Sterling Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Sterling, 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 Sterling surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

According to the data, Sterling is ranked #1,362 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Sterling surname appeared 25,894 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 8.78 would have the surname Sterling.

We can also compare 2010 data for Sterling 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 1362 1333 2.15%
Count 25,894 24,314 6.29%
Proportion per 100k 8.78 9.01 -2.59%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Sterling

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

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 Sterling was:

  • 63.61%, or 16,471 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 28.49%, or 7,377 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.69%, or 179 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.49%, or 127 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.38%, or 616 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 4.35%, or 1,126 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 Sterling has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 63.61% 67.54% -5.99%
Black 28.49% 26.40% 7.62%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.69% 0.52% 28.10%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.49% 0.46% 6.32%
Two or More Races 2.38% 2.02% 16.36%
Hispanic 4.35% 3.06% 34.82%

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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  • "Sterling Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on May 23, 2022. http://namecensus.com/last-names/sterling-surname-popularity/.

  • "Sterling Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/sterling-surname-popularity/. Accessed 23 May, 2022

  • Sterling Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/sterling-surname-popularity/.