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What are some of the most common names in the USA?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most common first names in the United States include Michael, James, John, Robert and David, as of 2013. Some of the most common last names include Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown and Jones.

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Full Answer

Statistically, male names rank higher overall on lists of most common names, because female names are typically more diverse. Some of the most common female names include Mary, Jennifer, Patricia, Linda and Elizabeth. As a whole, however, the distribution of American names is quite homogenous, with around 30 percent of all citizens having one of the 100 most common names.

The data come from a combination of Social Security Administration and U.S. Census data. The SSA has kept a database of first names since 1880. These data can be adjusted to account for life expectancy in order to determine an estimated distribution of first names. Surveyors also adjusted the data to account for immigrants to the United States, whose names are not cataloged in SSA data.

Data on last names comes from the 2000 U.S. Census, adjusted to account for population growth in the succeeding years. The significant increase in the Hispanic population led to increases in the predominance of Hispanic surnames such as Garcia, Rodriguez, Martinez, Hernandez and Lopez. Based on analysis of the data, the most common full name in the United States is probably James Smith.

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