Idaho’s most common surname is the same in much of America. The Smith name tops the list in 40 states! The second most popular name from Idaho is Johnson and the third is Anderson. Neighboring Utah, Montana, and Washington have the same top three, which speaks volumes about migration patterns. Smith has an edge over many other surnames. It was common in several European countries, and Schmidt German was often anglicised. Anderson is also a common name in more than one European nation.
Along the southern border, we see Hispanic influence. Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona all show strong influence.
There are regional influences in Idaho. The panhandle offers a wider variety of names. A tour guide at a silver mine once shared with me that his ancestors were mainly from Norway. Among his fellow miners there was a heavy concentration of Scandinavian and German names.
Anecdotally, I’ve also come across multiple French, Italian, and Irish names in northern Idaho.
Unlike other places I’ve lived, Idaho seems to have been more successful as a melting pot. I don’t hear the old ethnic jokes I’ve heard in other parts of the country. Much of the east prides itself on being “enlightened,” but I heard some of the worst ethnic jokes and slurs when I lived in that part of the country.
In Twin Falls County, there is a slight shift in the order of the most common surnames. One of my colleagues wrote about the county’s most common names in 2017. As the area grows, we’ll likely see the list evolve.
LOOK: Here is the richest city in every state
Just saying the names of these cities immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, luxury cars, and lavish restaurants. Read on to see which city in your home state earned the title of wealthiest locality and which locality had the highest median income in the country. Who knows, your hometown might even be on this list.