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August 5th, 2012

Most common last letter of US last names

I found myself thinking recently, “Self, what do you think is the most common final letter of last names in the United States?” (No, really. I did.)

A quick search found that one person had figured out the most common first letters for last names, but I could find nothing about the final letter of the last name.

My gut instinct says “n” is the letter. So, I a ran test using the same data as that guy did. I was close.

  1. s – 13,494,200
  2. n – 12,698,100
  3. r – 5,414,900
  4. z – 4,083,700
  5. h – 2,772,200
  6. l – 2,730,800
  7. e – 2,507,600
  8. t – 1,909,600
  9. g – 1,308,900
  10. y – 1,471,500
  11. d – 1,207,000
  12. a – 1,011,300
  13. k – 967,200
  14. x – 303,100

Now, to tell the truth, this doesn’t really answer my question because it’s taking into account the number of people with a certain last name and not just the individual names themselves. Counting it that way, we get these results:

  1. s – 26
  2. n – 20
  3. r – 11
  4. z – 9
  5. l – 7
  6. t – 5
  7. y – 5
  8. d – 4
  9. e – 4
  10. g – 3
  11. a – 2
  12. k – 2
  13. h – 1
  14. x – 1

Pretty darn similar results, interestingly. And a surprisingly strong showing for “z” in both cases.

I’d be curious to see how these numbers work out for a larger data pool (over, say, 5000 names). But, for now, using the top 100 names is sufficient.

Posted in Just Plain Odd

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