Rodriguez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Rodriguez, 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 Rodriguez surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Rodriguez is a Spanish name created by patronymic means. Standard naming practices follow that adding "ez" to the end of a first name it comes to mean “son of.” In the case of Rodriguez, this translates to “son of Rodrigo.”

Rodrigo, like the anglicized version Roderick, derives from two Germanic words Hrod (fame) and Ric (Power). Essentially, Rodrigo translates as "renown" and "power." The two surnames Rodriguez and Ruiz both originate from the first name Rodrigo. It was therefore not uncommon for the names to be interchangeable.

The nature of patronymic naming practices in early history meant that the sons would inherit their last name based on the first name of their father. As a result, Rodriguez would not always be passed down from generation to generation.

The name Rodriguez was first recorded in the Castile region of Spain which was a former stronghold of the Visigoths a Germanic tribe. This tribe controlled Spain between the 5th and 8th centuries before being displaced by the Moors in 711.

The first count of Castile, Rodrigo reigned from around 850/862 until his death in 873. He was succeeded by his eldest son Diego Rodriguez Porcelos the second count of Castile who ruled until around 885. It is uncertain when Diego died but is believed he was killed in battle against Muslim troops.

Gonzalo Rodriguez or Ruiz (1122-1180) was a Spanish feudal lord who served under several Castilian monarchs. Gonzalo succeeds his father Rodrigo Gomez taking his titles. Gonzalo fancied himself a poet although other troubadours of his acquaintance often mocked his efforts. They wrote of how he wasted time with poetry while failing in his military campaigns.

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

According to the data, Rodriguez is ranked #9 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Rodriguez surname appeared 1,094,924 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 371.19 would have the surname Rodriguez.

We can also compare 2010 data for Rodriguez 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 9 9 0.00%
Count 1,094,924 804,240 30.61%
Proportion per 100k 371.19 298.13 21.83%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Rodriguez

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

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 Rodriguez was:

  • 4.75%, or 52,009 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.54%, or 5,913 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.57%, or 6,241 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.18%, or 1,971 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 0.18%, or 1,971 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 93.77%, or 1,026,710 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 Rodriguez has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 4.75% 5.52% -15.00%
Black 0.54% 0.54% 0.00%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.57% 0.58% -1.74%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.18% 0.24% -28.57%
Two or More Races 0.18% 0.41% -77.97%
Hispanic 93.77% 92.70% 1.15%

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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  • "Rodriguez Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". Accessed on February 23, 2024.

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