Next year, Anderssons may be more populous than Johanssons in Sweden, according to statistical institute SCB.
And the trend is likely to grow even stronger, as Johansson is most common among Swedes aged 80 and above, while Andersson is more common among children under the age of ten, according to national newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
Last year, 255,205 people bore the surname Johansson in Sweden. Those named Andersson were just 296 people fewer.
The year before, Johansson beat out Andersson by 791.
The reason why Johansson and Andersson have been Sweden’s most common surnames for aeons is, logically, that Johan and Anders were the most common first names for men in the early and mid-nineteenth century, when children were given their father’s first names as surnames.
Johansson and Andersson literally translate to “Johan’s son” and “Anders’s son”.
The practice was abandoned in the late nineteenth century, when surnames became fixed.
This is also why the “-son” ending is so common among Swedish surnames.
According to SCB’s ranking of common Swedish surnames, the sixteen top spots in the list are currently held by names ending in “-son”.