Peterson Surname Popularity in the United States

In this article we'll look at the surname Peterson 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 Peterson.

Peterson, 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 Peterson surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

According to the data, Peterson is ranked #71 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Peterson surname appeared 278,297 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 94.34 would have the surname Peterson.

We can also compare 2010 data for Peterson 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 71 63 11.94%
Count 278,297 275,041 1.18%
Proportion per 100k 94.34 101.96 -7.76%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Peterson

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

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 Peterson was:

  • 84.39%, or 234,855 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 10.09%, or 28,080 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.66%, or 1,837 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.74%, or 2,059 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 1.72%, or 4,787 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 2.40%, or 6,679 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 Peterson has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 84.39% 86.29% -2.23%
Black 10.09% 9.58% 5.19%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.66% 0.52% 23.73%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.74% 0.70% 5.56%
Two or More Races 1.72% 1.33% 25.57%
Hispanic 2.40% 1.56% 42.42%

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

We spent a lot of time downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

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!

  • "Peterson Surname Popularity in the United States". Accessed on December 4, 2021.

  • "Peterson Surname Popularity in the United States"., Accessed 4 December, 2021

  • Peterson Surname Popularity in the United States. Retrieved from