© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The surface cation chemistry in (La, A)MnO3 (A = Ca, Sr and Ba) is investigated using first-principles thermodynamics. We find that, all three dopants tend to segregate to the surface over a wide range of T–(Formula presented.) conditions and the tendency for segregation increases with the increase in the dopant cationic size. Moving toward the low oxygen pressure, dopants prefer to remain in the surface regions accompanied by the appropriate number of charge compensating oxygen vacancies. The situation when dopants remain in the bulk regions tends to occur close to the thermodynamic conditions that also favor the decomposition of LaMnO3. The present work serves as an important step toward understanding of factors governing the cationic surface segregation in doped LaMnO3 and opens a pathway to study other important chemical environments (such as water- and CO2-containing air) which are crucially given the fact that the ‘real-world’ air enhances cationic segregation.