Bonus List

GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATIONS OF LAST NAMES IN THE U.S.: PART II


This is the second list of last names that vary substantially in frequency (relative to population) around the United States. Like in part one, some of these last names are 5 to 10 times more common (per million people) in some states than others (with a few being 100 or more times more common in some states).

These statistics are based on Internet (white-page) phone directories. While the percentage of people with a certain last name will vary slightly from the percentage of directory entries for a certain last name, the state vs. state variations should correspond closely.


ANDERSON:

This has an unusually skewed distribution for being as common as it is (#11 among all surnames in the U.S. in 1990). This name is very common in the Upper Midwest and Northern Rockies. Most Southern states have about 1/6th to 1/8th the number of Andersons per capita as Minnesota or North Dakota.

STATE

1. Minnesota
2. North Dakota
3. South Dakota
4. Wisconsin
5. Montana

46. Arkansas
47. Texas
48. Kentucky
49. North Carolina
50. Alabama
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
15940
15602
11760
9266
8130

2361
2340
2314
2209
1962
(National average: 3592 per million)


JENSEN:

This Scandinavian last name has strong representation in the West and Upper Midwest. It is found very infrequently in most of the South.

STATE

1. Utah
2. South Dakota
3. Nebraska
4. Idaho
5. Minnesota

46. Louisiana
47. Kentucky
48. Alabama
49. Mississippi
50. West Virginia
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
5921
5285
3449
3123
2781

86
81
70
60
46
(National average: 572 per million)


PRESLEY:

Elvis Presley was from the South, and so were quite a number of other Presleys. Not surprisingly, Tennessee ranks #1 in this list, and Elvis' birthplace, Mississippi, ranks #4.

STATE

1. Tennessee
2. Alabama
3. Arkansas
4. Mississippi
5. Missouri

46. New Hampshire
47. Utah
48. North Dakota
49. Nebraska
50. Vermont
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
287
222
192
188
142

13
11
10
8
0
(National average: 76 per million)

Note: The District of Columbia would rank #49 if it were a state with only 4 surnames per million being Presley.


GARCIA:

The distribution of this predominantly Hispanic name follows the distribution of the Hispanic population quite closely.

STATE

1. New Mexico
2. California
3. Texas
4. Nevada
5. Arizona

46. Kentucky
47. Mississippi
48. Vermont
49. Maine
50. West Virginia
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
12203
7327
6598
4730
4649

303
279
242
186
153
(National average: 2458 per million)


COHEN:

This common Jewish surname is most common in the Northeast, where a high percentage of people are Jewish compared with the rest of the United States. Cohen is least common in the South (except Florida, which has a large number of transplants from New York) and the Plains.

STATE

1. New York
2. New Jersey
3. Massachusetts
4. Connecticut
5. Florida

46. West Virginia
47. South Dakota
48. Mississippi
48. Oklahoma
50. North Dakota
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
2532
2302
2159
1377
1115

49
45
41
41
0
(National average: 501 per million)


MICHAUD:

Here is a very geographically-skewed French name, rare in most of the U.S., yet common in New England, due to more people of French (including Quebecois) ancestry.

STATE

1. Maine
2. New Hampshire
3. Connecticut
4. Rhode Island
5. Massachusetts

46. Kentucky
47. Arkansas
47. West Virginia
49. North Dakota
50. Mississippi
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
3331
1382
1061
545
539

8
7
7
5
3
(National average: 73 per million)

Note: The highest ranking state outside of New England is Alaska (#7 nationally), with 100 Michauds per million people.


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Copyright 2006 Brandt Maxwell.