Painter Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Painter, 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 Painter surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname of Painter likely has a religious connection in that it originates from an occupation that focused on the church. Deriving from the Old French and Middle English (12peintourth to 15th century) word peintour or “painter.”

Generally, the earliest professionals who might bear this surname would have worked painting stained glass or the internal walls of churches. It is mentioned that in 1308 Hugh le Peyntour worked with Peter the Pavier to create the pavement at St. Stephen's Chapel in Westminster.

In the 1240 “Feet of Fines of Yorkshire” Richard de Paintur is mentioned and is likely one of the first recorded users of this surname. His name would literally translate as "Richard the Painter." The addition of his profession as an identifier makes this Richard unique to any other local bearers of the same given name.

William Painter (c. 1540 – between 19 and 22 February 1595) was an English author and translator. In 1558 Painter began translating European literary pieces into English while also creating some of his own works. Later in 1561, he became clerk of the ordinance for the Tower of London. During his time in this role Painter was accused of fraud and in 1586 was actually officially charged. It turned out he had embezzled in the region of £1000, a sum his grandchildren were still paying off after his death in 1595.

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

According to the data, Painter is ranked #1,641 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Painter surname appeared 21,969 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 7.45 would have the surname Painter.

We can also compare 2010 data for Painter 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 1641 1514 8.05%
Count 21,969 21,725 1.12%
Proportion per 100k 7.45 8.05 -7.74%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Painter

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

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 Painter was:

  • 94.12%, or 20,677 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 1.04%, or 228 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.66%, or 145 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.84%, or 185 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 1.54%, or 338 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 1.79%, or 393 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 Painter has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 94.12% 95.64% -1.60%
Black 1.04% 0.93% 11.17%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.66% 0.52% 23.73%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.84% 0.76% 10.00%
Two or More Races 1.54% 1.04% 38.76%
Hispanic 1.79% 1.11% 46.90%

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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  • "Painter Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on January 29, 2023. https://namecensus.com/last-names/painter-surname-popularity/.

  • "Painter Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/painter-surname-popularity/. Accessed 29 January, 2023

  • Painter Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/last-names/painter-surname-popularity/.