Mitchell Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Mitchell, 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 Mitchell surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname of Michell originates from the medieval Hebrew and Biblical name Michel which meant “He is like the Lord.” This name was brought to medieval Europe by the returning knights of the Crusades (1095 -1291). It created a number of variations such as Machel, Matsell, Mickle, Muckle and of course Mitchell.

In England and Scotland, the Mitchell version of Michel became the most common. Gilbert Michel was recorded in the “Curia Regis Rolls of Northumberland" in 1205. This is likely the first recorded instance of the surname in use in the British Isles.

Elisha Mitchell (August 19, 1793 – June 27, 1857) was born in Washington, Connecticut. Graduating Yale University in 1813 Mitchell studied under noted chemist Benjamin Stillman. In 1818 Mitchell became professor of math and natural philosophy at North Carolina University. Elisha is most notable as the man who determined that a peak in North Carolina's Black Mountains was the tallest in the Eastern United States. This mountain was later named Mount Mitchell in his honor.

Eugene Muse Mitchell (October 16, 1866 - June 17, 1944) was a noted lawyer, politician and historian. Born in Georgia into a prominent Scottish immigrant family Mitchell’s father became wealthy supplying lumber to rebuild Atlanta after the Civil War. In 1911 and 1912 Mitchell served on the Atlanta Board of Education and is notable for abolishing the practice of corporal punishment.

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

According to the data, Mitchell is ranked #48 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Mitchell surname appeared 384,486 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 130.34 would have the surname Mitchell.

We can also compare 2010 data for Mitchell 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 48 44 8.70%
Count 384,486 367,433 4.54%
Proportion per 100k 130.34 136.21 -4.40%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Mitchell

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

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 Mitchell was:

  • 61.02%, or 234,613 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 32.50%, or 124,958 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.48%, or 1,846 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 1.04%, or 3,999 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.50%, or 9,612 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 2.47%, or 9,497 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 Mitchell has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 61.02% 63.55% -4.06%
Black 32.50% 31.52% 3.06%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.48% 0.39% 20.69%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.04% 0.98% 5.94%
Two or More Races 2.50% 1.93% 25.73%
Hispanic 2.47% 1.63% 40.98%

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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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

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