Check Out This American Surname Map

You’ll find a map made up of surnames found in the United States at the National Geographic Magazine blog. The size of the printed name is relative to the overall number of persons by that name living American Surname Mapin a state. Every state is made up of the top 25 surnames found there. I not that Smith, Jones, and Brown are pretty large words!

What’s in a Surname? A new view of the United States based on the distribution of common last names shows centuries of history and echoes some of America’s great immigration sagas. To compile this data, geographers at University College London used phone directories to find the predominant surnames in each state. Software then identified the probable provenances of the 181 names that emerged.

Many of these names came from Great Britain, reflecting the long head start the British had over many other settlers. The low diversity of names in parts of the British Isles also had an impact. Williams, for example, was a common name among Welsh immigrants—and is still among the top names in many American states.

Read the full article.

The interactive map is found here.

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