The name Emerson ranked 796th in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 760th in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name appears on the 1990 U.S. Census lists, it is used by only a small percentage of the general population.
This surname has been given to American boys in honor of poet, essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). His writings emphasized belief in individual freedom and self-reliance, and did much to define the emerging American character. He was an ardent abolitionist, and his international reputation helped lend prestige to the anti-slavery movement.