The most ethnic names

Because counting names is one of my modus operandi, today we are going to take a quick look at the names that are really specific to each ethnic group in the US according to the US census. To that end we order the names by percentage of the population that belongs to the given ethnic group and bears that name. We restrict ourselves to names borne by at least 1000 people.

For whites these are

99.65 NEWSWANGER
99.46 BORNTREGER
99.4 WAGLER
99.15 BORNTRAGER
99.14 MEISELS
99.1 BEECHY
99.09 BORKHOLDER
99.03 SHEVCHENKO
99.0 STOLTZFUS
98.99 SWARTZENTRUBER
98.87 NOLT
98.86 HERSCHBERGER
98.81 ESH
98.71 KUSHNIR
98.63 HODZIC
98.59 IVANOVA
98.58 STASKO
98.54 DWORAK
98.54 BALLWEG
98.52 ROHRBAUGH
98.52 PUSKAR
98.52 KOVALENKO
98.44 LENGACHER
98.39 BARHORST
98.38 HUETHER
98.37 REINEKE
98.34 PETERSHEIM
98.3 WENGERD
98.29 FLATEN
98.25 GEERS
98.23 HOCHSTETLER
98.21 SARGSYAN
98.21 HISSONG
98.2 GUREVICH
98.2 BERKEBILE
98.19 SCHMUCKER
98.19 BYLER
98.13 KATS
98.12 SOBOLEWSKI
98.11 KACZYNSKI
98.11 CHOINIERE
98.09 GOODLING
98.08 HERSHBERGER
98.08 BEACHY
98.04 IVANOV

Germans, Dutch, Eastern Europeans of different couleur including Ashkenazim. Latecomers that didn’t have the opportunity to gift their names to the African American population.

For African Americans the top names are:

97.75 KOROMA
97.7 ACHEAMPONG
97.46 AGYEMANG
97.37 WARSAME
97.21 MEKONNEN
97.06 ANYANWU
96.78 ALTIDOR
96.75 BOATENG
96.69 FRIMPONG
96.63 OSEI
96.62 BALOGUN
96.6 OKAFOR
96.59 NJOKU
96.56 NWOSU
96.5 TESFAYE
96.5 OPOKU
96.49 YEBOAH
96.46 JALLOH
96.4 ASSEFA
96.2 ADJEI

Same pattern applies. These seem to be genuinely African names. Maybe some latecomers also. If we increase the cutoff to 10.000 people bearing the name, we get 90.49 SMALLS, 87.53 WASHINGTON, 86.74 PIERRE, 82.86 MUHAMMAD, 80.85 HAIRSTON, 80.4 RUFFIN. All the African names are gone and the names become very unspecific.

98.82 VOONG
98.63 ZHEN
98.38 KUANG
98.26 CHUONG
98.25 XU
98.23 ZHU
98.21 QIU
98.2 ZHOU
98.19 XIE
98.11 ZHAO
98.07 XIONG
98.06 ZHANG
98.05 QIAN
98.02 ZHUANG

Boring. Yes, East Asian Names are common and really specific. It takes a while until an 97.54 BALASUBRAMANIAN comes along.

98.84 LOPEZPEREZ
98.8 GARCIARAMIREZ
98.75 CARACHURE
98.72 GARCIAMARTINEZ
98.64 EQUIHUA
98.63 VILLAFAN
98.61 HERNANDEZLOPEZ
98.53 GONZALEZLOPEZ
98.5 PEREZHERNANDEZ
98.44 RAMIREZLOPEZ
98.39 PEREZPEREZ
98.38 SANCHEZGARCIA
98.36 GARCIAPEREZ
98.28 MARTINEZLOPEZ
98.26 LUCATERO
98.25 GARCIAHERNANDE
98.23 OREGEL
98.22 SOLACHE
98.22 ALAVEZ
98.19 CUAUTLE

The hispanic names are dominated by the Spanish style double name. Makes sense that these are recent immigrants still following that naming convention. If we increase the cutoff to at least 10.000 people bearing the name, these double names completely vanish.

95.65 BEGAYE
95.0 TSOSIE
94.56 YAZZIE
94.3 BENALLY
93.84 BEGAY
92.13 NEZ
76.52 HARJO
72.9 LOCKLEAR
72.55 BAHE
71.85 POITRA
68.37 JIM
67.77 AZURE
63.82 SHORTY
63.68 OXENDINE
57.85 CHARLIE
57.51 BELGARDE
56.18 CHARLEY
52.6 TSO
51.4 CHEE

And finally we have a really short list of native American names. There just aren’t all that many Natives around and most of those are mixed in some way or form, which means that their names have likely bled into the white population.

These investigation shows the difficulty of assessing ethnicity by name: Only recent immigrants still bear really distinguishing names.

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