Top 100 Most Common Swedish Surnames: -son, -quist, -ström & Co. (2019)

Most Common Surnames in Sweden (2016)
Most Common Surnames in Sweden

One third of all Swedish surnames end with son. Svensson, Johansson, Gustavsson belong to the most common last names in Sweden. (Source: SCB.) Those names are so common, that you can expect to find at least one of them on a door in each Swedish apartment building. If not there, then at least on one of the mailboxes of the houses next door.

By the way, the most common Swedish last names that do not end with -son, are Lindberg, Lindström and Lindgren. What those names mean, and the reason why so many Swedish last names end with -son, read further below. Including a video with the correct Swedish pronunciation of the top 10 last names in Sweden.

Read more about names in Sweden

List of 100 Most Common Swedish Surnames

The 100 most popular surnames in Sweden according to SCB, Statistiska Central Byrå, (counting day 31 December 2019). Here are the Smiths, Johnsons, Williams and Jones of Sweden.

Minor name variations, such as Karlsson and Carlsson are collected under the variation that is most common. For example, the amount of Carlsson is added to Karlsson.

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Swedish Surnames Last Names
Most common Swedish lastname on a mailbox
1Andersson238 843
2Johansson238 259
3Karlsson212 126
4Nilsson163 029
5Eriksson141 745
6Larsson119 454
7Olsson108 599
8Persson102 721
9Svensson96 369
10Gustafsson93 399
11Pettersson91 137
12Jonsson71 130
13Jansson47 858
14Hansson42 174
15Bengtsson32 923
16Jönsson30 506
17Lindberg27 569
18Jakobsson26 262
19Magnusson25 964
20Olofsson25 480
21Lindström24 849
22Lindqvist22 878
23Lindgren22 805
24Axelsson22 307
25Berg21 677
26Bergström21 118
27Lundberg21 025
28Lundgren20 376
29Lind20 277
30Lundqvist20 025
31Mattsson19 523
32Berglund19 088
33Fredriksson18 108
34Sandberg17 662
35Henriksson17 340
36Forsberg16 568
37Sjöberg16 414
38Wallin15 939
39Engström15 518
40Eklund15 299
41Danielsson15 228
42Håkansson15 090
43Lundin15 052
44Gunnarsson14 349
45Björk14 282
46Bergman14 232
47Holm14 192
48Samuelsson14 030
49Fransson13 915
50Wikström13 888
51Isaksson13 735
52Bergqvist13 422
53Nyström13 257
54Arvidsson13 232
55Holmberg13 099
56Löfgren12 862
57Ali12 754
58Söderberg12 662
59Mohamed12 607
60Nyberg12 578
61Blomqvist12 493
62Claesson12 471
63Mårtensson12 194
64Nordström12 143
65Lundström11 807
66Eliasson11 479
67Pålsson11 460
68Viklund11 427
69Björklund11 357
70Berggren11 157
71Sandström10 804
72Lund10 769
73Nordin10 659
74Ström10 567
75Åberg10 459
76Hermansson10 407
77Ekström10 240
78Holmgren10 143
79Hedlund9 984
80Falk9 948
81Sundberg9 931
82Dahlberg9 886
83Hellström9 879
84Sjögren9 804
85Abrahamsson9 591
86Ek9 488
87Blom9 485
88Martinsson9 483
89Öberg9 431
90Ahmed9 361
91Andreasson9 266
92Hassan9 183
93Månsson9 157
94Strömberg9 082
95Åkesson8 964
96Hansen8 804
97Jonasson8 790
98Norberg8 751
99Åström8 696
100Sundström8 679

Why So Many Swedish Surnames End with “-son”

Until 1901, it was very common that a patronymic was used when people received their last names. This means that the first name of the father is the base for the creation of a person’s last name. For example, was your father’s first name Anders, your last name would consequently be Andersson, “Ander’s son“. This was the case even if your father’s surname was totally different, like Pettersson.

1901, a new law prohibited this procedure. And since 1982 it is allowed (again) to use a patronymic or matronymic, meaning you can use your mother’s first name as your last name nowadays. This is not uncommon in Iceland. E.g. …dóttir, dóttir meaning “doughter”. But still not very common in Sweden though.

Meaning of Typical Swedish Surnames

The following words appear often in Swedish names and refer mostly to nature.

  • Ström – stream (river)
  • Berg – mountain/hill
  • Lind – linden
  • Ek – oak
  • Sjö – lake/sea
  • Sund – sea gate/strait
  • Å – small stream/creek
  • Ö – island
  • Björk – birch
  • Ny – new
  • Söder – south
  • Lund – small forrest
  • Gren – branch
  • Fors – cataract
  • Vik – bay
  • Holm – little island
  • Qvist/Kvist – twig

(Source for Swedish surnames: SCB)

Swedes have a special relationship to nature. Maybe that is the reason why so many Swedish names are related to it.

Swedish Pronunciation of the Top 10 Last Names in Sweden

Check How Common Your Name is in Sweden

Common Last Names in Sweden

Would you like to check how popular your name is in Sweden? You can check how many Swedes have the same first name or surname as you. On the website of SCB  you can check any name:

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23 thoughts on “Top 100 Most Common Swedish Surnames: -son, -quist, -ström & Co. (2019)”

  1. My Grandfather came from kristinstad sweden in the early 1900 and came to Canada. His surname was Hogan, I believe he changed it from some other name. Is there a Swedish name that is similar.

    • Perhaps it was changed from something related to Håkan? Håkan is a popular first name in Sweden (and therefore Håkansson/Håkansdotter could be a last name found in family trees).
      Due to Swedish pronunciation of the å (which sounds similar to the English o), to non-Swedish speakers it could be easy for someone to hear it as Hokan (and therefore Hogan).

    • Hej Brad,

      I wonder if his given (förenamn) name was Håkan or Hakon and it got spelled as Hogan and turned into a last name (efternamn) upon immigrating to Canada. Perhaps it was Håkansson and got shortened and spelled according to English phonetics.

  2. My surname is Josefsson. I am from Australia, I always am told that my surname is very swedish. Though I have German heritage, just wondering how common my surname is in Sweden.

  3. My great – grandfather’s last name was Johanson, but, we have been told that when he joined the Swedish navy in the late 1800’s, his last name became Nordstrom. Can someone explain the reason for this? My family has always asked this question. He had many children at the time. Some kept the last name of Johanson, and others, like my grandfather, adopted the last name of Nordstrom. Thank you.

    • Prior to coming to America, tradition had many Scandinavian generations taking the name of a parent to form a new last name. These patronyms were generally derived from the father’s given name, with the addition of a suffix meaning ‘son’ or ‘daughter’, or by occupation like Møller – ( Miller).

      For example, my G-G-G grandfather Anders Önnarsson’s son took the last name of Anderson (son of his father, Anders). His son, Jöns Andersson then named his offspring Anders Gustaf Jönsson (son of Jöns) The Swedish government finally put a stop to the confusion in 1901 (the Names Adoption Act was passed, abolishing this patronymic practice). After 1901, everyone had to have a family name that was passed down to the next generation.

      As confusing as this naming practice was, it got worse when in 1840 my Great-Great grandfather Jöns Andersson went into the Swedish military. He was given a new surname, being assigned the last name of “Badman” as he came from Bada village. For others, their assigned name could have been based on characteristics, such as Stark (strong) or Modig (brave). Yet when Jöns “John” J. Sundquist emigrated from Sweden in 1869, the military name Badman had become the family surname. The story has it that the ship’s captain counseled this first Badman son to change his name during the emigration process, since “Badman” suggested a negative personality.

  4. Hello. My grandmother was born in the U.S. Her name is listed on her marriage certificate as “Margaret M. Fredaund.” Her father is listed as “Israel Fredaund” and her mother as “Mary Kristina.” Is Fredaund a Swedish name? My mother mentioned Swedish and German background. I’d love to find out. Thank you!

    • Hej! I have checked the Swedish name database, and there is no one called Fredaund (first- or lastname) living in Sweden. (See here.)

  5. My grandmother came to England between 1900 and 1930 her name was angnes read swinscow. She died when I was three years old in 1954.😕

  6. looking for Augustus “Weston”, who, when coming to the states, shortened his last name from something in comparison to what he went by….his father’s first name was Nelce ??????, and they came from somewhere near Stockholm. Thought it might be Westerberg, Westenberg, or something to that effect….

  7. Trying to get a correct spelling of great Grandparent from Sweden. Last name is Troetson or Truetson?

  8. Doing our family history have found my great grand parents came from sweden a island off the coast. Their surname was brumberg.
    I am hoping to find family their since records showed siblings stayed behind. When they came to the US. How common is the surname brumberg ?

  9. Hello, I’m in Australia & my g-g-grandfather was William Nord. He was from Sweden according to his marriage & death certificates. He came to Australia about 1860 & is listed as a seaman. On his death certificate his mother is listed as Mary Thomson. Is Thomson a Swedish name? His father is listed as “unknown”. Am I to assume that his father’s name was Nord? The closest I can find is Nordin & Nordstrom. Can you offer any information on these surnames?

    • Hello Loretta! Unfortunately, I can’t give you any helpful information on this matter. Maybe this site can help you. Good luck and best wishes!

  10. Is your book available anywhere else besides Amazon? Their privacy rape policy has just been upgraded. I got a text message from Alexa… No way. Thank you.


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