Explore the Family Name Dahl

The meaning of Dahl

1. Norwegian and Danish: habitational name from a common farm name derived from Old Norse dalr ‘valley’. 2. Swedish: topographic or ornamental name from an ornamental spelling of dal ‘valley’, or a habitational name from a placename containing this word, e.g. Dalby. 3. German: topographic name from Middle Low German dal ‘valley’, or a habitational name from any of the places in Germany named Dahl or Dahle, from the same word. 4. Jewish (Ashkenazic): habitational name as in 3 above, or an adoption of the German surname. Some characteristic forenames: Scandinavian Erik, Selmer, Alf, Nils, Jorgen, Per, Sven, Astrid, Helmer, Holger, Iver, Johan.

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

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

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census data, the surname Dahl has seen a slight decrease in popularity between 2000 and 2010. The rank of the surname moved from 1599 to 1669, indicating a popularity drop of 4.38%. However, interestingly, the actual count of individuals with the Dahl surname increased by 4.76%, from 20,616 in 2000 to 21,598 in 2010. This means that while the surname became less popular in ranking, more people had this last name by the end of the decade. This discrepancy could be explained by an overall increase in the U.S. population during this period.

Proportion per 100k7.647.32-4.19%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Dahl

When it comes to the ethnic identity associated with the surname Dahl as per the Decennial U.S. Census data, the majority identified as White in both 2000 and 2010, though this proportion slightly decreased from 95.98% to 94.45%. The Hispanic representation among Dahl surname holders saw the most significant growth, increasing by 85.45%. Additionally, those identifying their ethnicity as Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and those belonging to two or more races also increased. However, there was a small decline in the percentage of American Indian and Alaskan Native individuals carrying the Dahl surname.

Two or More Races1.19%1.58%32.77%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.64%0.75%17.19%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.7%0.66%-5.71%

Dahl 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 Dahl is British & Irish, which comprises 31.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are Scandinavian (26.0%) and French & German (22.7%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Finnish.

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British & Irish31.9%
French & German22.7%

Possible origins of the surname Dahl

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 Dahl have recent ancestry locations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom72.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom72.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom72.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom71.90%
Tyne And Wear, United Kingdom71.40%

What Dahl 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 Dahl is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-Z287 and R-Z19, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Lund, Paulson, Olson, Berg, Erickson, Andersen, Hagen, Benson, Nelson, Jacobsen.

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

dahlPaternal 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 Dahl 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.

"Dahl" Surname 42.6%

23andMe Users 41.3%




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

"Dahl" Surname 26.2%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Dahl" Surname 20.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




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

"Dahl" Surname 15.8%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Dahl?

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 Dahl 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

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%