Russian name Ivanov is Estonia’s most common surname
Posted by Kris Roman on April 24, 2008
One in every 200 Estonians has the Russian name Ivanov, making it the ex-Soviet Baltic country’s most common surname, weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress reported on Thursday.
A total of 6,789 Estonian residents have the name, which is followed in the list by the Estonian name Tamm (5,241). The Russian names Smirnov and Vasilyev are also high up the ranking (3,402 and 3,153, respectively).
The surname Ivanov comes from the first name Ivan, a Biblical name with its equivalents in dozens of other languages – John in English, Jean in French, Juan in Spanish.
Prominent Russian politicians named Ivanov include a first deputy premier (Sergei), and the head of the Security Council (Igor).
The name Ivan Ivanov (along with Ivan Petrov) is used in Russia as the archetypal common name, for example on specimen copies for form-filling, similar to the name John Smith in English-speaking countries.
Ethnic Russians account for about 30% of Estonia’s 1.34 million population. Many have “non-citizen” status, which denies them a national passport and other rights, and prevents them from voting.