Explore the Family Name Alvarez

The meaning of Alvarez

1. Spanish (Álvarez): patronymic from the personal name Álvaro (see Alvaro). Compare Alavarez, Albares, Albarez, Alvares, and Alverez. 2. Jewish (Sephardic): adoption of the name in 1 above at the moment of conversion to Roman Catholicism. After the return to Judaism (generations later), some descendants retained the name their families used as Catholics. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Manuel, Juan, Luis, Carlos, Jesus, Francisco, Jorge, Ramon, Pedro, Miguel, Roberto. Portuguese Catarina, Lidio, Ligia, Joaquim, Wenceslao.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Alvarez in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Alvarez has increased in popularity between the years 2000 and 2010. The data reveals that Alvarez jumped from rank 132 in 2000 to rank 92 in 2010, marking a significant rise of 30.3. Moreover, the count of individuals with this surname grew by 38.6 percent during the same period, increasing from 168,817 to 233,983. This surge is also reflected in the proportion per 100,000 people, which rose from 62.58 to 79.32, indicating a 26.75 percent increase.

Proportion per 100k62.5879.3226.75%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Alvarez

The ethnicity distribution associated with the surname Alvarez also saw changes between 2000 and 2010 according to the Decennial U.S. Census. There was a slight increase in the percentage of individuals identifying as Hispanic, rising from 90.66 percent to 92.45 percent. Conversely, there were decreases across other ethnic identities. The proportion of those identifying as White fell by 21.63 percent, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native category experienced a decrease of 19.15 percent. Those identifying as Black dropped by 6.25 percent, and individuals reporting two or more races saw a substantial decrease of 51.06 percent. The Asian/Pacific Islander category saw a marginal increase of 0.87 percent.

Asian/Pacific Islander1.15%1.16%0.87%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.47%0.38%-19.15%
Two or More Races0.47%0.23%-51.06%

Alvarez ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Alvarez is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 46.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Indigenous American (24.6%) and British & Irish (8.9%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Italian, Filipino & Austronesian, Senegambian & Guinean, and Eastern European.

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Spanish & Portuguese46.2%
Indigenous American24.6%
British & Irish8.9%

Possible origins of the surname Alvarez

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Alvarez have recent ancestry locations all within Mexico.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Michoacan, Mexico52.00%
Jalisco, Mexico52.00%
Guanajuato, Mexico51.90%
Veracruz, Mexico51.80%
Mexico City, Mexico51.80%

What Alvarez haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Alvarez is R-P311, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-P311 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include Q-M3 and R-U152, which are predominantly found among people with East Asian & Indigenous American and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Rodriguez, Diaz, Ruiz, Silva, Acosta, Moreno, Ortiz, Sanchez, Gonzalez, Garcia.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Alvarez surname are: A2, H, B2. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

alvarezPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to some of the first Americans

Though the Ice Age was beginning to retreat when your A2 ancestors first entered North America, there were still massive barriers blocking their way. Glaciers and inhospitable climate covered much of the continent, blocking entry into the interior. Nonetheless, researchers have found evidence that a wave of American founders migrated over 13,000 kilometers to reach southern Chile in only 2,000 years, a blink of an eye in the story of human migration! Their highway to the south was the coast of the Pacific, stocked with fish, diverse marine mammals, and other valuable resources in the rich kelp forests of the upper latitudes and in the abundant fresh-water rivers near the equator. Because of this rapid movement south, the A2 haplogroup and its diverse branches are found throughout North and South America.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Alvarez have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Alvarez" Surname 40.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Alvarez" Surname 36.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Alvarez" Surname 22.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Alvarez" Surname 14.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Alvarez?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Alvarez are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Spanish & Portuguese 56.3%

23andMe Users 57.2%