By studying vital records, such as census, birth, death, marriage, and tax rolls from the 17th century into the 21st century, the family historian can witness the global expansion of the world's population. As most know, these types of records can also aid genealogists in locating particular families they are researching.  The purpose of this page is to help demonstrate the propagation of the Phillips surname with interesting facts.  The statistical facts about the Phillips surname have been gleaned from multiple sources.

Distribution of Phillips Surname in England and Wales in 1891

Map of England (Click to enlarge)

The two greatest concentrations of Phillips families in England and Wales in the 1891 Census were London at 15% and Glamorganshire, Wales at 11%.  Besides London, the majority of England’s Phillips families were in the south and southwest tip; Hampshire, Cornwall and Devonshire, all with 3% each. 

Looking at the northern areas of England, Yorkshire had 3% and Lancashire, 5%.  The middle counties of Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire were at 4%, 3% and 3% respectively.

If you consider the proximity of the border of Wales to the middle counties of England, one might wonder if Phillips families spilled from Wales into England or vise versa. 

Turning back to Wales and Glamorganshire with 11% of the population having a Phillips surname, bordering westward along the southern coast, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire counted 5% and 4% each. 

Then moving eastward from Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire tallied 4%. Monmouthshire is situated between Glamorganshire, Wales and Gloucestershire, England and between the 16th and 20th centuries, there was some ambiguity as to whether Monmouthshire was in Wales or England.  This dispute was resolved in 1974, so this study will consider that Monmouthshire is in Wales as this was the final outcome.  It is quite evident that the Welsh Phillips families in 1891 populated a wide strip in southern Wales along the coast stretching into England.

Distribution of Phillips Surname in Scotland 1891

The majority of Scotland's counties in the 1891 Census showed that on average there was between 1% to 4% of those enumerated with the Phillips surname. There were a few counties with less than 1%; however, there were also a handful that had Phillips family clusters. These clusters are reflected in the percentages of those with a Phillips surname compared to the rest of the populous. The counties with a larger percentage of Phillips were Fife: 5%, Dumfries-shire: 5%, Perthshire: 5%, Aberdeenshire: 9%, Renfrewshire: 10%, Midlothian: 13% and Angus: 16%. There was also the anomaly of Lanarkshire with 74% of the population possessing the Phillips surname; 823 out of the 1115 indexed in the 1891 Census had the surname Phillips.

Frequency of the Phillips surname in the Modern Era


Using birth and death records from 1999 to 2001, the surname Phillips is ranked 43rd out of 500 common surnames in England and Wales. According the 1990 Census Data, in the United States, the Phillips surname is ranked 45th out of 88799 surnames.  Simply put, 0.149 % or 3 out of every 2000 people have the surname Phillips in the United States. Source: Behind the Name Website.