New research reveals the most common last name in New Zealand

Photo / NetCredit

Photo / NetCredit

New data reveals the most common last names around the world, with Smith claiming the top spot in New Zealand.

Research collated from Ancestry.com and Oxford University by online lending firm NetCredit shows that Smith is also the most popular last name in Australia, the US, the UK and Canada. The name is shared by one in every 121 residents.

A lot of famous Kiwis have the surname Smith, including All Blacks Aaron, Conrad and Ben Smith, former cricketer Ian, National politician Nick, and musician Hollie.


Photo / NetCredit

Kumar is the most common surname in Fiji, with John being the most popular surname in the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Meanwhile, in Haiti, the most common last name is Jean, which is the French form of John.

A theme across North America is the surname Hernandez, which is the most common last name in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.


Photo / NetCredit

While Rodriguez is the most common surname in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Bahamas and in the South American countries Uruguay and Colombia.

Another popular last name in South America is Gonzalez, which is the most common surname in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela.


Photo / NetCredit

In Asia, the most common surname in Malaysia and Singapore is Tan, while Nguyen is the most popular in Vietnam.

Kim is the most common surname in North Korea and South Korea, as well as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

In South Korea, one in five residents has the surname Kim. And in Vietnam, one in every four residents has the last name, Nguyen.


Photo / NetCredit

In China, Wang is shared by an estimated one in every 13 residents.

Muslims constitute around 30 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, which likely explains the Islamic root of many African surnames.

Therefore, the most common last name in Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt and Sudan is some variation or epithet of Muhammad.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Müller is the most common surname in Germany and Switzerland.

Ivanov (son of Ivan), is common in Belarus and Bulgaria.


Photo / NetCredit

NetCredit senior content writer Barbara Davidson said the study of surnames across the world shows a unique guide to the history of human civilisation.

"Historians can form critical insights into culture and settlement patterns, genealogists can trace ancestral roots, and regular people can develop their sense of world-historical identity.

"Today, humans are spread across 90 per cent of the Earth, and human society is more culturally diverse than at any other point in history. The most common last names in every country remind us of our shared origins, and a time when the world wasn't so big."

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.