Dent last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Dent is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Dent.

Meaning of Dent

Derived from Old English meaning "valley" or referring to someone who lived in or near a dent or hollow.

Dent, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Dent surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Dent in America

Dent is the 2436th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Dent surname appeared 14,873 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Dent.

We can also compare 2010 data for Dent to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2436 2354 3.42%
Count 14,873 14,082 5.46%
Proportion per 100k 5.04 5.22 -3.51%

The history of the last name Dent

The surname Dent originated in England, with its earliest recorded use dating back to the late 12th century. It is believed to be a locational name, derived from the Old English word "dene," meaning a valley or a hollow.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the Dent surname can be found in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire from the year 1199, where a person named Adam de Dene was mentioned. This suggests that the name may have originated in the Yorkshire Dales area, where numerous valleys and denes are found.

The Dent surname is also found in the Domesday Book of 1086, which was a comprehensive survey of land and property ownership in England commissioned by William the Conqueror. The name appeared in various spellings, such as "de Dene" and "de Dente," indicating its locational origin.

As the name spread across England, it took on different spellings and variations, such as Dente, Dunt, and Dunt. Some of these variations were likely influenced by regional dialects and the way the name was pronounced in different areas.

Notable individuals with the surname Dent include Sir Edward Dent (1490-1557), a prominent English judge and Member of Parliament during the reign of Henry VIII. Another notable figure was John Dent (1604-1659), an English lawyer and judge who served as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

In the 18th century, John Dent (1712-1787) was a renowned English clockmaker and inventor, known for his contributions to the development of the chronometer. His son, Thomas Dent (1745-1829), followed in his footsteps and became a successful clockmaker as well.

In the realm of literature, Ada Dent (1876-1963) was a British writer and poet, best known for her collection of poems titled "The Briars and Green Bracken." She was also a prominent figure in the suffragette movement.

Arthur Dent, a fictional character in Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, is another notable bearer of the Dent surname, although he is a creation of literature rather than a historical figure.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Dent

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Dent.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Dent was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 57.45% 8,545
Non-Hispanic Black Only 37.41% 5,564
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.52% 77
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.48% 71
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.14% 318
Hispanic Origin 2.00% 297

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Dent has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 57.45% 59.27% -3.12%
Black 37.41% 36.91% 1.35%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.52% 0.37% 33.71%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.48% 0.45% 6.45%
Two or More Races 2.14% 1.56% 31.35%
Hispanic 2.00% 1.44% 32.56%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Dent was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Dent, please contact us.

Reference this page

We spend a lot of resources downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Dent last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

"Dent last name popularity, history, and meaning"., Accessed 12 July, 2024

Dent last name popularity, history, and meaning. Retrieved from

Search for a name

Search for a first or last name to learn more about its origin, meaning, and more.

Simple as that.