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What Are The Most Common Surnames In The World

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Are The Most Common Surnames In The World

Your surname is your family name that you add to your first name. Sometimes, it is also called your last name, but in some cultures, it is prefixed before your personal name. Some surnames are rare in the world, while others are so common that millions of people can be easily found out there. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are going to list some of the most common surnames in the world.

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Lee: It is a very common surname in China, with around 8% of the population having Lee as their last name. This is a common surname shared by the Hakka Chinese. It is a common surname in Korea too, but with a different spelling as ‘Li’. In Vietnam, the same surname is shared by the Vietnamese with ‘Ly’ as its spelling. Collectively, Lee, Li and Ly become one of the most common surnames across the globe.

Two other Asian surnames top the rank, with Zhang and Wang having around 100 million people in the World with this surname.

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Garcia: This surname is common across the Spain, Philippines and the Americas. The surname has several theories of history and origin, but most probably, it has Basque origin. It is the most common surname shared by the people of Spain, where around 3.5% of the population is named as Garcia. It is also one of the most common surnames in Cuba. Around 4 million individuals in Mexico also share this surname. González and Hernández share the rank with Garcia as two of the most common surnames in the Latin world.

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Smith: This is an English surname that originated in England. It is commonly shared by people in the US, Australia, UK, Canada and Ireland. It is a prevalent family name among people of Irish or English descent, but it is also a common last name among Americans from Africa. Many black slaves adopted this as their surname during the slavery era. More than 3 million people in the US have this surname, and over 500,000 people in the UK.

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Brown: This is a surname that literally describes a person with brown complexion, hair or clothing in the old English language. Gradually, it became one of the most common last names in many English speaking nations. It is one of the most common surnames in Scotland and Canada, and also in Australia, England and the US. You will also find huge population with Brown surname in Scotland too.

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Williams: It is a patronymic form of William which originated in Wales and England during the medieval period. Will means desire and Helm means helmet or protection. Gradually, it became a common name in Wales, along with in New Zealand, US and Australia.

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Singh: Singh is a common name in India, used as a first, middle or last name. Derived from Sanskrit language, Singh means lion. Some warrior castes of the country adopted this word as their title. Later, several Indian communities and castes adopted this as their surname, including Sikhs. Several variations of the surname Singh is adopted by different communities of India, including Bengali as Shingho, Marathi as Sinha, Gujarati as Sinhji, Telugu as Simham, Manipuri as Singha and Burmese as Siha. Populations with Singh surname can also be commonly found in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Canada.

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