Occasionally, I have wondered where people live who have the same name or who might even be related to my family. My mom’s side of the family does have a pretty complete family tree going back a few centuries. From this side we know that there are relatives living in the USA whom we also know. But the information on the other side of my family is rather spotty.

Today, @Digitalstudio sent a link to the website “World Names Profiler“. This was a great opportunity to check out where I may find people who share the same surname.

So, here is the result:

People with my surname can be found in some parts of the world
People with my surname can be found in some parts of the world

The name pops up most in Canada with a frequency per million (FPM) of 36.9. That is followed by Luxembourg with 8.5, the U.S.A. with 7.03, and Germany comes in 4th with 3.56. The number seems to be right for Luxembourg, as we are just shy of half a million people in this country and I only found two fellow “Hoeppner”‘s in the online telephone book. Of course, some, like me, may not be listed. However, if we divide 8.5 by 2 minus a little bit because we are not quite half a million, that gets you close to the 3. There may even be more as these people may be married

Checking the FAQ gave me a better picture of how many names the database actually includes:

How many names do you have information for?
We hold data for approximately 300 million people in 26 countries of the world, representing a total population of 1 billion people in those countries. In our database there are 8 million unique surnames and 5 million unique forenames.
What countries do you have data for?
We have data for 26 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania.

OK. But already the top four countries for my name have more than 300 million inhabitants. According to the CIA World Factbook, they have close to 421 million people. So even though 300 million may look like a big number, it is not in closer examination also taking in account that there are an estimated 6.721 billion people on earth.

Even though these numbers do not really represent “the world” because 26 is a far cry from the 192 recognized by the United Nations, it is still interesting to see where I might bump into another person with my last name – related or not. Canada seems to be the hot spot, especially Manitoba. When looking at the top cities, I’d have to go to Gurnee in Illinois or second to Encinitas in California. That’s not really in Canada, but somewhere warm is also nice. 🙂

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