Surname statistics for James

There are approximately 138,069 people named James in the UK. That makes it the 41th most common surname overall. Out of every million people in the UK, approximately 2,185 are named James.

Frequency Comparisons
TotalRankFrequency %Per million people
Great Britain
United Kingdom (current)13806941N/A2185
United Kingdom (1881 census)58825450.1961964
Change since 1881+79244+4+0.023+221
Other Countries
United States23322480N/A865


People with the surname James are slightly more likely to be politicians than the average member of the population. When they do become politicians, they are most likely to be elected as Labour.

As of the most recent set of elections, the political parties represented by politicians called James are:

  1. Labour (19)
  2. Conservative (17)
  3. Independent (8)
  4. Liberal Democrat (7)
  5. Plaid Cymru (3)
  6. UKIP (2)
  7. Independent Labour (1)
More stats for the politics nerds!

Top male forenames

David James
Michael James
Andrew James
Mark James
Paul James
John James
Robert James
Richard James
Stephen James
Peter James
Christopher James
Simon James
Ian James
Anthony James
Alan James
William James
Nicholas James
Martin James
Philip James
Brian James

Top female forenames

Susan James
Sarah James
Margaret James
Julie James
Elizabeth James
Janet James
Karen James
Linda James
Helen James
Jennifer James
Catherine James
Christine James
Emma James
Jacqueline James
Mary James
Patricia James
Jane James
Sandra James
Alison James
Angela James


  • Total is the total number of people with that surname.
  • Rank is the position in the list of names ordered by total (eg, a rank of 1 means that it's the most common name, and a rank of 10 means it's the tenth most common, etc).
  • Frequency is the percentage of people with that surname.
  • Per million people is the number of people with that surname per million of the population.

All of these are approximate figures, and the current figures especially so. The 1881 census figures are correct for what was recorded on the census, but we don't really know how accurate it was. At least, though the 1881 figures won't change, as it's a snapshot of a point in time. The current figures, by contrast, are variable according to births, deaths, migration and marriages, so the values shown here are only a best approximation to whatever was the case when the underlying data was collated and will not be the same as whatever the values are right now.

'N/A' indicates that we don't have data for this name in that country or time (usually because it's quite uncommon there and our stats don't go down that far). It doesn't mean that there's no-one there with that name at all!

For less common surnames, the figures get progressively less reliable the fewer holders of that name there are. This data is aggregated from several public lists, and some stats are interpolated from known values. The margin of error is well over 100% at the rarest end of the table!

It's possible for a surname to gain in rank and/or total while being less common per million people (or vice versa) as there are now more surnames in the UK as a result of immigration. In mathematical terms, the tail has got longer, with a far larger number of less common surnames.