The history of your name

The HOWARD surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 254,779 70 0.094 945
United States (1880 census) 61,971 56 0.124 1,239
Change since 1880 +192808 -14 -0.03 -294
Other Countries
Australia 10,122 111 0.062 619
United Kingdom 38,432 116 0.084 837
Top States for HOWARD by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Texas 18,653 108 0.089 895
California 17,516 142 0.052 517
Florida 15,786 77 0.099 988
Ohio 14,098 47 0.124 1,242
Georgia 13,375 45 0.163 1,634
Top States for HOWARD by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Kentucky 10,656 22 0.264 2,636
Alabama 9,128 48 0.205 2,053
Georgia 13,375 45 0.163 1,634
Tennessee 8,464 69 0.149 1,488
South Carolina 5,943 77 0.148 1,481


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

Classification and Origin of HOWARD

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: England

Language of origin: English

Ethnic origin: English

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: From given name or forename

Data for religion and/or language relates to the culture in which the HOWARD 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 HOWARD 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 HOWARD in the USA

Classification Total Percent
Asian/Pacific 968 0.38
White (Caucasian) 170,269 66.83
Black/African American 73,096 28.69
Mixed Race 4,433 1.74
White (Hispanic) 3,949 1.55
Native American/Alaskan 2,089 0.82

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

Meaning of HOWARD in historical publications

William, son of Roger Fitz Valevine, took the name of Howard from being born in the Castle of Howard, in Wales, in the time of Henry I. Spelman derives Howard from Hof-ward, the keeper of a hall; Vestegan, from Hold-ward, the keeper of a stronghold; Camden, from Hoch-ward, the high keeper.

Arthur, William (1857) An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain.

HOWARD. This noble historical name has been a sore puzzle to etymologists. See Eng. Surn. i. 133. A writer in the Quarterly Rev. vol. OIL says, the family " may be Saxon, may be Danish." They are more probablj' of Norwegian origin. Havard or Haavard was a common personal name among the Northmen. " It appears," says Laing, "to be the English name Howard, and left by them in Northumberland and East Auglia." Heimskringla. vol. i. p. 410, The seventeenth-century genealogists laboured hard to proAe a Norman origin for this illustrious race, but authentic VQcords extend back no farther than the XIII, cent., when the Howards rose into eminence in Norfolk ; (See Peerage,) though Houardus, the Essex under-tenant of Domesday may be cited on that side.

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 HOWARD

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as HOWARD.

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 HOWARD

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