Lopez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Lopez, 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 Lopez surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Lopez is a patronymic name deriving from the given name Lope. Spanish naming tradition during the Medieval period added the suffix “ez” to the end of given names. The effect of this was to give the surname the meaning “son of.” Therefore, Lopez becomes “son of Lope.”

As a given name Lope derives from the Latin word Lupus which means wolf. So, impressively the name Lopez could be translated as “son of Wolf.” It is likely that the Lopez name originated in the Castile region of Spain.

Leonor Lopez de Cordoba (1362-1412) is a notable early Lopez. Leonor was a Spanish noblewoman and author. Through her family, she was closely connected to the royal house of Castile which gave her the perfect position from which to view the politics of the time. In her writings, she tells her story including incidents such as her father being executed by King Henry II when he came to the Castile throne. Leonor’s story was one of a privileged family’s fall from grace and the hardships that followed.

Mexican composer Francisco Lopez Capillas (1615-1673) became an ordained priest and organist for Puebla cathedral in 1641. He quickly gained notice for his skill and was hired for the Mexico cathedral.

Francisco’s compositions became widely regarded as the best in New Spain and his choir books made their way back to Madrid to the royal court. The court was astonished and decreed he should receive a full portion of the cathedral’s revenues but died before this decree could be enacted.

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

According to the data, Lopez is ranked #12 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Lopez surname appeared 874,523 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 296.47 would have the surname Lopez.

We can also compare 2010 data for Lopez 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 12 21 -54.55%
Count 874,523 621,536 33.82%
Proportion per 100k 296.47 230.40 25.08%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Lopez

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

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 Lopez was:

  • 4.86%, or 42,502 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.57%, or 4,985 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 1.02%, or 8,920 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.38%, or 3,323 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 0.25%, or 2,186 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 92.92%, or 812,607 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 Lopez has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 4.86% 5.85% -18.49%
Black 0.57% 0.61% -6.78%
Asian and Pacific Islander 1.02% 1.04% -1.94%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.38% 0.47% -21.18%
Two or More Races 0.25% 0.52% -70.13%
Hispanic 92.92% 91.51% 1.53%

Data Source(s)

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

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  • "Lopez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on December 8, 2022. https://namecensus.com/last-names/lopez-surname-popularity/.

  • "Lopez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/lopez-surname-popularity/. Accessed 8 December, 2022

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