February 4, 2023

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What surnames are most common in every country in the world, and why? | Chronicles

Data provided by the legacy portal “Forebears.io” The census of different countries determines what is the most common surname in each country of the world. For the investigation – which is expanded in the following paragraphs – information related to the countries of the five continents was collected.

South America

Most parts of South America gained independence from Spain in the early 1800s, but today the most popular surnames across the continent are of Spanish descent. Gonzalez is the most common family name in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela..

It is the host of the Spanish name Gonzalo, Which originally came from the German “gunþ”, meaning “war”. In Peru, the most common surname has native roots. Estimated as One out of every 55 Peruvians shares the Aymara Quizpe family name, Which is derived from Aymara “Kisby”, meaning “glass” or “precious stone”.

Central and North America

Family names in Central America and the Caribbean reflect the colonial history of the region. Haiti was a French colony from 1697 to 1804, and the common family name was Jean., The French form of John. El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico are former Spanish colonies, hence the common name Hernandez.

“Hernandez” is the most common surname in Mexico.

The United States is representative of a combination of family names found throughout the North American continent.. Brown, the most common surname in Jamaica, is the fourth most popular surname The United States where Smith will be first.

Common surname in Rodriguez, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama and the Bahamas It is also very common in the United States.


In Africa, Most surnames are related to geographical origin, Occupational, hereditary or personal characteristics. A unique family name on the continent is derived from the Muslim word “fame”, which expresses traits or other admirable qualities.

“Traoré” is a family name in Mali.

Ilunga, for example, belonged to the Pandu dynasty. It is approximately “the person who is willing to forgive any abuse for the first time, Tolerate it a second time, but not a third time ”. It is the most common surname in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many people in Africa changed their names after independence, but many popular family names across the continent still reflect the region’s colonial past.

About 30% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is Muslim, which explains the Islamic roots of many African family names. In Chad, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt and Sudan, the most common surname is a variant of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, which is also translated as “glorious.”.


The distribution of family names in Asia reflects the past of the continental dynasty. When a new dynasty came to power, it was common for all citizens to accept the name associated with it. For example, the family name Dan came from “Chen”, an important state during the ancient Zhou Dynasty in China.

In China, the most common surname is Wang.

Today, Don is the most common family name in Malaysia and Singapore. Similarly, the most common family name in Vietnam is Nguyen, which is the name of the last dynasty in the country. Kim is the most common family name in North and South Korea, as well as in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This common source of surnames in Southeast Asia may be one of the reasons why there is less difference between surnames than in other parts of the world..

In China, Wang is shared by one of 13 residents. In South Korea, one in five residents has the surname Kim. In Vietnam, one in four residents has the surname Nguyen.


Compared to the rest of the world, Europeans are more likely to have a name related to their ancestral work. For example, The most popular surname in Luxembourg, Schmidt, is derived from the German “smith”, meaning “black”. Mல்லller is the most common family name in Germany and Switzerland and a professional name for a miller.

In Austria, the most common surname is Grooper, derived from the German word “Groop”., Meaning “hole”. The name refers to someone who lives in depression or emptiness. Bērziņš, the most common family name in Latvia, is derived from the Latvian “bērzs”, meaning “birch”, and refers to someone who lives among these trees. Patronymic suffixes are usually a great way to tell which part of Europe a person belongs to.

“Garcia” is the most common family name in Spain.

The Slavic “-ov”, like Ivanov (Ivan’s son), is common in Belarus and Bulgaria. Suffix “-Sen”, such as Hansen in Norway and Jensen in Denmark, are common among descendants of Scandinavian families who immigrated to the United States in the 19th century.

In Spain, it’s Garcia. According to the National Statistics Institute, 1,464,633 people use the family name. Rodriguez with 925,137 and Gonzalez with 924,594 followed.


The combination of popular family names in Oceania reflects the region’s ethnic diversity. The most common surname in Australia and New Zealand is Smith, Anglo-Saxon professional name for metalworker. In the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea, the most popular family name is John, meaning “Jehovah has pleased me”.

Smith is the most common surname in Australia.

In the federal states of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands, the most common surnames are of Japanese descent.. One in 38 people living in Micronesia shares the Mori family name. Mori’s origin is in Japanese, meaning “forest”, which refers to the sacred grove surrounding a shrine.

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