Childs Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

In this article we'll look at the origin and meaning of the surname Childs 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 Childs.

Childs, 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 Childs surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Childs derives from the old English word "cild" which was commonly used as a nickname in various instances. In its earliest use, it was used as an affectionate term of address, but over the centuries it has become more specific. Cild was also used to describe a young man of noble birth, a nobleman awaiting knighthood, and a pet name for the youngest member of the family.

The first recorded mention of the name Child as a surname was in the Domesday book in 1086 where Aluric Child is included in the grand survey of the British Isles. Subsequent records mentioning the Child name were found throughout the UK including Gode Cild (Suffolk 1095) and Roger le Child (Berkshire, 1204).

William Child (1606-1697) was a notable bearer of this family name. An accomplished composer and organist, in 1630 William became associated as a lay clerk with St. George's Chapel at Windsor castle. Within two years Child became Master of Choristers, a role he held at the Chapel until it was dissolved in 1643. Child would return to this post in 1680 when Charles II was restored to the throne.

Sir John Child Baronet is another notable name in the family. Child was the first man to be placed in charge of all of the British trading in the East India Company. Sir John also served as deputy governor of Bombay and President of Surat. His role as President and his harsh autocratic behavior, however, would lead to war with the Mughal and to a demand that he leave India. Child died before the order to leave could be finalized.

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

According to the data, Childs is ranked #1,242 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Childs surname appeared 28,359 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 9.61 would have the surname Childs.

We can also compare 2010 data for Childs 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 1242 1178 5.29%
Count 28,359 27,266 3.93%
Proportion per 100k 9.61 10.11 -5.07%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Childs

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

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 Childs was:

  • 63.30%, or 17,951 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 30.85%, or 8,749 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.45%, or 128 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.97%, or 275 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.36%, or 669 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 2.06%, or 584 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 Childs has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 63.30% 65.14% -2.87%
Black 30.85% 30.72% 0.42%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.45% 0.40% 11.76%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.97% 0.94% 3.14%
Two or More Races 2.36% 1.53% 42.67%
Hispanic 2.06% 1.27% 47.45%

Data Source(s)

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