Explore the Family Name Castro

The meaning of Castro

1. Galician, Portuguese, and Jewish (Sephardic): topographic name from castro ‘castle, fortress’ (from Latin castrum ‘fort, Roman walled city’), or a habitational name from any of various places called with this word. See also De Castro. 2. Italian and Jewish (from Italy): topographic name for someone who lived by a fortification, from castro ‘fortification’ (see 1 above) or a habitational name for someone from the town of Castro, the center of a Duchy in Lazio (destroyed after its occupation by Papal military forces in 1649). Compare Lo Castro. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Juan, Manuel, Carlos, Luis, Jesus, Jorge, Miguel, Francisco, Mario, Pedro, Raul. Portuguese Joao, Paulo, Ligia, Vasco, Wenceslao, Armanda, Fernandes.

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

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

According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Castro has increased in popularity from the year 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Castro was ranked as the 194th most common surname but by 2010, it had risen to the 138th position, marking a change of 28.87%. The count of people bearing the name Castro also saw an increase of 38.18%, moving from 133,254 in 2000 to 184,134 in 2010. This shift underscores the growing prevalence of the surname and its proportion per 100k also grew by 26.36%.

Proportion per 100k49.462.4226.36%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Castro

When it comes to ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals some shifts between 2000 and 2010. Among those who identify as having Hispanic ethnicity, there was a slight increase of 2.22%, moving from 85.52% in 2000 to 87.42% in 2010. However, individuals identifying as White with the surname Castro decreased by 16.40% over the same period. The Asian/Pacific Islander group saw a slight decrease of 2.35%, whereas those identifying as two or more races experienced a sharper drop of 34.02%. There was no change among those identifying as Black within this surname. The American Indian and Alaskan Native group also experienced a decrease of 20.00% in this period.

Asian/Pacific Islander3.83%3.74%-2.35%
Two or More Races0.97%0.64%-34.02%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.3%0.24%-20%

Castro 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 Castro is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 39.2% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Indigenous American (25.2%) and British & Irish (9.8%). Additional ancestries include French & German, Filipino & Austronesian, Italian, Senegambian & Guinean, and Eastern European.

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Spanish & Portuguese39.2%
Indigenous American25.2%
British & Irish9.8%

Possible origins of the surname Castro

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 Castro have recent ancestry locations all within Mexico.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Jalisco, Mexico46.20%
Michoacan, Mexico46.20%
Zacatecas, Mexico46.20%
Veracruz, Mexico46.20%
Chihuahua, Mexico46.20%

What Castro 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 Castro 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 J-CTS5368, which are predominantly found among people with East Asian & Indigenous American and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Garcia, Castillo, Medina, Sanchez, Perez, Rodriguez, Ruiz, Lopez, Cruz, Torres.

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

castroPaternal 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 Castro 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.

"Castro" Surname 34.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Castro" Surname 36.5%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Castro" Surname 17.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Castro" Surname 14.6%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Castro?

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 Castro 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%