Surname statistics for Forbes

There are approximately 19,870 people named Forbes in the UK. That makes it the 510th most common surname overall. Out of every million people in the UK, approximately 314 are named Forbes.

Frequency Comparisons
TotalRankFrequency %Per million people
Great Britain
United Kingdom (current)19870510N/A314
United Kingdom (1881 census)100354270.034335
Change since 1881+9835-83-0.003-21
Other Countries
United States32228986N/A120


People with the surname Forbes are slightly less likely to be politicians than the average member of the population. When they do become politicians, they are most likely to be elected as Conservative.

As of the most recent set of elections, the political parties represented by politicians called Forbes are:

  1. Conservative (2)
  2. Labour (2)
  3. Merton Park Ward Independent Residents (1)
More stats for the politics nerds!

Top male forenames

David Forbes
Andrew Forbes
John Forbes
James Forbes
Michael Forbes
William Forbes
Ian Forbes
Graham Forbes
Peter Forbes
Robert Forbes
Alan Forbes
Mark Forbes
Duncan Forbes
Stuart Forbes
Paul Forbes
Richard Forbes
Thomas Forbes
Charles Forbes
Gordon Forbes
Brian Forbes

Top female forenames

Susan Forbes
Margaret Forbes
Karen Forbes
Linda Forbes
Helen Forbes
Jane Forbes
Elizabeth Forbes
Patricia Forbes
Sarah Forbes
Angela Forbes
Maureen Forbes
Anne Forbes
Caroline Forbes
Sharon Forbes
Ann Forbes
Julie Forbes
Louise Forbes
Mary Forbes
Alison Forbes
Wendy Forbes


  • Total is the total number of people with that surname.
  • Rank is the position in the list of names ordered by total (eg, a rank of 1 means that it's the most common name, and a rank of 10 means it's the tenth most common, etc).
  • Frequency is the percentage of people with that surname.
  • Per million people is the number of people with that surname per million of the population.

All of these are approximate figures, and the current figures especially so. The 1881 census figures are correct for what was recorded on the census, but we don't really know how accurate it was. At least, though the 1881 figures won't change, as it's a snapshot of a point in time. The current figures, by contrast, are variable according to births, deaths, migration and marriages, so the values shown here are only a best approximation to whatever was the case when the underlying data was collated and will not be the same as whatever the values are right now.

'N/A' indicates that we don't have data for this name in that country or time (usually because it's quite uncommon there and our stats don't go down that far). It doesn't mean that there's no-one there with that name at all!

For less common surnames, the figures get progressively less reliable the fewer holders of that name there are. This data is aggregated from several public lists, and some stats are interpolated from known values. The margin of error is well over 100% at the rarest end of the table!

It's possible for a surname to gain in rank and/or total while being less common per million people (or vice versa) as there are now more surnames in the UK as a result of immigration. In mathematical terms, the tail has got longer, with a far larger number of less common surnames.