Monday, October 6, 2008

List of common Chinese surnames

This is a list of the top 100 most common Chinese surnames according to a study published in 2006. Their ranks in 1990 are shown by the side. , and transliterations are displayed. Other transliterations, used before the formalization and popularization of existing Romanizations, still can be found in the names of some overseas Chinese. Transliterations in other Chinese languages used by some overseas Chinese whose ancestral mother tongue is neither Mandarin, Cantonese or Minnan also exist, as well as pronunciations in other languages, particularly Korean and Vietnamese, in which these surnames are commonly used. The Japanese transliterations are very rarely carried by ethnic Japanese in Japan, instead they are used by ethnic Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese.

2006 Rankings

# Unofficial versions of Wade-Giles transliterations, appear in parentheses. Currently, Wade-Giles is used primarily to romanize Taiwanese names, and often appears without the diacritics.
# This is the romanization used most often by the Hong Kong Government in transliterating names for birth certificates and identity cards. It is an unsystematic method based on the Meyer-Wempe system, without any of the aspiration marks and diacritics.
# None or very few in South Korean 2000 census . Only indicated for Chinese 40 most common surnames, not checked for Chinese 41–100. Names 1–40 whose Korean rank or number is not indicated have more than 1.000 bearers according to the census, but are not among the most common 16 names.
# Portuguese transliteration only used in Macau
# Common Americanised spelling


* 2006 - Ranking based on a multi-year survey and study conducted by Yuan Yida, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, using a sample size of 296 million, spread across 1,110 counties and cities. A total of 4,100 surnames recorded.
* November 2004 - China issued its first set of postage stamps, for each of the top 100 Chinese family names .
* 1990 - Sample size of 174,900.

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