Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Shanghai, if you forget someone's name, no problem

Just call them Mr. Wang, Li, or Zhang and you'll have a one in five chance of being right. Article from Nikkei Net (of all places) says 85% of Chinese have one of the 100 most popular surnames.

Wang Becomes Top Chinese Surname

BEIJING (Kyodo)--The Chinese surname Wang has overtaken Li to become the most common surname in China, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, quoting figures from the public security ministry.

In the largest survey of its kind, it was discovered that 7.25 out of every 100 Chinese people are surnamed Wang, compared with 7.19 percent who have the family name Li, the report said.

Zhang comes third on the list, with 6.83 percent of the population sharing the name, according to a survey based on China's national household registration system.

The most common 100 surnames account for 84.77 percent of the Chinese population, the figures also show.

However, the latest survey contradicts one carried out last year by the Chinese Academy of Sciences that found Li was the most common surname, Xinhua said.

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