The name is a household German favorite and in the English-speaking world, is often used to designate an average German male.
It is from a diminutive form of Johannes, but has exclusively been used as an independent given name in German-speaking countries and in Scandinavia since at least the 19th-century.
The name would roughly be the German cognate of Jack.
Up until the 1950s, Hans was among the 10 most popular male names in Germany, in recent years, it has been viewed as a dated name, but like other vintage names, seems to be catching on again. It is currently the 245th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).
Another form is Hansel.
A Danish feminine form is Hansine.