When Matt Groening created The Simpsons, he slotted Homer, Marge, and their brood into the yellow-tinged town of Springfield and left the state largely a mystery. While he was familiar with the name thanks to its proximity to his childhood home of Portland, Oregon, he realized plenty of people knew (or lived in) a Springfield.
While it’s a very common name, it’s not the most prevalent in the United States. That honor belongs to Fairview.
According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), there are a total of 288 “populated places” with the name Fairview. The USGS defines a populated place as “named entities with human habitation,” including neighborhoods and unincorporated housing developments.
Midway comes in second, with 256 mentions.
If you prefer to bend the definition of “most common” to include a populated place name in the most states, the answer shifts to Riverside. That name appears in the most states (46) than any other, with 186 locales total. Only Hawaii, Alaska, Louisiana, and Oklahoma lack one.
If you prefer to limit the most common name strictly to cities, then the answer is Franklin. According to the U.S. Postal Service, the name belongs to 28 cities, with Clinton, Madison, and Washington tied for second with 27 cities each.
Groening was on the right track, though: There’s at least one Springfield in 34 states.
[h/t The Hill]