Explore the Family Name Singh

The meaning of Singh

Indian (northern states): originally a Kshatriya name but now widely adopted by Sikhs and other communities, from Sanskrit siṃha ‘lion’, hence ‘hero’ or ‘eminent person’. It is freely added to Rajput and Sikh male personal names. In the US and elsewhere in immigrant communities, it often functions as a Sikh surname. Some characteristic forenames: Indian Avtar, Balwinder, Nirmal, Mohan, Darshan, Ram, Jarnail, Ajit, Karnail, Raj, Kewal, Sohan.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Singh has seen a significant increase in popularity. In 2000, it was ranked 396th and had been used by 72,642 individuals. However, by 2010, it climbed to the 260th rank and was attributed to 116,749 people, an impressive change of 60.72%. This also indicated a growth in its proportion per 100,000, from 26.93 in 2000 to 39.58 in 2010, marking a 46.97% increase.

Proportion per 100k26.9339.5846.97%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Singh

When it comes to ethnic identity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that the majority of individuals with the last name Singh identify as Asian/Pacific Islander. In 2000, this group represented 74.44% of the Singhs, growing to 82.77% in 2010. The next largest group in 2000 was those identifying with two or more races; however, their representation significantly decreased from 15.30% to 4.81% over the decade. Meanwhile, the percentage of Singhs who identify as White, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaskan Native also changed, with the most noteworthy increase observed among Black identifiers, from 3.09% to 4.48%.

Asian/Pacific Islander74.44%82.77%11.19%
Two or More Races15.3%4.81%-68.56%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.01%1.15%13.86%

Singh 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 Singh is Northern Indian & Pakistani, which comprises 68.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Bengali & Northeast Indian (7.9%) and Southern Indian & Sri Lankan (6.3%). Additional ancestries include British & Irish, French & German, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Southern Indian Subgroup.

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Northern Indian & Pakistani68.1%
Bengali & Northeast Indian7.9%
Southern Indian & Sri Lankan6.3%

Possible origins of the surname Singh

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 Singh have recent ancestry locations spanning a few countries, mostly in Pakistan, and India.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Punjab, Pakistan43.70%
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan14.00%
Sindh, Pakistan12.70%
Uttar Pradesh, India11.70%
Punjab, India11.20%

What Singh 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 Singh is R-Y7, which is predominantly found among people with Central & South Asian ancestry. Haplogroup R-Y7 is descended from haplogroup R-M420. Other common haplogroups include R-Y6 and L-M357, which are predominantly found among people with Central & South Asian and Central & South Asian ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Sharma, Kumar, Rahman, Joshi, Khan, Malik, Shah, Hussain, Ahmad, Ahmed.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Singh surname are: M3a1, M30, U7. These most commonly trace back to individuals of Central & South Asian and European ancestry.

singhPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M420

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 Singh 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.

"Singh" Surname 36.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Singh" Surname 29.8%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Singh" Surname 21.1%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Singh" Surname 10.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Singh?

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 Singh 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

Northern Indian & Pakistani 52.7%

23andMe Users 57.2%