Perez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Perez, 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 Perez surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Perez has two possible origins the first of which is based in Spain where it is likely a patronymic name which means ‘Son of Pedro.” In Spanish naming practices the addition of “ez” to the end of a given name switches the meaning to “son of.” The name Pedro itself is derived from the name Peter which is from the Greek for rock.

A second origin for the name may come from Israel. Translated from Hebrew the word Peretz means to “bust forth.” It is also a Sephardic name which sometimes is pronounced or written as Perez. This is a version of the name that is predominantly used in Hebrew speaking countries.

In Europe, the name Peter became popular after the twelve crusades due to the biblical Peter, the disciple of Jesus. This led to the creation throughout Christian Europe of surnames that derive from this given name which includes Perez.

An early notable bearer of this surname was Agustin Perez who served as Bishop of Osma between (1261-1286). Agustin was appointed to this position by Pope Urban IV.

Bartolome Perez de la Dehesa (1634–1693) is another notable bearer of this surname. Born in Madrid, Spain, Bartolome was a painter of the Baroque period. His focus was mainly upon flowers and still life pieces. Perez was also a scene painter for the theater of Buen Retiro which led to him being named the painter of the king. Sadly, this role for Bartolome was an unpaid position and he died whilst painting the palace of Monteleon.

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

According to the data, Perez is ranked #22 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Perez surname appeared 681,645 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 231.08 would have the surname Perez.

We can also compare 2010 data for Perez 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 22 29 -27.45%
Count 681,645 488,521 33.01%
Proportion per 100k 231.08 181.09 24.26%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Perez

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

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 Perez was:

  • 4.96%, or 33,810 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.45%, or 3,067 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 1.17%, or 7,975 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.20%, or 1,363 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 0.26%, or 1,772 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 92.95%, or 633,589 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 Perez has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 4.96% 5.95% -18.15%
Black 0.45% 0.48% -6.45%
Asian and Pacific Islander 1.17% 1.18% -0.85%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.20% 0.26% -26.09%
Two or More Races 0.26% 0.48% -59.46%
Hispanic 92.95% 91.65% 1.41%

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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