It is predicted that in the next decade, the Vietnamese surname Nguyen will overtake Smith, the most popular last name in Australia since 1903, to become the most common metropolitan surname.
“Nguyen will [overtake Smith] in Melbourne and Sydney within 10 years. It signals the difference between the city and the bush,” Australia-based News Limited Network quoted demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt as saying.
The Vietnamese surname Nguyen is now the 13th most popular family name in Australia, according to data from Ancestry.com.au and White Pages Online 2013.
The data also showed Nguyen is the third popular last name in Sydney, second in Melbourne and seventh in Adelaide.
A report published by The World Geography in 2012 showed Nguyen is the 4th most common surnames in the world after Li or Lee, Zhang, and Wang of China.
“The prevalence of Nguyen as a family name in Vietnam extends to outside of the country where many Vietnamese have emigrated. Nguyen is the 54th most common in France. In the United States, it is the 57th most common family name according to the 2000 Census, as well as the most common exclusively Asian surname,” the report said.
Nguyen is also the most popular family name in Vietnam as it accounts for nearly 40 percent of Vietnam’s population.
Many people said that during the Tran Dynasty in the 11th to 13th centuries, many members of the Ly family of the prior dynasty changed their surname to Nguyen to avoid persecution.
Nguyen dynasty is the last ruling dynasty in Vietnam.