China renews top 100 surnames, Li still the biggest

China recently released its new list of top 100 surnames as a result of a latest study supported by the National Natural Science Foundation.

According to the new order, the top 100 Chinese surnames are:

Li, Wang, Zhang, Liu, Chen, Yang, Huang, Zhao, Zhou, Wu, Xu, Sun, Zhu, Ma, Hu, Guo, Lin, He, Gao, Liang, Zheng, Luo, Song, Xie, Tang, Han, Cao, Xu, Deng, Xiao, Feng, Zeng, Cheng, Cai, Peng, Pan, Yuan, Yu, Dong, Yu (literally means "the rest"), Su, Ye, Lü, Wei, Jiang (third tone), Tian, Du, Ding, Shen, Jiang (literally means ginger), Fan, Jiang (literally means river), Fu, Zhong, Lu, Wang (first tone), Dai, Cui, Ren, Lu, Liao, Yao, Fang, Jin, Qiu, Xia, Tan, Wei, Jia, Zou, Shi, Xiong, Meng, Qin, Yan, Xue, Hou, Lei, Bai, Long, Duan, Hao, Kong, Shao, Shi, Mao, Chang, Wan, Gu, Lai, Wu, Kang, He (fourth tone), Yan, Yin, Qian, Shi (first tone), Niu, Hong and Gong.

This two-year study is chaired by Yuan Yida, research fellow with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Data concerning 296 million population from 1,110 Chinese counties and cities is collected and altogether 4,100 surnames are obtained. Finally the new list is worked out after statistical analysis on population proportion at county, regional and provincial levels.

Among the 4,100 surnames surveyed, the study shows, the top three Li (Lee), Wang (Wong) and Zhang (Chang) take 7.4 percent, 7.2 percent and 6.8 percent of the Chinese population respectively, but each covering still less than 100 million people. There are 129 surnames that cover more than 0.1 percent Chinese population each, or 87 percent in total, including 18 surnames that cover more than 1 percent population each.

Experts will also release statistics about the top 300 surnames and their distribution map, and republish the Dictionary of Chinese Surnames, which would include more than 23,000 surnames collected so far, in an effort to push forward the country's surname culture.

China is among the earliest countries to use surnames, who decided that a surname should be passed from father to son as early as 5,000 years ago. Two decades ago, CAS researchers conducted the first study on Chinese surname distribution based on methods of natural sciences, and published the top 100 ranking which drew attention both at home and abroad.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---