Patel is an Indian surname, predominantly found in the state of Gujarat representing the community of land-owning farmers and later (with the British East India Company) businessmen, agriculturalists and merchants. Traditionally the surname is a status name referring to the village chieftains during medieval times, and was later retained as successive generations stemmed out into communities of landowners, including Patidars, Kolis, Kurmis, some Parsis and Muslims.[1][2][3][4] There are roughly 500,000 Patels outside India, including about 150,000 in the United Kingdom and about 150,000 in the United States. Nearly 1 in 10 people of Indian origin in the US is a Patel.[5]


The term patel derives from the word Patidar, literally "one who holds (owned) pieces of land called patis", implying a higher economic status than that of the landless,[6] ultimately from Sanskrit paṭṭakīla,[7] with the ending -dar (from Sanskrit "धार" - supporting, containing, holding) denoting ownership.[8]

Geographical distribution

The surname historically originated in the Indian state of Gujarat, where it is amongst the most common of surnames.[9] Today, the name is found across India, as well as in the Indian diaspora.

See also


  1. ^ "'Patel', the most common Indian surname: Oxford". The Hindu. PTI. 18 November 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 February 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ Sheikh, Aziz; Gatrad, Abdul Rashid (2000). Caring for Muslim Patients. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press Limited. p. 65. ISBN 1-857-75372-0.
  3. ^ India's Patel community: Its history and prominent personalities India TV
  4. ^ Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. 2003. ISBN 9788179911044.
  5. ^ Rajghatta, Chidanand (4 June 2015). "Global Gujaratis: Now in 129 nations". The Times of India.
  6. ^ Basu, Pratyusha (2009). Villages, women, and the success of dairy cooperatives in India: making place for rural development. Cambria Press. pp. 51–55. ISBN 978-1-60497-625-0.
  7. ^ "Patel | Definition of Patel by Lexico".
  8. ^ Goyal, Pawan (19 May 2014). "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary --ध". The Sanskrit Heritage Site (in Javanese). Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  9. ^ Washburn, Edward (2005). India Old and New: With a Memorial Address. p. 178. ISBN 0-543-99414-7.
This page lists people with the surname Patel.
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