Martinez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Martinez, 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 Martinez surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Martinez is a patronymic version of the first name Martin. The addition of the suffix “ez” denotes that the bearer of the surname is the “son of Martin.” This was common practice in Medieval Europe including Spain from where the name Martinez originates.

The base name Martin, from which Martinez arises, is a derivative of the Latin name Martinus, which itself comes from Mars, the Roman god of fertility and war. It is largely thanks to St. Martin of Tours (316-397) that the first name Martin and of course the surname Martinez became popular in Christian Europe.

It is believed that the Martinez name was first recorded in the Castile region of Spain during the 5th to 8th century rule of the Germanic tribe known as the Visigoths. The name as it is known today, however, was first recorded officially in the late 1500s.

As a result of governments starting to charge personal taxation, it became important for people to have both a first and last name for identification purposes. This is why in the mid to late 1500’s many European countries such as Spain, began to popularize the use of last names.

St. Felipe de Jesus Casas Martinez is a notable bearer of this surname. Canonized in 1862 Felipe was born in Mexico City in 1572 and first entered the Franciscans in 1589. Initially, this was not the life for him so he became a merchant. On a trade trip to the Philippines, he rediscovered his faith and finally became a monk. Whilst returning home to Mexico the ship took damage and they had to make land in Japan. Felipe took up with some missionaries but soon after local authorities arrested and executed them, making them martyrs.

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

According to the data, Martinez is ranked #10 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Martinez surname appeared 1,060,159 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 359.40 would have the surname Martinez.

We can also compare 2010 data for Martinez 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 10 11 -9.52%
Count 1,060,159 775,072 31.07%
Proportion per 100k 359.40 287.32 22.29%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Martinez

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

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 Martinez was:

  • 5.28%, or 55,976 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.49%, or 5,195 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.60%, or 6,361 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.51%, or 5,407 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 0.22%, or 2,332 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 92.91%, or 984,994 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 Martinez has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 5.28% 6.04% -13.43%
Black 0.49% 0.52% -5.94%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.60% 0.60% 0.00%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.51% 0.64% -22.61%
Two or More Races 0.22% 0.46% -70.59%
Hispanic 92.91% 91.72% 1.29%

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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