Patel, a Name Almost As American As Apple Pie


MISSOULA, MONTANA, August 8, 2010: The 2000 U.S. census listed Patel at 172nd among the nation’s 1,000 most common surnames, ahead of common surnames such as Gardner, Peters, Richards, Spencer and Andrews.

Sanjay Patel owns and operates a Days Inn in the heart of Missoula’s small downtown. Patel moved to the United States 20 years ago and to Montana six years ago. His personal history mirrors that of many Indian business people named Patel in Roanoke. He, like they, are representatives of what is called the “Patel diaspora” — referencing those who have, for many years, left India in search of business opportunities in other countries.

[HPI note: The next Hindu surname on the list is Sharma, ranked 2,247. The new 2010 census will probably bring more Hindus on the list, corroborating further the fact that Indian-Americans in the United States are now an integral part of America.]

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