What's the most popular surname in your country?


My previous blog was about popular first names ... now for a blog about popular surnames (ie, last/family names)!

But before we get started, here's a little pop-quiz - what country is my friend Mr. Foley's surname from?


I recently saw the following interesting map on dadaviz.com. It shows the most common surnames in some of the countries around Europe.

And, of course, with any interesting map, I like to try to create my own SAS version!

I used Proc Gproject to clip out a rectangular region of the map similar to theirs, and then used the %centroid() macro to estimate the x/y center coordinate of each country. I then used annotated labels to place the most common name at each of those x/y locations. Some of the names had tricky characters, and I used the "Albany amt/unicode" font, and specified the characters as hex codes for those names.

And here's the SAS map I was able to create. Note that if you click on the image below, then you can see the interactive version - then you can hover your mouse over each country, and see the country names!




If your country is not in this map, what would be your guess as to the most popular surname in your country?


About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over a quarter century, and his specialty is customizing graphs and maps - adding those little extra touches that help them answer your questions at a glance. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University.

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