García (surname)

Garcia or García is an Iberian surname common throughout Spain, Portugal, parts of France, the Americas, and the Philippines. It is a surname of patronymic origin; García was a very common first name in early medieval Iberian Peninsula.
It was possibly a Basque surname called "Gaztea", and later was Castilianized, into the medieval Kingdom of Castile, becoming "García".
It is attested since the High Middle Ages north and south of the Pyrenees, with the surname thriving, especially on the Kingdom of Navarre, and spreading out to Castile and other Spanish regions.

Origin of the name

believed it to derive from the Basque adjective garze meaning "young", whose modern form is gaztea or gaztia. Ramón Menéndez Pidal and Antonio Tovar suggested it may come from the Basque word artz, meaning " Bear". A third etymology suggests it may derive from the Basque words "Gazte Hartz, meaning " young bear". Variant forms of the name include Garcicea, Gartzi, Gartzia, Gartze, Garsea, and Gastea. The original Basque form with an affricate sibilant evolved in Spanish to the current form.
There are Gasconic cognates of Garcia like Gassie and Gassion.
Other theories suggest that García is of Germanic origin and may derive from wars meaning young warrior or the Visigothic words garxa and garcha meaning graceful prince.


García is the most common surname in Spain and also the second most common surname in Mexico.
In the 1990 United States Census, Garcia was the 18th most reported surname, accounting for 0.25% of the population. It became more common since then, jumping to 8th place in 2000.
Quite rare before the 1st World War in France, except in the French Pays Basque, Garcia is now the 14th most common surname in France, due to an important Spanish immigration. It ranked 2nd in the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur after the number of births 1966–1990.
García is also the third most common surname amongst Spaniards in the United Kingdom.

Geographical distribution

As of 2014, 33.2% of all known bearers of the surname García were residents of Mexico, 14.1% of Spain, 8.4% of the United States, 6.0% of Colombia, 4.6% of Venezuela, 4.4% of Brazil, 4.1% of the Philippines, 3.9% of Guatemala, 3.0% of Argentina, 2.8% of Cuba, 2.8% of Peru, 1.8% of Ecuador, 1.7% of Honduras, 1.5% of the Dominican Republic, 1.4% of Nicaragua, 1.2% of El Salvador and 1.1% of France.
In Spain, the frequency of the surname was higher than average in the following regions:
In Mexico, the frequency of the surname was higher than average in the following states: