The history of your name

The JAMES surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 233,224 80 0.086 865
United States (1880 census) 49,532 77 0.099 991
Change since 1880 +183692 -3 -0.013 -126
Other Countries
Australia 16,967 57 0.104 1,038
United Kingdom 77,846 46 0.169 1,695
Top States for JAMES by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Texas 17,812 112 0.085 854
California 16,615 157 0.049 491
Florida 15,251 81 0.095 954
New York 12,197 78 0.064 643
Georgia 10,601 62 0.129 1,295
Top States for JAMES by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
South Carolina 7,654 53 0.191 1,908
Louisiana 8,399 46 0.188 1,879
Mississippi 5,114 53 0.180 1,798
Alabama 7,384 69 0.166 1,660
Arkansas 3,973 59 0.149 1,486


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

Classification and Origin of JAMES

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: Wales

Language of origin: Welsh

Ethnic origin: Celtic

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: From name of parent

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

Classification Total Percent
White (Caucasian) 126,990 54.45
Black/African American 88,835 38.09
Native American/Alaskan 5,854 2.51
Mixed Race 4,898 2.1
White (Hispanic) 4,758 2.04
Asian/Pacific 1,889 0.81

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

Meaning of JAMES in historical publications

JAMES. The first appearance of this Christian name in our annals is in Domesday. It afterwards became a common surname, besides giving rise to Jameson, Jamieson, Jempson, Jemmett. and probably through its French form, Jacques, to Jeakes, Jacklin, and the widely-spread Jackson ; tliough John, through its accepted nickname Jack, may have an equal claim to that familiar patronymic.

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 JAMES

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as JAMES.

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 JAMES

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