Adam Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

In this article we'll look at the origin and meaning of the surname Adam and how popular it is in the United States. We'll also look at the race and ethnic origin of people in the United States who are named Adam.

Adam, like all of the names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Adam surname is from the 2010 census data.

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What is the Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Adam?

The surname of Adam is of deeply religious origin, pre-dating the medieval period. Deriving from the Hebrew word adama, meaning earth, according to the Old Testament the first man Adam was created from the dust of the earth.

Thanks largely to the use of the name in the bible the name Adam became popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages (5th – 15th century) as a baptismal name. This was a name bestowed at baptism in addition to the already given name.

Versions of Adam are found throughout Europe as both a given and family name including Adami, Adamsky, Adnett and Adamcek. As a given name it is first found recorded in the 1086 Doomsday Book, the post-Norman conquest census document. In 1273 German Adam is recorded in the “Hundred Rolls” for Cambridgeshire. This is likely the first recording of the use of Adam as a family name.

Melchior Adam (c. 1575 – 26 December 1622) was a Polish-born literary historian. Adam was best known for his biographical works that covered the lives of various philologists, poets, mathematicians and physicists. In 1615 he wrote “Vitae Germanorum Philosophorum" (Lives of German Philosophers), a work that contains an early biography of Copernicus.

Where Does Adam Rank in the Most Common U.S. Names?

According to the data, Adam is ranked #2,654 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Adam surname appeared 13,574 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 4.60 would have the surname Adam.

We can also compare 2010 data for Adam to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2654 2704 -1.87%
Count 13,574 12,209 10.59%
Proportion per 100k 4.60 4.53 1.53%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Adam

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Adam.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups: "White only", "Black only", "American Indian and Alaskan Native only", "Asian and Pacific Islander only", "Two or More Races", and "Hispanic".

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Adam was:

  • 72.58%, or 9,852 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 17.09%, or 2,320 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 3.52%, or 478 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.42%, or 57 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 1.93%, or 262 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 4.46%, or 605 total occurrences, were "Hispanic Origin".

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Adam has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 72.58% 78.89% -8.33%
Black 17.09% 10.65% 46.43%
Asian and Pacific Islander 3.52% 2.60% 30.07%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.42% 0.43% -2.35%
Two or More Races 1.93% 2.97% -42.45%
Hispanic 4.46% 4.46% 0.00%

Data Source(s)

All of the data on this page is sourced from the Decennial Census survey, from the United States Census Bureau.

Link To or Reference This Page

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