Gurung Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

In this article we'll look at the origin and meaning of the surname Gurung and how popular it is in the United States. We'll also look at the race and ethnic origin of people in the United States who are named Gurung.

Gurung, like all of the 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 Gurung surname is from the 2010 census data.

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What is the Origin and Meaning of the Last Name Gurung?

The surname Gurung originates from the Gandaki region of Nepal where the name is used heavily among the Gurung people also known as the Tamu. In the legends of the Gurung people, they were said to have been a nomadic tribe prior to the 7th century. Originating in the East the Gurung people traversed West across Tibet before finally settling in Mustang.

Gurung is the oldest religion in Tibet, pre-dating Buddhism and the Gurung people even have their own language. The highest incidence of the Gurung surname is located in Nepal with India and Bhutan ranking 2nd and 3rd.

Melawa Devi Gurung is a groundbreaking bearer of this surname, as she became the first female singer from Nepal. Active from the late 1920s onward Melawa recorded her music in Calcutta, India and was a favorite singer of the president of Nepal.

Lachhiman Gurung (1917-2010) not only holds the surname of Gurung but also received the coveted Victoria cross. A member of the Nepalese/British Gurkha regiment, Lachhiman stood firm in his position against the Japanese in Myanmar during WWII. The Japanese counterattacked his regiment and Lachhiman stayed in his trench bringing down over 30 enemy soldiers by the time the attackers retreated.

Shree Amber Gurung (1938–2016) is a very notable bearer of this surname. A composer and lyricist, he was born in India to Nepalese parents. Encouraged at a young age by his mother to sing and compose, he taught himself to play multiple instruments. The biggest claim to fame held by Shree however is that he was the composer of the Nepalese national anthem.

Where Does Gurung Rank in the Most Common U.S. Names?

According to the data, Gurung is ranked #9,427 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Gurung surname appeared 3,450 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1.17 would have the surname Gurung.

We can also compare 2010 data for Gurung 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 9427 50801 -137.39%
Count 3,450 386 159.75%
Proportion per 100k 1.17 0.14 157.25%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Gurung

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

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: "White only", "Black only", "American Indian and Alaskan Native only", "Asian and Pacific Islander only", "Two or More Races", and "Hispanic".

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

  • 1.30%, or 45 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.20%, or 7 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 95.57%, or 3,297 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.14%, or 5 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 2.29%, or 79 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 0.49%, or 17 total occurrences, were "Hispanic Origin".

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 Gurung has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 1.30% 1.30% 0.00%
Black 0.20% 0.00% 200.00%
Asian and Pacific Islander 95.57% 85.23% 11.44%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.14% (S) 0.00%
Two or More Races 2.29% 11.92% -135.54%
Hispanic 0.49% (S) 0.00%

Data Source(s)

All of the data on this page is sourced from the Decennial Census survey, from the United States Census Bureau.

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  • "Gurung Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on August 15, 2022. https://namecensus.com/last-names/gurung-surname-popularity/.

  • "Gurung Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/gurung-surname-popularity/. Accessed 15 August, 2022

  • Gurung Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/last-names/gurung-surname-popularity/.