It seems like we all know someone who is a Smith or Johnson, and that’s because those last names, along with Williams, Brown and Jones, are the most popular surnames in the United States, according to data from the US Census.
When you look at the popularity of last names on a state-by-state basis, those names still dominate, but what about the most distinctive family names beyond the top five?
Researcher Simon Davis decided to dig into this, and he came up with a map of the most distinctive last name by state.
To come up with this map, he calculated the difference between the state and national prevalence of each of the top 250 last names nationwide, based on Social Security Administration data, according to Mental Floss. The highest value reveals the last name that is most popular in that state.
The regional differences are quite interesting, as they reflect the demographics and immigration history of each state. For example, in the Southwest, Latino names are common, whereas in the Midwest, German and Scandinavian names are more popular.
To read more information about how this map was created check out this post on SimonKnowz. Do you know a lot of people with the most popular last name in your state?