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Most Common Last Name in Every State

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 12/11/2018 Steven Peters

a group of people walking on a city street © KIVILCIM PINAR / Getty Images Last names, also called surnames, can be traced to the early years of the Middle Ages, when most people in Europe were farmers and lived in small villages. Back then, everyone knew each other, and last names were unnecessary. That changed as the population began to grow.

People who had the same first name needed to be distinguished from one another. Many sources were used as inspiration to a person’s second name, but they generally fell into four basic categories: patronymic (the father’s name), locative (where the person lived), occupational or social status, and nicknames, which were usually adjectives.

So they started referring to people of the same name as long, short, white, black, and red, which later came to be the last name Reed. The surname Palmer, for example, was used to refer to people who came back from a trip to the Holy Land because they often brought a palm as a souvenir.

The most common names in the United States have English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh roots because settlers from these countries were the first Europeans to make North America their home.

Smith, which has an English origin and is derived from one’s job as a metal worker, is by far the most common surname in the country. It is in the top three in nearly all states. The second most common is Johnson, which literally means the son of John. The third most common surname is Williams, which has English and Welsh origins and is patronymic from William.

The 50 most common names in general in the United States all grew in numbers between 2000 and 2010, except one -- Hall saw a 16% decrease. The surnames with the largest increase in volume -- between 26% and 32% -- have a Spanish origin and include Hernandez, Ramirez, and Rodriguez, and one can be traced back to a Vietnamese royal dynasty, Nguyen.

To identify the most popular last names in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2010 Census data to find the surnames that occurred at least 100 times nationally. We then ran the top 10 last names against the White Pages in order to identify where they appear most frequently by state.

Click here to read about the most common last name in every state.

a dog sitting on a bench next to a body of water © Jeffrey Schreier / Getty Images

1. Alabama
> Most common: Smith (126,000)
> 2nd most common: Williams (92,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (87,000)

a group of people walking across a bridge over a body of water © Joesboy / Getty Images

2. Alaska
> Most common: Johnson (9,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (8,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (5,000)

a person sitting on a bench in front of a mountain © Joyce_Evelyn / Getty Images

3. Arizona
> Most common: Smith (72,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (67,000)
> 3rd most common: Garcia (55,000)

a view of a city © ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

4. Arkansas
> Most common: Smith (66,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (44,800)
> 3rd most common: Williams (44,770)

a view of a city at night © the_tahoe_guy / Wikimedia Commons

5. California
> Most common: Garcia (415,000)
> 2nd most common: Martinez (314,000)
> 3rd most common: Rodriguez (305,000)

a group of people walking in front of a building © bauhaus1000 / Getty Images

6. Colorado
> Most common: Smith (66,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (61,353)
> 3rd most common: Martinez (49,983)

a tall clock tower towering over a city street © John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

7. Connecticut
> Most common: Smith (33,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (25,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (24,000)

a boat is docked next to a body of water © mdgmorris / Getty Images

8. Delaware
> Most common: Smith (15,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (13,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (12,000)

a group of people swimming in the water with a city in the background © James Willamor / Wikimedia Commons

9. Florida
> Most common: Smith (277,000)
> 2nd most common: Williams (212,000)
> 3rd most common: Rodriguez (209,000)

a group of people walking on a city street © Daniel Mayer / Wikimedia Commons

10. Georgia
> Most common: Smith (208,000)
> 2nd most common: Williams (169,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (154,000)

a large body of water © 7Michael / Getty Images

11. Hawaii
> Most common: Smith (7,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (6,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (5,000)

a view of a city building with a mountain in the background © Mike Worley / Getty Images

12. Idaho
> Most common: Johnson (25,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (223,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (13,000)

a large body of water with a city in the background © flickr user mindfrieze / Wikimedia Commons

13. Illinois
> Most common: Johnson (152,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (148,000)
> 3rd most common: Williams (110,000)

a tall building in a city © User:Vmenkov / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana
> Most common: Smith (111,000)
> 2nd most common: Jones (96,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (76,000)

a train sitting on top of a lush green field © Brian W. Schaller / Wikimedia Commons

15. Iowa
> Most common: Johnson (48,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (39,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (34,000)

a large clock tower towering over a city street © America's Power / Wikimedia Commons

16. Kansas
> Most common: Smith (41,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (32,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (25,000)

a view of a city at night © Jesse Frost / Wikimedia Commons

17. Kentucky
> Most common: Smith (87,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (58,000)
> 3rd most common: Jones (51,000)

a man riding a horse drawn carriage on a city street © Sami99tr / Wikimedia Commons

18. Louisiana
> Most common: Williams (89,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (83,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (82,000)

a group of people walking on a city street © Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Maine
> Most common: Smith (20,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (14,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (10,000)

a large ship in a body of water © texpan / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Most common: Smith (95,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (85,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (75,000)

Ashton Villa street in front of a building © Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

21. Massachusetts
> Most common: Smith (57,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (41,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (40,000)

a large building in the middle of a city street © Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons

22. Michigan
> Most common: Smith (154,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (124,000)
> 3rd most common: Williams (94,000)

a group of people standing in front of a building © Jeremy Noble from St. Paul, United States / Wikimedia Commons

23. Minnesota
> Most common: Johnson (130,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (42,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (41,000)

a large white building with a clock tower © CHUCK KELLY / Wikimedia Commons

24. Mississippi
> Most common: Smith (77,000)
> 2nd most common: Williams (56,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (53,000)

Gateway Arch over a body of water with a city in the background © EvanTravels / Getty Images

25. Missouri
> Most common: Smith (99,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (77,000)
> 3rd most common: Williams (68,000)

a street with cars parked on the side of a building © Lorraine Boogich / Getty Images

26. Montana
> Most common: Johnson (14,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (13,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (9,000)

a river running through a city © Willjay / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska
> Most common: Johnson (30,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (20,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (16,000)

a group of people walking down a street © B&M Noskowski / Getty Images

28. Nevada
> Most common: Smith (35,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (32,000)
> 3rd most common: Garcia (25,000)

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background © DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire
> Most common: Smith (16,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (11,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (9,000)

a group of people standing outside of a building © Dough4872 / Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey
> Most common: Smith (75,000)
> 2nd most common: Rodriguez (58,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (58,000)

a stack of flyers on a city street © M.Bucka / Wikimedia Commons

31. New Mexico
> Most common: Martinez (41,000)
> 2nd most common: Garcia (38,000)
> 3rd most common: Smith (19,000)

a large city landscape © Ivan2010 / Wikimedia Commons

32. New York
> Most common: Smith (171,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (132,000)
> 3rd most common: Rodriguez (121,000)

a view of a city at night © SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

33. North Carolina
> Most common: Smith (197,000)
> 2nd most common: Williams (142,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (136,000)

a sign on the side of a stone wall © fdastudillo / Getty Images

34. North Dakota
> Most common: Johnson (15,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (6,500)
> 3rd most common: Smith (5,000)

a close up of a busy city street © Chris Gent / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio
> Most common: Smith (199,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (146,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (124,000)

a body of water with a city in the background © Sean Pavone / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma
> Most common: Smith (69,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (48,000)
> 3rd most common: Jones (42,000)

a train crossing a bridge over a body of water © Fcb981. Eric Baetscher / Wikimedia Commons

37. Oregon
> Most common: Smith (53,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (50,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (33,000)

a car parked on a city street © benedek / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania
> Most common: Smith (170,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (138,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (104,000)

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background © sgoodwin4813 / Getty Images

39. Rhode Island
> Most common: Smith (10,000)
> 2nd most common: Rodriguez (8,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (8,000)

a city street lined with palm trees © SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

40. South Carolina
> Most common: Smith (100,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (77,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (75,000)

a city street in front of a building © Jon Platek / Wikimedia Commons

41. South Dakota
> Most common: Johnson (17,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (7,000)
> 3rd most common: Smith (6,000)

a close up of a busy city street © Sami99tr / Wikimedia Commons

42. Tennessee
> Most common: Smith (140,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (100,000)
> 3rd most common: Jones (99,000)

a large body of water with a city in the background © Stuart Seeger / Wikimedia Commons

43. Texas
> Most common: Garcia (503,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (331,000)
> 3rd most common: Rodriguez (329,000)

a view of a city with a mountain in the background © legacyimagesphotography / Getty Images

44. Utah
> Most common: Johnson (58,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (40,000)
> 3rd most common: Jones (23,000)

a castle with a clock on the side of a road © John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

45. Vermont
> Most common: Smith (7,000)
> 2nd most common: Brown (5,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (4,400)

a view of a city street © BrianPIrwin / Getty Images

46. Virginia
> Most common: Smith (129,000)
> 2nd most common: Johnson (104,000)
> 3rd most common: Jones (100,000)

a view of a city © Craig Nagy from Vancouver, Canada / Wikimedia Commons

47. Washington
> Most common: Johnson (96,500)
> 2nd most common: Smith (88,000)
> 3rd most common: Brown (53,000)

a large brick building with a mountain in the background © Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

48. West Virginia
> Most common: Smith (34,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (20,000)
> 3rd most common: Johnson (16,000)

a small town street © James Steakley / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin
> Most common: Johnson (90,000)
> 2nd most common: Miller (56,000)
> 3rd most common: Smith (52,000)

a horse with a mountain in the background © Larry Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

50. Wyoming
> Most common: Johnson (8,000)
> 2nd most common: Smith (7,000)
> 3rd most common: Miller (5,000)

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