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What are some popular last names in the United States?

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Quick Answer

The most common last names in the United States as of 2013 were Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown and Jones. Other popular last names in the United States were Garcia, Rodriguez, Miller, Martinez and Davis.

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Full Answer

Smith is the most common surname in the United States, occurring in approximately eight out of every 1,000 Americans. Smith derives from an Old English word meaning "to smite" or "to hit" that was often given to metalworkers and blacksmiths. Johnson is the second-most common surname in the United States, occurring in approximately six out of every 1,000 U.S. residents. Johnson means "son of John."

Williams, Brown and Jones all occur in about five out of every 1,000 Americans. Williams means "son of William." Brown was adopted by families who had brown hair or skin. Jones is a medieval variant of John.

Garcia possibly derives from a Basque word meaning "bear." Rodriguez means "son of Rodrigo" and Martinez means "son of Martin." Spanish surnames are common in the United States because of the Hispanic population explosion in the 21st century.

Miller was an occupational surname adopted by families that worked in grain mills. Davis means "son of David." Garcia, Rodriguez, Martinez, Miller and Davis occur in approximately four out of every 1,000 people in the U.S. population.

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