Can You Guess What the Most Distinctive Last Name in Iowa is?
What's in a name? As it turns out, when it comes to last names, it usually comes down to demographics.
Writer Simon Davis from Mental Floss calculated the difference between the state and national prevalence of names from the Social Security database to come up with the list. Much of the name prevalence correlates to the history of who settled in the area. For instance, many of the last names in the Midwest have German and Swedish roots, whereas Irish and English names rule in the New England area.
Unsurprisingly, the Swedish last name Hansen topped the list for Iowa, and fellow Swedish name Carlson won the top spot for Illinois. Davis followed up his post on his blog with a list of the top five last names in each state. In addition to Hansen, Jensen, Larson, Meyer, and Olson round out the top five.
For Illinois, Schultz, Larson, Meyer and Becker also top the list. For the full list, check out Davis' blog here.