The history of your name

The FOSTER surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 221,040 87 0.082 819
United States (1880 census) 59,323 62 0.119 1,186
Change since 1880 +161717 -25 -0.037 -367
Other Countries
Australia 10,167 110 0.062 622
United Kingdom 54,358 75 0.118 1,184
Top States for FOSTER by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Texas 17,316 113 0.083 830
California 16,699 148 0.049 493
Florida 11,874 117 0.074 743
Ohio 9,492 84 0.084 836
New York 9,177 120 0.048 484
Top States for FOSTER by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Maine 1,974 59 0.155 1,548
Alabama 6,517 80 0.147 1,465
South Carolina 5,621 80 0.140 1,401
Arkansas 3,584 63 0.134 1,341
Oklahoma 4,582 60 0.133 1,328


'A figure of zero indicates that we don't have data for this name (usually because it's quite uncommon and our stats don't go down that far). It doesn't mean that there's no-one with that name at all!

For less common surnames, the figures get progressively less reliable the fewer holders of that name there are. This data is aggregated from several public lists, and some stats are interpolated from known values. The margin of error is well over 100% at the rarest end of the table!

For less common surnames, the frequency and "per million" values may be 0 even though there are people with that name. That's because they represent less than one in a million of the population, which ends up as 0 after rounding.

It's possible for a surname to gain in rank and/or total while being less common per million people (or vice versa) as there are now more surnames in the USA as a result of immigration. In mathematical terms, the tail has got longer, with a far larger number of less common surnames.

Figures for top states show firstly the states where most people called FOSTER live. This obviously tends to be biased towards the most populous states. The second set of figures show where people called FOSTER represent the biggest proportion of the population. So, in this case, there are more people called FOSTER in Texas than any other state, but you are more likely to find a FOSTER by picking someone at random in Maine than anywhere else.

Classification and Origin of FOSTER

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: England

Language of origin: English

Ethnic origin: English

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: Occupational Name

Data for religion and/or language relates to the culture in which the FOSTER surname originated. It does not necessarily have any correlation with the language spoken, or religion practised, by the majority of current American citizens with that name.

Data for ethnic origin relates to the region and country in which the FOSTER surname originated. It does not necessarily have any correlation with the ethnicity of the majority of current American citizens with that name.

Ethnic distribution of FOSTER in the USA

Classification Total Percent
White (Caucasian) 159,149 72
Black/African American 51,259 23.19
Mixed Race 3,935 1.78
White (Hispanic) 3,758 1.7
Asian/Pacific 1,017 0.46
Native American/Alaskan 1,901 0.86

Ethnic distribution data shows the number and percentage of people with the FOSTER surname who reported their ethnic background as being in these broad categories in the most recent national census.

Meaning of FOSTER in historical publications

FOSTER. Sometimes a contraction of Forester : but tliere is an origin at least equally probable, viz : fosterer, one who feeds and has the charge of children instead of their parents. " When a gesithcundman left his land, he was at liberty to take away his Reeve, his Smith, and his child's Fosterer. Laws of Ina, King of Wessex. Thorpe, i. 145. Archajologia, xxxiii. 277.

Lower, Mark A (1860) Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom. London: J.R. Smith. Public Domain.

Similar names to FOSTER

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as FOSTER.

This does not necessarily imply a direct relationship between the names, but may indicate names that could be mistaken for this one when written down or misheard.

Matches are generated automatically by a combination of Soundex, Metaphone and Levenshtein matching.

Potential typos for FOSTER

The following words are slight variants of FOSTER that are likely to be possible typos or misspellings in written material.