Walker Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

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

Walker, 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 Walker surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname of Walker may have two origins, the first of which is profession-based. Deriving from the pre 7th century word wealcer, or β€œto walk or tread,” the name Walker refers to the profession of Fuller. This was an often unpleasant profession that in the Roman era was performed by slaves. It was the Fuller's job to cleanse and prepare wool from sheep in vats of water by treading through the dirty wet fleeces.

A second possible origin for the name may be locational and derive from Walker, in Northumberland, England. People who were born or lived in Walker may use the place name as part of their own name upon moving away from the area for easier identification. As an example, a man named John who was born in Walker could find himself in London and use the name John of Walker.

Sir Edward Walker (1611 – February 1677) was born in Nether Stowey, Somerset, England and as a young man entered the household of Earl Marshal Thomas Howard. Under King Charles I Walker became Clerk Extraordinary of the Privy Council, a role that had a great deal of responsibility. In 1645 Sir Edward was elevated to Garter King of Arms a position he also held under Charles I son Charles II.

Robert Walker (1599–1658) was a painter who worked largely for the parliamentarians of England. Waker painted several pictures of Oliver Cromwell and other party members between 1649 and 1658. Many of Walker's works are on display in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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

According to the data, Walker is ranked #31 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Walker surname appeared 523,129 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 177.34 would have the surname Walker.

We can also compare 2010 data for Walker 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 31 28 10.17%
Count 523,129 501,307 4.26%
Proportion per 100k 177.34 185.83 -4.68%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Walker

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

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 Walker was:

  • 58.66%, or 306,867 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 35.05%, or 183,357 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 0.45%, or 2,354 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.87%, or 4,551 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.55%, or 13,340 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 2.41%, or 12,607 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 Walker has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 58.66% 61.25% -4.32%
Black 35.05% 34.17% 2.54%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.45% 0.35% 25.00%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.87% 0.83% 4.71%
Two or More Races 2.55% 1.80% 34.48%
Hispanic 2.41% 1.60% 40.40%

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

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

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