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This website gives the approximate number of people with a particular surname in all countries: http://forebears.io/surnames

It spits a number, for example "1500 people", but the problem is that I don't know if that's high or low, because I don't have the average to compare it to...

If we picked a random person, what's the average number of people that have the same surname as that person?

Either for the whole world, for the U.S., for France, or for the U.K., any would be good enough.

It would be even better if you could also provide the median and the standard deviation.

And it would be even even better if you could provide a histogram representing the percent of people who carry a surname carried by between k*1000 and (k+1)*1000 people, i.e. with the x-axis representing bins “Surnames carried by between k*1000 and (k+1)*1000 people” and with the y-axis representing the percent of people.

Isn't this just the same as asking how many surnames are in the population in question? I don't mean that the number is the same but the answer to the question is surely population / surname-count? Or is it so late I'm missing something? – AdrianB38 – 2016-11-26T00:47:26.810

@AdrianB38: No. Imagine there were 100 people, 99 of them with the surname “A”, 1 of them with the surname “B”. Your formula leads to a wrong answer: population / surname_count = 100/2 = 50. The correct formula would be: sum_on_all_surnames_s(number_of_people_with_surname_s^2) / population = (99^2 + 1^2) / 100 = 98.02 – user50746 – 2016-11-26T06:14:36.467

Point taken. It clearly was late! – AdrianB38 – 2016-11-26T07:14:28.483

The service is great but the results are totally unreliable. I will explain. For example, I know at least the whole branch of Merbach's in Russia, but they are not represented in the service. Also the different spellings of surnames co-exists. Such a service will succeed only if every country will publish it's censuses and phone catalogues. But it is not possible. Particularly, if we speak about least developed countries – GEORG GAAL – 2017-07-24T14:53:01.053