Explore the Family Name Patel

The meaning of Patel

Indian (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka): status name meaning ‘village headman’, pəṭel in Gujarati and Marathi, paṭēla in Kannada. It comes ultimately from Sanskrit paṭṭakila ‘tenant of royal land’. It is the most common surname among Indian immigrants to the US. Some characteristic forenames: Indian Ramesh, Bharat, Pravin, Ashok, Mahesh, Dinesh, Mahendra, Arvind, Dilip, Suresh, Kirit, Mukesh.

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

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

Based on data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Patel has experienced significant growth in its popularity over a decade, skyrocketing from the 172nd most common name in 2000 to the 95th in 2010. This represents a substantial change of 44.77 percent. The number of individuals bearing the Patel surname also increased during this period, with a count of 145,066 in 2000 soaring to 229,973 in 2010, marking a 58.53 percent increase. The proportion of people with the Patel surname per 100,000 also grew by 44.96 percent, illustrating that the name's prevalence expanded at a faster pace than the overall population.

Proportion per 100k53.7877.9644.96%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Patel

In terms of ethnic identity, the Patel surname is predominantly associated with Asian/Pacific Islander heritage. According to the Decennial U.S. Census data, 94.78 percent identified as Asian/Pacific Islander in 2010, up 3.73 percent from 2000. However, there was a marked decrease in those identifying with two or more races, falling 71.75 percent from 5.84 percent in 2000 to just 1.65 percent in 2010. Over this decade, there were slight increases in the number of Patels identifying as White (35.48 percent) and Black (46.15 percent). Meanwhile, the percentage of Patels who identified as Hispanic dipped by 22.81 percent. Interestingly, the proportion of those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native rose by 58.54 percent, which is a noteworthy shift in the ethnic makeup of individuals with the Patel surname.

Asian/Pacific Islander91.37%94.78%3.73%
Two or More Races5.84%1.65%-71.75%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.41%0.65%58.54%

Patel 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 Patel is Gujarati Patidar, which comprises 69.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Northern Indian & Pakistani (17.7%) and Southern Indian & Sri Lankan (3.4%). Additional ancestries include British & Irish, French & German, Spanish & Portuguese, Eastern European, and Iranian, Caucasian & Mesopotamian.

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Gujarati Patidar69.7%
Northern Indian & Pakistani17.7%
Southern Indian & Sri Lankan3.4%

Possible origins of the surname Patel

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 Patel have recent ancestry locations in India and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Gujarat, India15.70%
Maharashtra, India11.60%
Merseyside, United Kingdom8.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom8.20%
Greater London, United Kingdom8.20%

What Patel 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 Patel is J-L26, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup J-L26 is descended from haplogroup J-M304. Other common haplogroups include C-K42 and R-Y7, which are predominantly found among people with Central & South Asian and Central & South Asian ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Desai, Kumar, Ahmed, Ahmad, Hussain, Shah, Mehta, Sharma, Rao, Ali.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Patel surname are: R, R2, U7. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European and Western Asian & North African ancestry.

patelPaternal Haplogroup Origins J-M304

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Yu Hong

During the 6th century AD the Persian Empire controlled trade along the Silk Road through its Central Asian province of Sogdiana, providing a vital trade link between China and Europe. Evidence suggests there was a genetic connection as well. Researchers extracted DNA from the remains of a chieftain named Yu Hong, who was buried about 200 miles southwest of Beijing in 592 AD. His burial epitaph indicated that Yu Hong had Central Asian ancestry — and his DNA revealed an even more exotic background. Yu Hong's mitochondrial DNA belonged to the U5 haplogroup, a branch of U that is concentrated in Europe. This haplogroup assignment is a sure sign that he had European ancestors on his mother's side, and demonstrated the vast range of haplogroup U from the west to the east.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Patel 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.

"Patel" Surname 43.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Patel" Surname 29.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Patel" Surname 18.5%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Patel" Surname 7.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Patel?

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 Patel 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

Gujarati Patidar 48.8%

23andMe Users 57.2%