The most popular last names in each U.S. state shows the real diversity of America

While it’s common to say we are “keeping up with the Joneses,” it’s the Smiths who seem to be the most popular.

In fact, the Smith surname “is one of the most common last names in almost every region of the United States,” according to

States from Alabama to Illinois, from Maine to Wyoming, boast more people with the Smith last name than any other.

Johnson, Miller, Jones, Williams, and Anderson are also top contenders for most common surname in the U.S. In Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Johnsons are at the top while in Louisiana, Williams takes the prize.

There are marked regional differences in the popularity of surnames, according to

If you are in the Northwest, you are more likely to come across an Anderson than a Brown, which is slightly more common on the East Coast.

Only the Southwestern portion of the country really has a lot of variety. States like Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona — where there are large Latino populations — boast a variety of names like Garcia, Hernandez, Martinez, and Chavez.

The three most-common surnames in Hawaii — Lee, Wong and Kim — are nowhere to be seen in the top three of any other state in the country.

And thanks to a large Irish population in Massachusetts, the surname Sullivan comes in third following Smith and Johnson.

Check out your state’s top surnames, and learn more about your own last name, at

Twitter users had some of their own suggestions and thoughts about the top last names throughout the country.

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Frieda Powers


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