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Archive for the ‘diaspora’ tag

Surnames Across the Globe

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I came across an interesting site called the World Names Profiler, which given a surname colors a map of the world based on frequency of occurence of the name in different countries. They have a dataset of 300 million names across 26 countries.

While it’s a nice visualization, it was very interesting for me to see the spread of Indian surnames, as the Indian diaspora is spread out all over the globe. Obviously Indian surnames have a maximum frequency in India, but it’s quite interesting to note that Guha has a high frequency in North America and Central Europe and a very low frequency in Australia. I was also surprised to see that it had a non-zero occurrence in Argentina. On the other hand, Ghosh, is has a higher frequency in Canada compared to the US and a higher frequency in Argentina than Guha. However, Patel, has a much higher frequency in Australia than either Guha or Ghosh. Singh on the other hand, appears to have similar frequencies in Canada and Australia, which are both higher than in the US

I chose these surname because they’re pretty common Indian surnames. One could correlate frequencies of occurrence to the background represented by the surnames, but that would be easily confounded by stereotypes. However, for me, it’s a nice visualization of how Indians have spread over the globe.

Written by Rajarshi Guha

October 22nd, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Posted in visualization

Tagged with , ,