Bonus List

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


This is the third and final list of last names that vary substantially in frequency (relative to population) around the United States. Like in part one and part two, some of these last names are 5 to 10 times more common (per million people) in some states than others (with a few being 50 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.


KENNEDY:

Not surprisingly, this name is most common in Massachusetts, not so much because of certain well-known people from that state but more because there are many people of Irish heritage there.

STATE

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

46. Kentucky
47. Texas
48. North Dakota
49. Arkansas
50. Utah
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
1898
1395
1388
1377
1357

599
596
594
580
431
(National average: 812 per million)
Note: The highest ranking state outside of New England is Pennsylvania (#6 nationally), with 1282 Kennedys per million people.


YODER:

The distribution of one of the most common Mennonite and Amish last names reflects the population of those two groups (mostly agricultural areas from Pennsylvania through the Midwest).

STATE

1. Indiana
2. Pennsylvania
3. Ohio
4. Iowa
5. Kansas

46. Massachusetts
47. New Hampshire
48. Alabama
49. Mississippi
50. Louisiana
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
954
697
679
498
383

36
35
33
19
15
(National average: 158 per million)
Note: The District of Columbia would rank #49 if it were a state with only 32 surnames per million being Yoder.

HANSEN:

Much like with Jensen (from Part II), this Scandinavian name is most common in the North Central and Rocky Mountain states. It is a rare name in the South.

STATE

1. Utah
2. South Dakota
3. Nebraska
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin

46. Kentucky
47. Louisiana
48. Mississippi
49. West Virginia
50. Alabama
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
5145
4504
4073
3228
3205

109
103
87
81
71
(National average: 688 per million)


WALLACE:

Here is a New England-South hybrid (least common in the Western and North Central U.S.).

STATE

1. Maine
2. New Hampshire
3. Alabama
4. Tennessee
5. Massachusetts

46. New Mexico
47. Minnesota
48. Nebraska
49. North Dakota
50. South Dakota
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
1442
1358
1151
1120
1082

599
559
520
463
289
(National average: 855 per million)


SNOW:

"Snow" is most common where there's lots of snow. (Sorry...couldn't resist!) It is least common in the South, Mid-Atlantic and (somewhat surprisingly) the Northern Plains.

STATE

1. Maine
2. Utah
3. New Hampshire
4. Massachusetts
5. Vermont

45. North Dakota
45. Texas
47. New Jersey
48. Mississippi
49. Maryland
50. Louisiana
PHONEBOOK ENTRIES
PER MILLION
901
847
793
673
611

145
145
140
129
115
90
(National average: 218 per million)
Note: The District of Columbia would rank #49 if it were a state with only 117 surnames per million being Snow.


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Copyright 2006 Brandt Maxwell.