely due to its history as a patronymic name meaning "son of William."
    The Wilson is a common family name of English origin that is widely spread across the United Kingdom, United States, and other English-speaking countries. It is derived from the medieval given name Will, a diminutive of William.
    • Origin: English
    • Popularity: Common
    • Countries: United Kingdom, United States, English-speaking countries
    • Derived from: Medieval given name Will
    • Meaning: Son of Will or Will's son
  9. 9
    7
    votes
    This surname is common in the United States and the United Kingdom, likely due to its history as an occupational name for someone who worked with brown dye.
    Brown is a warm and versatile epoxy floor color that adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. It is known for its natural and classic appeal, mimicking the warm tones of wood or earth. The brown epoxy floor is a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications, as it complements a wide range of interior styles.
    • Color Family: Brown
    • Finish: Glossy or matte
    • Application: Indoor and Outdoor
    • Durability: High
    • Resistance: Chemicals, stains, impacts, and scratches
  10. 10
    6
    votes

    Kim

    This surname is common in South Korea and is derived from the Korean word for "gold."
    Kim is a common family name that originated in Korea. It is considered one of the most popular family names in Korea and is also found among Korean diaspora communities worldwide. The name 'Kim' holds significant cultural and historical importance in Korean society.
    • Origin: Korea
    • Popularity: One of the most popular family names in Korea
    • Distribution: Found among Korean diaspora communities worldwide
    • Cultural Significance: Holds significant cultural and historical importance in Korean society
    • History: Originated from ancient Korea

Missing your favorite family names?

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Ranking factors for popular family names

  1. Geographic distribution
    Consider the distribution of the family name across different regions or countries. A name might be very popular in one area but not in another, making it important to account for the distribution of the name in your ranking.
  2. Historical and cultural significance
    Some family names may have historical importance or cultural significance that adds to their popularity. For example, names of royal families or names with unique historical roots might be ranked higher due to their significance.
  3. Name origin and meaning
    Consider the origin and meaning of the family name. Some names might be more popular due to their appealing meaning or their connection to a certain culture or ethnicity.
  4. Celebrity or high-profile individuals
    The popularity of a family name may be influenced by the presence of famous or high-profile individuals with that name. Having prominent people with the same family name might increase the overall popularity of the name.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular family names. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Surname is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2106 views
  • 205 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Surname once every 24 hours. The rank of each Surname is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular family names

Family names or surnames have been used for centuries to identify and distinguish individuals from one another. In many cultures, family names are passed down from generation to generation, providing a sense of continuity and belonging within a family. Today, family names continue to be an important aspect of our identity, with many people taking pride in their family heritage and history. When it comes to the most popular family names, there are a few that consistently rank at the top of the list. These names often reflect the cultural and historical influences of a particular region or country, and can provide insight into the migration patterns and social structures of different populations. At StrawPoll, we've compiled data from thousands of polls and rankings to determine the most popular family names across the globe. From Smith and Johnson in the United States to Kim and Lee in South Korea, our list showcases the diversity and richness of family names around the world. Whether you're curious about the origins of your own family name or simply interested in learning more about the cultural significance of surnames, our list is a fascinating glimpse into this timeless aspect of human identity.

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