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Map: United States of surnames

Jan 27, 2011

Mina Liu and Oliver Uberti for National Geographic examine the most common surnames across the country:

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.

The most common surnames are then placed geographically and colored by origin. Browse the full-sized map here. Is your name in there?

[National Geographic via Map of the Week]

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