Two-syllable Taiwanese family names

As of June 30, 2018, Taiwan had just 22,332 people with a disyllabic surname (i.e., one that takes two Chinese characters to write). They cover just 0.09% of the population — just less than one in a thousand. This is slightly less than the 0.11 percent of the population of China that has such a family name. Also, in China, by far the most common two-syllable surname is Ouyang; but in Taiwan “Zhangjian” is more seen.

Name Name total
張簡 Zhangjian 9,059
歐陽 Ouyang 7,860
范姜 Fanjiang 4,300
周黃 Zhouhuang 590
江謝 Jiangxie 523

Further reading:

Source:

  • Quánguó xìngmíng tǒngjì fēnxi (全國姓名統計分析). Department of Household Registration, Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan, 2018, p. 28.

Two-syllable Chinese family names

By far the most common two-syllable Chinese family name in China is Ouyang (NB: this should not be written Ou-yang, Ou-Yang, or Ou Yang), with it representing more than twelve times as many people as the next most common name on the list: Shangguan.

Surname Fùx├Čng (複姓/复姓) Number of people in China with this surname
Ouyang 欧阳 1,112,000
Shangguan 上官 88,000
Huangfu 皇甫 64,000
Linghu 令狐 55,000
Zhuge 诸葛 48,000
Situ 司徒 47,000
Sima 司马 23,000
Shentu 申屠 19,000
Xiahou 夏侯 11,000
Helan 贺兰 10,000
Wanyan 完颜 6,000

Those figures for the most common two-syllable Chinese family names (commonly called “two-character” family names) total 1.495 million, or about 1.5 million, which is not an inconsiderable number but still just a drop in the bucket compared with China’s population of some 1.41 billion. Only about one tenth of 1 percent (0.11%) of people in China have such names.

The percentage is a bit less in Taiwan. The most common doubled surname in Taiwan, however, is Zhangjian (張簡/张简), which doesn’t appear at all on the list of the most common disyllabic family names in China. In Taiwan, Ouyang is second.

Further reading:

source: 《2020 nián quánguó xìngmíng bàogào》 fābù (《二〇二〇年全国姓名报告》发布), Gōng’ānbù wǎngzhàn (公安部网站), February 2, 2021