Guan last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Guan is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Guan.

Meaning of Guan

An ancient Chinese surname referring to an official in charge of inspecting roads, buildings, and construction projects.

Guan, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Guan surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Guan in America

Guan is the 4867th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Guan surname appeared 7,247 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 people would have the surname Guan.

We can also compare 2010 data for Guan to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 4867 7513 -42.75%
Count 7,247 4,087 55.76%
Proportion per 100k 2.46 1.52 47.24%

The history of the last name Guan

The surname GUAN is of Chinese origin and can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD). It is believed to have originated from the ancient Chinese kingdom of Guantao, located in present-day Hebei province. The name GUAN is derived from the Chinese word "guan," which means "official" or "watchman."

In ancient China, surnames were often derived from one's occupation, place of origin, or a distinguishing physical feature. The GUAN surname likely originated from individuals who held official positions or served as watchmen in the Guantao kingdom. The name has also been linked to the city of Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, suggesting that some bearers of the surname may have hailed from that region.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the GUAN surname can be found in the "Book of Tang," a historical chronicle of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The text mentions several individuals with the surname GUAN who held prominent positions in the imperial court.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), the GUAN surname gained prominence with the rise of Guan Yu, a legendary warrior and general who was deified and revered as the God of War. Guan Yu (162-219 AD) was a historical figure who played a crucial role in the tumultuous Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history.

Another notable figure bearing the GUAN surname was Guan Zhong (725-645 BC), a renowned statesman and philosopher during the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. He is credited with establishing the state of Qi as a major power and is renowned for his political and philosophical teachings.

In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), Guan Hanqing (1241-1320 AD) was a celebrated playwright and author who is considered one of the greatest dramatists in Chinese literary history. His works, such as "The Injustice to Dou E" and "The Chalk Circle," are still widely studied and performed today.

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), Guan Guangming (1853-1926 AD) was a prominent reformer and educator who advocated for modernization and westernization in China. He played a significant role in establishing modern educational institutions and promoting Western ideas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Guan

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Guan.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Guan was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 1.82% 132
Non-Hispanic Black Only (S)% (S)
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 96.14% 6,967
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native (S)% (S)
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 0.51% 37
Hispanic Origin 1.19% 86

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Guan has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 1.82% 3.74% -69.06%
Black (S)% (S)% (S)%
Asian and Pacific Islander 96.14% 92.27% 4.11%
American Indian and Alaskan Native (S)% (S)% (S)%
Two or More Races 0.51% 1.27% -85.39%
Hispanic 1.19% 1.47% -21.05%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Guan was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Guan, please contact us.

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"Guan last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 17, 2024.

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