The history of your name

The JOHNSTON surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 128,935 207 0.048 478
United States (1880 census) 38,775 120 0.078 776
Change since 1880 +90160 -87 -0.03 -298
Other Countries
Australia 16,155 63 0.099 988
United Kingdom 40,390 110 0.088 879
Top States for JOHNSTON by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
California 10,753 255 0.032 317
Texas 9,508 236 0.046 456
Florida 7,503 210 0.047 469
Pennsylvania 6,751 115 0.055 550
Ohio 5,486 186 0.048 483
Top States for JOHNSTON by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Idaho 1,138 84 0.088 879
Wyoming 423 64 0.086 857
Maine 1,084 164 0.085 850
Montana 766 71 0.085 849
Oregon 2,775 84 0.081 811


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

Classification and Origin of JOHNSTON

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: Scotland

Language of origin: Gaelic

Ethnic origin: Celtic

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: Location or Geographical Feature

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

Classification Total Percent
Native American/Alaskan 954 0.74
Asian/Pacific 670 0.52
White (Caucasian) 120,077 93.13
Black/African American 3,159 2.45
White (Hispanic) 2,243 1.74
Mixed Race 1,818 1.41

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

Meaning of JOHNSTON in historical publications

JOHNSTON. JOHNSTONE. Posttowns and parishes in Dumfriesshire and Eenfrewshire. For a local surname this is exceedingly common, there being between sixty and seventy traders bearing it in Lond. Direct. It is often confounded with Johnson.

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 JOHNSTON

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as JOHNSTON.

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 JOHNSTON

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