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Most common surnames revealed

By Liu Ming | | Updated: 2019-01-31 13:58
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A steel sculpture consisting of the characters of more than 3,000 Chinese surnames is seen in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province. XIAO SHENYANG/CHINA DAILY

The most common surname in China is Wang, followed by Li and Zhang, according to a report on Chinese names from the Ministry of Public Security.

After the three come these surnames: Liu, Chen, Yang, Huang, Zhao, Wu, Zhou, Xu, Sun, Ma, Zhu and Hu, said the report.

The report is based on analysis of the 2018 statistics from China's population information system, which is the world's largest, covering the nation's nearly 1.4 billion people.

According to the statistics, there were 6,150 surnames in use in China in 2018. Nearly 85 percent of the total population used traditional surnames in Baijiaxing (The Book of Family Names).

There were 23 surnames that claim more than 10 million users and the number of Chinese people bearing the surnames Wang and Li has surpassed 100 million for both, the report showed.

During the past three decades, the number of people having both the father's and mother's surnames in their names has been increasing rapidly, the report said. Back in 1990, the number was 118,000; at the end of 2018, it grew to 1.1 million.

The report also revealed some facts about names for newborn babies in 2018. Last year, the 10 most popular characters used for baby names were Zi, Yu, Zi (written with a different character from another Zi), Han and Ze, Yu (written with a different character from another Yu), Jia, Hao, Xin and Xuan.

For baby boys, the top five most popular names were Haoyu, Haoran, Yuxuan, Yuhang and Yuze; for baby girls, Zihan, Yinuo, Xinyi, Shihan and Yinuo (written with a different character for Yi from another Yinuo).

A majority, or 92.9 percent, of newborn babies in 2018 received three-character names, 4.6 percent got two-character names, and 1.7 percent had four-character names, according to the report.

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