Which is the most common first and last name in India?

Written by: Nimish Adani



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Names and nomenclatures are important, interesting and fun. It’s why we make it a point to put a lot of thought into the ideas for the products that showcase them. Happily, all this hard work has helped us become India’s most accomplished maker of name plates and, in the process, introduced us to hundreds of names, nicknames, family names, and stories connected to tens of thousands of names. Many of these stories are rather intriguing and we think worth sharing with you; something we are going to do in a series of blog posts centred around answers to quirky questions like ‘Are Dwivedis, Trivedis, and Chaturvedis related?’ or ‘Why do most Sindhi surnames ends with –ani?’ or ‘Why do some surnames have two capital letters?’, and more. And on that note, let’s get right into the history of name-calling.

The most common first name in India

In 2014, Modak Analytics, a start-up in the big data space, collected and sifted through 18 tera bytes of data which was made public by Election Commission and Indian Census. This data included the names of 81 crore Indian citizens (close to 65% of the country’s population) – which is a really huge sample.

Based on this data, it was found that the most common first name in India is Ramesh.

Some other interesting tidbits from their analysis:

  • Of the 13.4 crore voters in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s biggest State by number of voters, at least 1.2 crore people have Ram somewhere in their name. i.e. 1 in 11 voters in UP has Ram somewhere in their name.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the name Srinivas is spelt 600 different ways
  • About three lakh women in Gujarat have Gita Ben as their first name.
  • Bihar is home for 3.27 lakh women with Sita as their first name and an almost equal number of women named Geeta.
  • Other names that are quite popular are: Lakshmi (19.28 lakh, Andhra Pradesh), Fernandes (81,000, Goa), Shankar (11.41 lakh) and Patil (24 lakh, Maharashtra)
  • Two longest names for voters are registered in Andhra Pradesh – E Janake Sathya Surya Vijaya Durga Maheshvari in Sangareddy constituency and Venkata Sathya Suriya Maitreyi Kumari Toleti in Narsapur constituency.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The most common last name in India

While the article above does not throw much light on last names, one can speculate that the most common last name is Kumar.

Its a surname that’s prevalent across the most populous states in North India – Uttar Pradesh & Bihar; and in South India – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Tamil Nadu. You will also find a large number of Kumars in East India (West Bengal) and West India (Gujarat).