Taylor Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Taylor, 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 Taylor surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Taylor is an occupational name that is common in the British Isles. The profession of a tailor is at its root and the word itself derives from the Old French (8th-14th centuries) word "tailluer," which means “to cut.” As a surname, it is extremely popular in Scotland and England and dates back to the 12th century as a recorded surname.

William le Taillur is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of the English County of Somerset in 1182 with numerous other mentions throughout Scotland and England in the preceding centuries. Many of the early records feature the French word "le" which is the equivalent of the English word "the." This means that the person is listed as in English (given name) the Tailor.

Naming traditions in the UK when it came to professions were that a person would use the name, for example, Tailor, and if their son were to follow them into the profession they too would use it. Subsequent generations beyond that could take the surname regardless of whether they were in the same profession.

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is a notable bearer of this surname. Born in Orange County, Virginia, he was a soldier for much of his life, spending four decades commanding troops. Taylor is most notable, however, for being elected President of the United States in 1848. As President, he spent much of his time trying to avoid a split between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery. Taylor's term in office was cut short though when he died suddenly just two years into his term.

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

According to the data, Taylor is ranked #17 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Taylor surname appeared 751,209 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 254.67 would have the surname Taylor.

We can also compare 2010 data for Taylor 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 17 13 26.67%
Count 751,209 720,370 4.19%
Proportion per 100k 254.67 267.04 -4.74%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Taylor

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

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 Taylor was:

  • 65.38%, or 491,140 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 28.42%, or 213,494 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.56%, or 4,207 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.76%, or 5,709 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.41%, or 18,104 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 2.46%, or 18,480 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 Taylor has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 65.38% 67.80% -3.63%
Black 28.42% 27.67% 2.67%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.56% 0.39% 35.79%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.76% 0.75% 1.32%
Two or More Races 2.41% 1.78% 30.07%
Hispanic 2.46% 1.61% 41.77%

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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  • "Taylor Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on November 29, 2022. https://namecensus.com/last-names/taylor-surname-popularity/.

  • "Taylor Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/taylor-surname-popularity/. Accessed 29 November, 2022

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