Origin of Raos of India
Rao is commonly added as a suffix to a person's name in southern and western parts of India, in particular in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Konkan/Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. Ahirs of Haryana and Rajasthan use Rao.Variants of the name include "Rai", "Raja", "Rayudu", "Rayar", "Rayulu", "Raut", "Raya", "Rana" and others. In the Gujarati diaspora, Rao is a common name among the Brahmbhatt or Barot community. India's ex-prime minister Narasimha Rao (whose last name is often featured in the NY Times crossword puzzle) is a native of Andhra Pradesh in South India.
Raos of Pakistan
The majority of Raos in Pakistan are Muslim Punwar (Pawar) and Chauhan Rajputs. Raos can be found all across Pakistan and are found in large numbers in the Punjab Province. In 2002 elections of Pakistan, Rajputs were in the largest number in assemblies. The Rao are famous for their customs, norms and traditions. Rao families prefer to marry in their own caste(Rana, Rao, Kaim Khani and Bhati Rajpots). After Indo Pak partition majority of Rao got settled in cities of Bahawalnagar, Maharwali, Khanewal, Lahore, Chichawatni, Pakpattan, Burewala , Vehari, Bahawalpur, Haroonabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Multan, and Lahore. Raos are further categorized according to their geographical locations and education level, most superior Raos are “Kalanori” and normal Raos are “Bahargamye”.
Raos of China
Raos of Italy
The Sicilian-Calabrian Italian surname Rao is pronounced in the Italian language similarly to the Indian pronunciation, although in the United States many Raos of Italian descent pronounce the name "RAY-O." One such example is Rao's in New York City, the Rao family of Rhode Island, and the Rao family of Charlotte, North Carolina (http://www.jayrao.net). Raos of Brazil
Most of the people with Rao surname in Brazil are the descendants of Italian settlers in Brazil. Quite a few people in Brazil still have Rao as their surname.