Limited information is available about the current epidemic status of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Guangdong province in South China, where hepatitis B is endemic. We sought to provide an up-to-date assessment of hepatitis B prevalence in a large population through a community-based study. A total of 169,211 local residents were recruited using the stratified cluster random sampling method from 2014 to 2015, and each participant's information was collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Accordingly, the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the total population was 8.76%. HBsAg prevalence was lowest (0.29%) among children aged 0-12 years and highest (12.71%) among those aged 23-59 years. Moreover, the prevalence (8.82%) in males approximately equalled that (8.65%) in females (P > 0.05). Overall, vaccination was effective in preventing HBV infection, regardless of age. Among adults aged 23-59 years, male sex tended to keep the HBsAg persistence. However, reduced persistence for participants with occasional physical exercise and drinking was observed. For participants older than 59 years, a history of prior surgery placed people at high risk for infection. Although Guangdong has successfully decreased the HBsAg prevalence among children, it is urgent to expand vaccination to adults, and employ interventions to reduce the infection risk.