Last update 3/1/2012 2:28:35 PM (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s Nguyen family name most common in the world
VietNamNet Bridge - This family name of Vietnam is among the most ten common family names in the world. Nguyen is the surname of around 40 percent of Vietnam’s population, according to

Below are the ten most popular surnames in the world:

1. Li or Lee – over 100 million people

This is a popular family name in China, with around 7.9 percent of the population having that surname.

A Korean surname that uses the same Chinese character, which is often Romanized as Lee, is the second most common Korean surname, after Kim. Both the Korean family name Lee and the Vietnamese family name Lý was derived from the same Chinese character as the Chinese surname.

Taken collectively, these surnames make Li the most common surname in the world.

2. Zhang – around 100 million people

The World Guinness Record Book published in 1990 recognized that Zhang is the most popular surname in the world. In early 2006, the Chinese Academy of Sciences ranked Zhang as the three most popular surnames in this country. This surname has been used for over 4,000 years.

3. Wang – over 93 million people

Wang is also one of the most popular surnames in China, with nearly 93 million people. In English, this word means King. This surname is also used in South Korea, Japan and Vietnam (Vuong).

4. Nguyen – over 36 million people

Nguyen is the most popular family name in Vietnam, with around 40 percent of the population. Due to migration, Nguyen has come to Australia and becomes the seventh most popular surname there. In France, it ranks 54th and 57th in the USA, as well as the most common exclusively Asian surname.

5. García – more than 10 million people
García is a surname common throughout the Americas, the Philippines and Spain. There are several theories about its origin and history, but it is probably of Basque origin. The meaning points to the descriptive adjective 'the young'. García is the most common surname in Spain (where 3.32% of population is named García) and also the second most common surname in Cuba. 4.1 million people in Mexico has the last name Garcia.

6. González - more than 10 million people
González is a family name that originated in Spain. In Spain, it is the second most common surname (only after García) with 2.08% of the population bearing the surname. It's also very popular in Latin America, being the most common one in countries like Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Paraguay, and thus making it the most popular surname in the Spanish speaking world. Within the United States, it is ranked as the 23rd most common surname.

7. Hernández - more than 8 million people

Hernández is a Spanish and Portuguese surname that came into common use around the 15th century. Originally a patronymic (a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor), it means son of Hernán or sometimes son of the traveler. This surname occurs mostly in Mexico, USA, Chile, Spain, Cuba...

8. Smith - more than 4 million people

Smith is an English family name (surname) originating in England. It is the most common surname in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, the second most common surname in Canada, and the fifth most common surname in Ireland. The surname Smith is particularly prevalent among those of English and Irish descent, but is also a common surname among African Americans, which can be attributed to black slaves adopting the name during the era of slavery and after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. At least 3 million people in the United States share the surname Smith, and more than 500,000 people share it in the United Kingdom.

9. Smirnov - more than 2.5 million people

According to the 2002 population census, Smirnov (masculine) or Smirnova (feminine) is the most common surname in Russia. Variants of transliteration: Smirnoff or Smyrnov. Derived from an adjective smirnyy, that means "quiet, still, meek, gentle".

10. Müller - more than million people

The German word Müller means "miller" (as a profession). It is the most common family surname in Germany and Switzerland, the fifth most common surname in Austria and the first most common surname in the French départements Bas-Rhin and Moselle (with the spelling Müller or Muller). Other forms are "Miller" (mainly Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and "Möller" (Northern and Central Germany and The Netherlands). Of the various family crests that exist, many incorporate milling iconography, such as windmills or watermill wheels.