How popular is your last name? Is it as popular as Smith? You probably already know that the most common last name in the United State (as well as in some other English-speaking countries) is Smith but do you know which last name has the highest occurrence in, let’s say, Spain? Or how about China? In fact, the most common surnames vary significantly with nations, regions, and cultures. From Fernandez and Silva to Anderson and Ahmed, here are 25 of the Most Common Last Names Around the World.
This last name originated in England and it gradually spread into other English-speaking countries. Now, Smith is the most common family name in the United States, Canada, Britain, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.
Garcia is the most common surname in Spain, the second most common surname in Cuba and the third most common surname in Mexico. It has also become common in the US due to massive Latin American immigration, and is now the 8th most common surname in the U.S.
With over 235,000 people holding the last name Martin in France, it is the most common French surname. A shorter version of the Latin name Martinus, Martin is also a very common first name in many languages.
The plural of Rosso (meaning red in Italian), Rossi is the most common surname in Italy. Due to the diaspora, it is also very common in some other countries such as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Peru, US and Uruguay.
Meaning “new man”, “newcomer”, or “stranger” in English, Novak is a very popular Slavic name (both first name and last name). It is the most common last name in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia but it also has a high occurrence in Croatia, Moldova, Serbia and Romania.
Meaning “son of Fernando”, Fernandez is a common Spanish surname. It is the 4th most popular name in Argentina, 8th most popular name in Spain, 10th most popular in Paraguay and 13th most popular in Mexico. The Portuguese version of this surname is Fernandes.
Smirnov (masculine) or Smirnova (feminine) is the most common last name in Russia. There are several variants of this name such: Smirnoff, Smirnow or Smyrnov but they all mean “quiet, still, peaceful, gentle”.
With over 10% of the Brazilians holding the last name Silva, it is the most common name in Brazil. Derived from the Latin word silva meaning ‘forest’ or ‘woodland’, it is also popular in Portugal and in regions of the former Portuguese Empire in America, Africa and Asia (including India and Sri Lanka).
Meaning “The Most Praised One”, Mohamed is the name of the Islamic prophet and the most common name (both first name and last name) throughout the Muslim world. There are several versions of the name, such as Muhammad, Muhammett, Muhamad etc.
The origin of the name Kumar can be traced back to the early development of Hinduism and its origin is in India. It is one of the most popular given name, middle name and family name in India, and the 8th most common family name in the world.
Another very popular Spanish last name, Gonzalez is the second most common surname in Spain and it is also very a common surname in Latin America. It is one of the five most common surnames in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, and Venezuela.
The German word Muller (also spelled as Mueller or Miller) means “miller” (as a profession). It is the most common family name in Germany, Switzerland, and in some parts of France. Muller is also the fifth most common surname in Austria.
Originally a Hebrew word for a priest, Cohen is now a very common Jewish surname. It is the most popular last name in Israel and it frequently occurs in countries with large Jewish communities. There are several versions of the name such as Coen, Cohn, Kahn, Kohn etc.
Nguyen is by far the most common last name in Vietnam where this name is held up to an estimated 40% of the population. However, the prevalence of this name extends to outside the country, due to numerous and widespread Vietnamese emigrants.
A surname and title of Mongolian origin, Khan is a widespread surname in most countries of Central and South Asia, particularly among Muslims. It is one of the most common last names in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Oman, Turkey and some other countries.
A common surname in Spain, Latin America, and the US, Rodriguez means “Son of Rodrigo”. It is the most popular last name in Colombia, the second most popular last name in Argentina and the ninth most popular last name in Brazil (where it is spelled “Rodrigues”).
In some parts of China also romanized as Wong, Wang is pinyin romanization of the Chinese surnames “王”. With almost 100 million of the Chinese holding this name, Wang is the most common last name in the country, followed by Lee and Zhang.
Derived from a patronymic meaning “son of Anders/Andrew” the name Anderson originated in parallel in the British Isles and the Nordic countries. Anderson is the most common last name in Sweden and it also very popular in Norway and Denmark (where it is spelled Andersen).
Translated as “unbeatable”, or “brave”, Yilmaz is a common surname and occasional given name in Turkey. In this country, people had no surnames until 1934 when the Surname Law was introduced. Since then, names such as Kaya, Demir or Sahin have become popular but Yilmaz is by far the most common last name.
A surname of Manding origin (written in French orthography), Traore is a very common last name in several Western African countries such as Mali, Senegal, and Guinea. In anglophone West Africa, the name is often spelled Trawally.
Sometimes also spelled as Ivanoff or Ivanow, Ivanov is the most widespread last name in Belarus, the second most widespread last name in Russia and it is also very popular in Bulgaria. The surname derived from the first name Ivan (equivalent to John).
A very common Arabic name, Ahmed has one of the highest number of spelling variations in the world with Ahmad and Ahmet being the most widespread. It is very popular in many Muslim countries such as Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Bangladesh etc.
Derived from the Latin word “lupus” meaning “wolf”, Lopez is a common Spanish last name. Its Portuguese equivalent is Lopes, its Italian equivalent is Lupo, its French equivalent is Loup, its Romanian equivalent is Lupu or Lupescu. Lopez is very popular in Latin America and it is also the most common Spanish surname in the UK.
Occasionally also romanized as Gim, Kim is the most common surname in the Korean Peninsula (that is in both North and South Korea), accounting for nearly 22% of the population. The meaning of the word is “metal, iron, gold”.
Sometimes transliterated as Papadopulos, Papadopoulos is the most common Greek surname. It is used in Greece, Cyprus and countries of the Greek diaspora as well, such as the USA, the UK, Australia and Scandinavian countries. It means “son of a priest”.