Not Shevchenko: what is the most common surname in Ukraine and how did it appear

Alina MilsentLife
What is the most common surname in Ukraine?

Ukrainian surnames have different sources of origin: it can be a profession, a locality, a feature of appearance or character, or patronymics (proper names). The suffixes -enko, -enko, -uk, -yuk date back to the Cossack period and are considered the most common.

The most popular surname is mistakenly considered to be Shevchenko. However, according to online statistics, there are many more Melnyks among Ukrainians.

The most common Ukrainian surname

The surname Melnyk comes from the eponymous term for a mill owner or a person working in a mill.

A person engaged in milling was also called a 'miroshnyk'. Interestingly, the surname Miroshnychenko is not so popular - it ranks 290th in the ranking of the 1000 most common surnames. There are many Melnyks all over Ukraine, but most of them live in Podillia and Galicia.

Top 10 popular surnames

The top ten most common surnames include:

  1. Melnyk - 174057 people
  2. Shevchenko - 142200 people
  3. Boyko - 126548 people
  4. Kovalenko - 126139 people
  5. Bondarenko - 118547 people
  6. Tkachenko - 112157 people
  7. Kovalchuk - 110259 people
  8. Kravchenko - 106528 people
  9. Oliynyk - 99963 people
  10. Shevchuk - 97636 people

Interestingly, surnames with the suffixes -uk, -yuk (e.g., Ivanchuk, Nesteruk, Tkachuk, Maniuk) are common in Podillia, Volyn, and Western Polissia.

Surnames ending in -enko, -enko (Fedorenko, Hayenko) are more common in the Naddniprianshchyna.

According to statistics, in 2013 the most common surnames were:

  1. Melnyk - 107878 people
  2. Shevchenko - 106340 people
  3. Kovalenko - 88632 people
  4. Bondarenko - 88133 people
  5. Boyko - 83195 people.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told about the origin of the Ukrainian word that became the basis for many surnames.

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