This is a list of the most common surnames in South America.
Most surnames are of Spanish descent, but due to large Italian immigration (approximately 62% of Argentines have Italian ancestry), there are also several surnames of Italian origin like Ferrari, Rossi, Russo.
Most of the surnames of the Brazilian population have a Portuguese origin, due to Portuguese colonization in the country (it is estimated that 80% of the Brazilian population has at least one Portuguese ancestor), while other South American countries were largely colonized by the Spanish. However, due to historical immigration, there are also surnames of African, Arabic, Italian, German, Japanese, and Spanish origin. 2010 data:
All surnames are Spanish in origin, with quite a few of them being Basque (e.g. Araya or Zúñiga)
Note: The source (Civil Registry and Identification Service) does not mention the reference year (it was published in 2008) or whether the count includes only the first surname or both surnames (Chile uses two surnames, but the second one is rarely mentioned). It is assumed the first table refers to both surnames (it is unknown if people having the same first and second surname are counted once or twice) and the second table to the first surname only. It is also unclear whether Chileans living abroad were counted, although it is probable that those that were born in Chile were included, as they were registered at birth.
All names in the list are of Spanish origin (2010 data).
Source: National Civil Registry (2010)
The list of most common surnames in Paraguay, reflected in the national voters register, shows the influence of Castilian Spanish in the Paraguayan society.
Eight of the top 11 surnames end with "ez", the distinctive suffix of Castilian family names. The suffix "ez" means "son of"; thus, González means "son of Gonzalo", Benítez is "son of Benito" and Martínez means "son of Martín". This is similar to the suffix "son" in English (Johnson, "son of John", Jackson, "son of Jack") and to "ic" or "ich" of Slavic names such as Ivanovich ("son of Ivan").
All surnames are of Spanish origin, except when noted.