If you meet an acquaintance on an Idaho street and can’t remember his name, address him as Mr. Smith.  The title will give you the highest odds of being right.  Smith remains the most common name in the state.  And across the country, if not necessarily in every state.  There must have been a lot of blacksmiths in the old world at the expense of other lines of work.  Johnson and Anderson are numbers two and three in Idaho.

Smith is the number one name in 40 states, but we shouldn’t be surprised that things change as you get closer to the southern border.

What Could be the Leading Name in the Future?

Speaking of change, since I last wrote about this topic there’s been no movement on the list, however.  Change will accelerate.  Since 1965 immigration laws have promoted newcomers from places other than Western Europe.  You can argue among yourselves about the merits.  But we’re diluting the older names and the great migration from the south aids this trend.

Some people say we need even more new people.  The analyst Peter Zeihan claims we could easily double our population and still have room.  He believes we need to grow to remain economically viable.

What's in a Name?

Maybe in 200 years, the top name in the United States will be Khan.  But probably not in Idaho.  Immigrant culture is still more than likely to gravitate to urban areas.  Ultimately, what’s in a name?  Most people named Smith today couldn’t shoe a horse—a long-forgotten skillset beyond the farm.

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