Explore the Family Name Vega

The meaning of Vega

Spanish: topographic name from vega ‘fertile plain or lowland; water meadow’ (of pre-Roman origin, probably originally denoting irrigated land), or a habitational name from any of numerous places called (La) Vega. Compare De la Vega and De Vega. History: Surname Vega is most famous for the Spanish playwright, poet, and novelist Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (1562–1635). But another notable bearer of this surname was not Spanish: Jurij Vega (1754–1802) was a Slovenian mathematician, physicist, and artillery officer of the Austrian army, author of Thesaurus Logarithmorum Completus ‘Treasury of all Logarithms’ (first edition published in 1794, 90th edition in 1924), after whom the crater Vega on the Moon is named. His surname, which he adopted as an adult, was neither Spanish nor Slovenian: it was an altered form of his original surname Veha (from veha ‘lingerer’ or from a homonymous word meaning ‘bung’, i.e. the stopper in the bunghole of a cask, by extension ‘drunkard’), of which he was the last known male bearer. Some characteristic forenames: Spanish Jose, Juan, Luis, Carlos, Manuel, Jesus, Miguel, Rafael, Francisco, Angel, Ramon, Jorge.

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

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

The surname Vega has seen a rise in popularity, according to data from the Decennial U.S. Census. In 2000, Vega was ranked as the 318th most popular surname in the United States; however, by 2010 it had moved up to the 261st position, marking an increase of approximately 18%. The total count of people with this last name also grew significantly from 87,728 in 2000 to 116,673 in 2010, a jump of nearly 33%. This means that for every 100,000 people in the U.S., about 40 were named Vega in 2010, up from approximately 33 in 2000.

Proportion per 100k32.5239.5521.62%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Vega

In terms of ethnic identity, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows some variations over time. The majority of individuals with the Vega surname identified as Hispanic in both 2000 and 2010, with a slight increase from 91.54% to 92.68%, respectively. The proportion of Vegas identifying as White decreased by about 14%, while those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander rose slightly, from 0.65% to 0.73%. The number of Vegas reporting two or more races decreased by over 35%. Similarly, the percentage of individuals identifying as Black and American Indian and Alaskan Native also saw minor drops in their proportions.

Asian/Pacific Islander0.65%0.73%12.31%
Two or More Races0.45%0.29%-35.56%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.29%0.22%-24.14%

Vega 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 Vega is Spanish & Portuguese, which comprises 42.4% 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, Italian, Senegambian & Guinean, Angolan & Congolese, and Nigerian.

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Spanish & Portuguese42.4%
Indigenous American25.2%
British & Irish9.8%

Possible origins of the surname Vega

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 Vega have recent ancestry locations all within Mexico.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Zacatecas, Mexico46.70%
Coahuila, Mexico46.70%
Durango, Mexico46.70%
Guanajuato, Mexico46.70%
Tamaulipas, Mexico46.70%

What Vega 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 Vega 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 R-Z225 and Q-M3, which are predominantly found among people with European and East Asian & Indigenous American ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Pena, Rodriguez, Torres, Medina, Silva, Gonzalez, Diaz, Ruiz, Miranda, Sanchez.

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

vegaPaternal 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 Vega 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.

"Vega" Surname 40.2%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Vega" Surname 34.9%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Vega" Surname 21.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Vega" Surname 14.6%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Vega?

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 Vega 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%