Most common London surnames mapped

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

James Cheshire, a geography lecturer at the University College London, mapped common surnames in London.

This map shows the 15 most frequent surnames in each Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) across Greater London. The colours represent the origin of the surname (not necessarily the person) derived from UCL’s Onomap Classification tool. The surnames have also been scaled by their total frequency in each MSOA.

A slider lets you browse through the most common down to the 15th most common, revealing clusters of cultural majorities, down to minorities.

4 Comments

  • Great visualisation. But is it potentially a bit misleading unless the viewer takes into account the relative diversity (or lack of) in the range of surnames in each group of surname origins? I suspect that the dominance of the names Patel and Ahmed (for example) in some areas of the map is not just a reflection of the demographics but also of the fact that these are dominant surnames within these ethnic groups.

    Might be worth indicating how much each surname dominates within each group, as part of the same visualisation?

  • the river seems like a divider

  • Terry Collmann October 28, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I’d be pretty sure your “Lee” in eg 11th most common surnames in Soho, Westminster is not English, as you have it, but the Chinese surname – not least because it appears to be common where other Chinese names are common.

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