Explore the Family Name Bauer

The meaning of Bauer

German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): status name for a peasant or nickname meaning ‘neighbor, fellow citizen’, from Middle High German (ge)būr, Middle Low German būr, denoting an occupant of a būr, a small dwelling or building. This word later fell together with Middle High German būwære, an agent noun from Old High German būwan ‘to cultivate’, later also (at first in Low German dialects) ‘to build’. The precise meaning of the Jewish surname, which is of later formation, is unclear. This surname is also found in France (Alsace and Lorraine), the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Croatia, and Slovenia, often as a translation into German of corresponding Slavic status names or surnames. Some characteristic forenames: German Kurt, Hans, Otto, Erwin, Fritz, Helmut, Heinz, Manfred, Franz, Gerhard, Johannes, Wolfgang.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Bauer in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Bauer saw a slight decrease in popularity from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Bauer ranked as the 484th most common surname in the U.S., but by 2010 it had dropped to the 517th spot, marking a 6.82% decrease in rank. Despite this drop in rank, the actual count of individuals with the Bauer surname increased from 61,979 in 2000 to 65,004 in 2010, indicating an increase of 4.88%. The proportion of people with this surname per 100,000 also decreased by 4.09%.

Proportion per 100k22.9822.04-4.09%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Bauer

In terms of ethnic identity, the data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that most individuals with the Bauer surname identify as White, although this percentage decreased slightly from 96.34% in 2000 to 95.10% in 2010. The second largest group identified as Hispanic, which increased from 1.56% in 2000 to 2.38% in 2010, marking a significant 52.56% change. The data also shows increases in the proportions of Asian/Pacific Islanders, those identifying with two or more races, Black individuals, and American Indian and Alaskan Natives. Specifically, the proportion of Asian/Pacific Islanders showed a 31.11% increase, while those identifying with two or more races increased by 19.39%. Black individuals and American Indian and Alaskan Natives saw increases of 14.71% and 15.15% respectively.

Two or More Races0.98%1.17%19.39%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.45%0.59%31.11%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.33%0.38%15.15%

Bauer ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Bauer is French & German, which comprises 39.7% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (32.1%) and Eastern European (8.0%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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French & German39.7%
British & Irish32.1%
Eastern European8.0%

Possible origins of the surname Bauer

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Bauer have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom72.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom72.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom72.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom71.80%
West Midlands, United Kingdom71.30%

What Bauer haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Bauer is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include E-V13 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Schmidt, Fischer, Weber, Mueller, Miller, Wagner, Schneider, Becker, Wolf, Hoffman.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Bauer surname are: T2b, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

bauerPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Bauer have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Bauer" Surname 42.3%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Bauer" Surname 25.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Bauer" Surname 19.2%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Bauer" Surname 18.0%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Bauer?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Bauer are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

French & German 60.8%

23andMe Users 57.2%