Tran Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin

In this article we'll look at the origin and meaning of the surname Tran 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 Tran.

Tran, 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 Tran surname is from the 2010 census data.

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

The surname Tran is largely of Vietnamese extraction and is considered a derivation of the Chinese name Chen. A large number of Chinese families have also chosen the Tran version of the name as well, adding to its global popularity.

There is also a European Tran population whose name may derive from the Middle English Tryne, which means guile or bravery. It also may derive from the Norse word train (crane) which was used as a nickname to describe someone who was birdlike. In 1243 a Robert Trayne was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Durham. Thomas Tran is listed as a charter witness in 1458.

The popularity of the Tran name may have originated from the illustrious reign of the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) in Vietnam. In 1257 the Mongol conqueror Kublai Khan attempted to sack the Tran Dynasty capital of Hanoi. This attack was repulsed as were the second and third attempts made by Mongol forces.

Vietnam remained under Tran rule until in 1400 a discontented general seized the throne resulting in the Chinese coming to the Tran's aid, rather than helping China-occupied Vietnam, essentially ending the Tran Dynasty. It wasn’t until 1428 that the Chinese were forced back out of Vietnam and a new dynasty took control.

Tran Thai Tong (1218-1277) is a notable member of this family. The first monarch of the Tran dynasty, Thai Tong ruled for 33 years before stepping aside in favor of his son Tran Hoang. During his rule, he was considered a wise ruler and prodigious writer.

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

According to the data, Tran is ranked #132 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

The Tran surname appeared 188,498 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 63.90 would have the surname Tran.

We can also compare 2010 data for Tran 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 132 188 -35.00%
Count 188,498 136,095 32.29%
Proportion per 100k 63.90 50.45 23.52%

Race and Ethnic Origin of People with the Last Name Tran

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

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 Tran was:

  • 1.35%, or 2,545 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic White Only".
  • 0.10%, or 188 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Black Only".
  • 96.00%, or 180,958 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only".
  • 0.03%, or 57 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native".
  • 1.70%, or 3,204 total occurrences, were "Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races".
  • 0.81%, or 1,527 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 Tran has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 1.35% 1.56% -14.43%
Black 0.10% 0.16% -46.15%
Asian and Pacific Islander 96.00% 95.61% 0.41%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.03% 0.07% -80.00%
Two or More Races 1.70% 1.98% -15.22%
Hispanic 0.81% 0.62% 26.57%

Data Source(s)

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

Link To or Reference This Page

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  • "Tran Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com. Accessed on February 5, 2023. https://namecensus.com/last-names/tran-surname-popularity/.

  • "Tran Last Name Popularity, Meaning and Origin". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/tran-surname-popularity/. Accessed 5 February, 2023

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