The history of your name

The LEE surname in the USA

Frequency Comparisons
Total Rank Frequency % Per million people
United States
United States (Current snapshot) 605,860 22 0.225 2,246
United States (1880 census) 83,486 36 0.167 1,670
Change since 1880 +522374 +14 +0.058 +576
Other Countries
Australia 25,612 16 0.157 1,567
United Kingdom 74,722 49 0.163 1,627
Top States for LEE by Total
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
California 119,378 9 0.352 3,524
New York 37,340 8 0.197 1,968
Texas 37,179 37 0.178 1,783
Florida 27,945 34 0.175 1,748
Illinois 22,760 22 0.183 1,833
Top States for LEE by Frequency
State Total Rank in State Frequency % Per million people
Hawaii 5,286 1 0.436 4,363
Mississippi 10,047 20 0.353 3,532
California 119,378 9 0.352 3,524
Washington DC 1,766 15 0.309 3,087
Alabama 13,648 23 0.307 3,069


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

Classification and Origin of LEE

Region of origin: British Isles

Country of origin: England

Language of origin: English

Ethnic origin: English

Religious origin: Christian

Name derivation: Location or Geographical Feature

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

Classification Total Percent
White (Caucasian) 242,889 40.09
Asian/Pacific 229,197 37.83
Black/African American 105,480 17.41
Mixed Race 13,935 2.3
White (Hispanic) 8,119 1.34
Native American/Alaskan 6,240 1.03

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

Meaning of LEE in historical publications

LEE. Itself a surname, with the various modifications Atte-Legh (now Atlee) Lea, Ley, Lighe, Lye, &c., is undeniably the A- Sax. leak. It is, as Professor Leo observes, the equivalent of " the old I-Iigh German I6h, and corresponds literally (allowing for the recognized modification) with the Latiu hiois; but whilst leak may enclose a thicket, or indeed an actual wood, it has a yet more general meaning, and may denote such an open field as would be rendered campus.'' Williams's Translation, Treatise on Local Nomenclature, 1852. Lea, the modern English word, signifies, however, meadow, pasture, or grass land. Nor must it be forgotten that the A-Sax. leag or leah, has a totally different meaning, implying a territory or district in which a particular law or custom was in force. This term, varied in different M'ays, as lagv. levga, and lon-cy, Avas i-etained for centuries after the incoming of the Normans, to denote a particular liberty, franchise, or district, as the league of Battel Abliey, the lonry of Pevensey, the h)vcy of Tunbridge, &c. To some or all of these sources, we are indebted for a very large proportion of our local, and consequently of our family nomenclature in South Britain, for— " In Ford, in Ham, in Ley, and Ton, The most of English Snrnames run."

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 LEE

The following names have similar spellings or pronunciations as LEE.

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 LEE

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