The most common Chinese names

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Public Security released a list of the most common Chinese surnames (in Chinese) of 2019. The top five remain unchanged from the previous year:

  1. 王 Wáng
  2. 李 Lǐ
  3. 张 Zhāng
  4. 刘 Liú
  5. 陈 Chén

The Ministry of Public Security oversees neighborhood security bureaus that keep all of the country’s name registries, but the report was based on something that Xinhua calls “China’s population information system,” which is apparently the world’s largest.

Other tidbits:

  • The surnames Wàn 万 (2.75 million people) and Ōu 欧 (2.61 million) made their debut in the top 100.
  • The top 100 surnames account for 85.9 percent of the Chinese population.
  • Zhāng Wěi 张伟, Wáng Wěi 王伟, and Lǐ Nà 李娜 are the three most common full names. (There were 294,282 registered people named Zhang Wei).

The Ministry of Public Security also has a chart of the top 10 male and female names containing the character “country” 国. Topping the list is Jiànguó 建国 (“build the country”) for men and Guóyīng 国英 (“national hero”) for women. There are apparently 21.3 million people in China whose names have the character 国.

—Anthony Tao