Explore the Family Name Klein

The meaning of Klein

German, Flemish, and Jewish (Ashkenazic); Dutch (also De Klein): from Middle High German, German, Dutch klein ‘small’, or Yiddish kleyn. This was a nickname for a person of small stature, but is also often found as a distinguishing name for a junior male, usually a son, in German names such as Kleinhans and Kleinpeter. The surname of German origin is also found in many other European countries, notably in France (Alsace and Lorraine), Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia. It is often a German translation of corresponding Slavic surnames, for example Czech and Slovak Malý (see Maly). Compare Klain, Klien, and Kline.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the popularity of the surname Klein has shown some changes between 2000 to 2010. The rank of the surname moved from 359 in 2000 to 392 in 2010, indicating a decrease in popularity by 9.19%. However, the actual count of individuals with this surname increased during this period from 79,685 to 81,471, signifying an increase of 2.24%. The proportion per 100,000 people fell by 6.5%, suggesting that while the absolute number of people named Klein grew, their proportion relative to the overall population decreased.

20002010Change
Rank#359#392-9.19%
Count79,68581,4712.24%
Proportion per 100k29.5427.62-6.5%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Klein

Discussing the ethnic identity associated with the surname Klein, the Decennial U.S. Census data shows shifts across various categories from 2000 to 2010. The largest percentage increases were seen in the Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic demographics, rising by 50% and 54.36% respectively. The proportion identifying as White remained the majority but saw a slight decrease of 1.16%. Those identifying with two or more races saw an increase of 7.62%, and those identified as Black saw a modest increase of 6.67%. The proportion of American Indian and Alaskan Native remained steady with no change over the decade.

20002010Change
White96.53%95.41%-1.16%
Hispanic1.49%2.3%54.36%
Two or More Races1.05%1.13%7.62%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.4%0.6%50%
Black0.3%0.32%6.67%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.23%0.23%0%

Klein 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 Klein is French & German, which comprises 27.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are British & Irish (25.6%) and Ashkenazi Jewish (24.2%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Scandinavian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
French & German27.9%
British & Irish25.6%
Ashkenazi Jewish24.2%
Other22.3%
Klein

Possible origins of the surname Klein

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 Klein have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom57.70%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom57.40%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom57.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom57.20%
West Midlands, United Kingdom56.80%

What Klein 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 Klein is E-V13, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup E-V13 is descended from haplogroup E-M96. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-U152, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Schneider, Hoffman, Wolf, Weiss, Simon, Kramer, Schwartz, Frank, Stein, Miller.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Klein surname are: H, H1, K1a1b1a. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

kleinPaternal Haplogroup Origins E-M96
Paternal Haplo Image

Your paternal lineage may be linked to early Balkan migrants

Haplogroup E1b1b1a1b1a migrated in large numbers from the Balkans into Europe about 4,500 years ago, triggered by the beginning of the Balkan Bronze Age. During this migration, members of haplogroup E1b1b1a1b1a mainly followed rivers connecting the southern Balkans to northern-central Europe. Technological leaps often cause lineages to grow dramatically in numbers and in geographic range. The development of Bronze technology may have given men in haplogroup E1b1b1a1b1a a competitive advantage over other men, causing haplogroup E1b1b1a1b1a to proliferate and become widespread.

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 Klein 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.

Preferences

Klein

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Klein" Surname 46.5%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Klein

Misophonia

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

"Klein" Surname 26.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Klein

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Klein" Surname 18.4%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Klein

Migraine

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

"Klein" Surname 17.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Klein?

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 Klein 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%