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User-Submitted Photos of Karen
Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Karen
This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Karen in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the girl's name Karen:
Records indicate that 981,398 girls in the United States have been named Karen since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 1957, when 40,588 people in the U.S. were given the name Karen. Those people are now 62 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Karen
Based on the comments submitted below
48 Positive Comments
"My name is Karen and I've always liked the name. There weren't many others during my baby boomer upbringing. (I was born in 1952.) I have to wonder if the Karen Letitia who commented above is related to me -- since Letitia is somewhat of a family name that many women in my family had as a middle or first name." Dec. 16, 2018:
"My name is Karen, born in 1951. My middle name is Barbara which is a bit unusual. I've always liked my name, because it's a strong name but also a soft name. A great name that was not overly used for it's time like some others from the 1950's. I'm happy that my name could never be shortened or having a nickname. Once in a while I might get called Kare. Thanks Dad for naming me." Jun. 8, 2018:
"Born in '62, knew only 5 or 6 other Karen's over the years. Knew a couple of Caren's with a C. No nicknames.
I love my name. I wasn't crazy about it when I was a child, because I preferred something I considered "prettier" like Susan or Michelle. But by young adulthood I grew to really like my name.
Like so many here have said, Karen is feminine and graceful but strong. It's strong and calm feminine rather than "frilly" girly.
I'm very glad to hear Karen more frequently lately for characters on TV, usually in their 30s or younger! I don't want my lovely name to die out as an 'old lady name'! My youngest son's girlfriend's name is Karen Nicole, and she is 18, so that is a good sign. It's a strong sweet sexy name, bring it back!" May. 2, 2018:
"I love my name, Karen Kathryn. Born in 1964, my mom named me after her best friend and my grandmother. We have 6 Karen?s where I work and I am the youngest." Apr. 4, 2018:
"I have a four year old named Karen Layne(2013) named after her grandmother (born 1948). I think that she won't have to worry about sharing her name since her class will be full of Olivias, Sophias, Bellas, Peytons, and Paisleys." Mar. 16, 2018:
"It's interesting to read that some people think of Karen as an older person's name. I've been a Karen since I was born in 1969, and I never considered its having an age before. I know a few other Karen's (there are four of us in the school where I teach right now), and we are all fairly close in age. I haven't met a younger one, though.
I do know that every Karen I've met has been a friendly person." Feb. 3, 2017:
"I was born in 1972. My name is Karen Violet. I was never embarrassed or made fun of for my name Karen, but was actually embarrasssd by my middle name Violet. My mom was Violet and she hated the name. But everyone tells me they think Karen Violet sounds pretty and I have grown to love my names together... I never went to school with any Karen's but at the company I work at there are 7 Karens. Only one is younger than me. Most are around 10 years older." Jan. 15, 2017:
"I was born in 1962. There were 3 Karens in my grade 1 class so we were all called Karen along with our middle name. There was Karen Lynn, Karen Marie and I was Karen Pearl, named after my mother. I hated the name Pearl and unfortunately it stuck all through elementary school with me being called Karen Pearl. Today I still love my name but people can figure out my age knowing when my name was popular." Nov. 6, 2016:
"I love my name Karen Elizabeth(sister of Linda Ann).Born in 1945, I was supposed to be a boy.My mom suggested naming me Roberta
to appease my dad but fortunately he said no. My favorite aunt gave me my middle name.In higher grades, I was called "Tall Karen" by my teachers due to the popularity
of my name. No nicknames for me but that's okay. I am interested in baby names and one
time I read of a Karen Elizabeth born on my
birthday! Parents need to more aware of the names they pick and how it can influence a child's life and not be so trendy-trendy." Aug. 21, 2016:
"I love my name.Was born in the fifties.I have noticed how often lately this name is used on a tv show,movie or commercial.Pretty cool!" Oct. 24, 2015:
"I have grown to love my name. I didn't like it so much growing up because it's such an older sounding name (born in 1991) but I've grown to love it. Mine is spelled Karyn and I love my middle name with it Alexandra. I've recently heard that the name Karen typically has the nickname Kaz which is a little weird but kinda cute." Oct. 22, 2015:
"I was born in 1952 in the UK and given the names Karen Michele. I have always liked these two names but found that when I went to live in the US it was much more common. As I now live in Switzerland I have only come across it once as mainly it is spelled KARIN. Pretty name I find - I am quite happy with it!" Oct. 20, 2015:
"I was born karen Nicole in 1981. I love my name I sometimes change the spelling to karyn, I think it's more feminine with a y. That's just me but I wouldn't trade my name for the world." Jun. 12, 2015:
"My whole life I have absolutely LOVED my name.. Karen.. middle name Ann.. ( Ann is also my mothers middle name) I can not count the number of times I've thanked my mother for giving me such a beautiful name. I feel it is not just my name.. it is truly who I am. The only nick name I have ever had that pertained directly to my name is from my brothers who call me K.. or Kay Kay.. which I adore. I also .. recently found out a friend named her daughter and used my name as inspiration.. and used Kaye. I honestly would not change my name for ANY amount of money. I love it very much." May. 6, 2015:
"My name is Karen and I have 3 other people in my school who are named Karen.No one ever pronounce my name wrong but a lot of the time people spell my name wrong like they spell it Karin or Karyn.I think Karen is a very beautiful name because the people I have met that are named Karen have beautiful personalities😀❤️" Mar. 18, 2015:
"My name is Karen Astrid it's a very unique and beautiful name meaning pure really describes me well thought this would be helpful for anyone interested in a middle name, its very rare you hardly ever hear it" Dec. 22, 2013:
"My name is Karen Stella and i really like my name because i was always the only karen in class, it made me feel unique . There were a lot of Hannah s and Ashley s btw. I was born in 1988 . My family pronounces it KAH-ren , everybody else ke-ren." Nov. 21, 2013:
"I am from South Africa, Karen is not a very common name - just love being unique.... a proud karen" Oct. 27, 2013:
"I've always loved my name Karen Leigh - born in 1964. There was only one other Karen in my school growing up. It's a strong, feminine name and easy to pronounce. I'm not embarrassed to say my name in business meetings either." Oct. 14, 2013:
"Karen,no middle name.Born 1940. Named after my Grandmother and Great-grandmother (Mother and daughter both named Karen)who came to America from Denmark.Always liked my name however in my
earlier years too many; in school, always had to put our last initial on our papers we handed in. Also others in different work places at the same time as myself, so was
confusing. In recent years I seldom meet another Karen. Always liked my name with that one exception (too many of us in the same place at the same time--when I was younger)
A dignified name -- a family name passed to me. Happy to have it. Five people that I know of have named their daughters after myself--4 Karen's and 1 Kay(short version for Karen)" Jun. 22, 2013:
"I like it now but I thought it was boring when I was growing up. Mum told me she called me Karen because she really liked it - I guess alot of other mums liked it too as there were always a few other Karens at school! I get called Kazzy by most of my friends. I am now 46. I live in Australia." Jun. 19, 2013:
"I like my name. The only thing I don't like is that it seems to be associated with older ladies. I was born in 1964 but DON'T feel old..lol. However, I've noticed that the name has been used ALOT on tv lately for different characters, many of the actors portraying a younger person. Commercials, sitcoms, movies and ect. So much lately, that everytime it happens, I tell my husband SEE my name is coming back! I like that it has the sound "care" in it. I think it would look very modern spelled Karyn or Karin. But it seems traditional names are coming back. Also, I've never been nicknamed from "karen" but I read where some women named Karen are nicknamed Kaz or Kazzie. While I don't get the connection, I think that's kind of cute." May. 30, 2013:
"I love my name! My namesake is my great-grandmother from Denmark. She was loved by all the family, so I have a few cousins who are also named Karen. I am one of those who was born in 1935. Yes! I am 78." May. 25, 2013:
"Love the name Karen, feel it sounds strong and feminine. Born in 1970 in the states, it was popular but not overly so (typically one other girl in my class with the same name). My parents named me Karen Ren?e, which I think go well together. Friends (when younger) mainly nicknamed me Kare or Kare Bear; only my British friend calls me Kazza, which I think is cute." Apr. 16, 2013:
"I've never been to fond of my name. It's just recently at 19,that I realize how much it suits me.Growing up,I used to be the only Karen in my classes even sometimes entire school.Because I use mostly french on a daily basis,people pronounce it the french way 'ka-reine'*reh-ne* and it used to annoy me. I think a lot of hispanics have this name too nowadays.Anyways,the only problem I have with my name is that it tends to be too common but I've learned to like it :)." Apr. 5, 2013:
"I love the name Karen, but hate my middle name June, i get called Kow, Kazza Kay, Kazzie, Kazza Bazza, Kaz- it goes on, my favourite is Kazzie or Kazza, i named my daughters middle name after mine and she loves it, i was born in 1970 and i have known quite a few Karens older and younger than me in my life- love my name! x" Mar. 10, 2013:
"I love being Karen. I didn't like the plain middle name I was given. Wish I had been a Karen Nicole, Karen Grace, instead of Karen Anne! I had two close friends also named Karen. I like the name because it reminds me of being "caring" and goes along with names like Hope, Joy, and Faith!" Feb. 12, 2013:
"My name is Karen and I was born in Indiana in 1938. I have never seen another Karen, from watching obits, that are older than I. Any Karen out there older than 75..And, I have always loved my name." Jan. 28, 2013:
"I have always liked my name, Karen and my middle name is Ann. I was born in 1952 and have only known of 2 other girls named Karen, one in Catholic grade school and the other in Public High School. I never run into other Karens, and I like it that it is rare. My friends call me Kare, or Carebear as a nickname and when I was little my 4 brothers and sisters called me T'ann because I'm the oldest and they couldn't say Karen, my mom even called my that sometimes as an endearment. My family has strong German origins and I read someone else's comment that it is a good German name, now that made me really proud of my name, my one brother is Frank and I knew his was German. Supposedly,my mother named me Karen as it is a take on Katherine, which was my Grandmothers name on my mothers side. Not sure if it really is a take on Katherine, but that is what my mother believed. I love my name: Karen Ann" Aug. 19, 2012:
"I was born in 1996 and I love my name! I'm 16 years old and live in Norway so not many people have the same name as me, most people who have my name is always older than me ;) It's old fashioned and classic.. in Norway it's really rare and I have never met another person with the same name as me that is my own age. Only once have a person spelled it wrong and that was when a teacher asked me if I spelled it with a C or a K. My firends make fun of me and says it sounds like a old ladies name but I like it and it souts me :)
My parents told me they chose the name becouse it's a strong and sturdy name that symbolizes a strong woman.. I couldn't agree more :)" May. 19, 2012:
"I love this name. It's so simple yet you can't mispronounce it." Aug. 24, 2011:
"My mom named me from a character on a soap opera and thought that the name would not be popular! I was born in 1952 and went to school with at least five other Karens! The name does seem to have declined in popularity in recent years and very few young children are named Karen. My mom always asks me if I like my name; although I did not care for it while growing up, I do like it now! It is an elegant and pretty name!" Jun. 24, 2011:
"It's been a good and fun name for me: middle name is Diane, maiden name also had 5 letters, so one of my logos was a little block with Karen on the top line, Diane on the middle line, and maiden name on the bottom line. Nicknames have been "K" or "Cotton". Born in 1954, they named me right." Nov. 17, 2010:
"I never liked it much, I'm a 1955 baby and my mom liked it. I have grown to love it, I never met anyone with that name until I turned 50 and now I've met tons of them all spelled the same way, I do hate any other spelling of it. Karen it is! My family and close friends call me Kar and one friend calls me Kitty, but I've grown to love it. I never went to school with another Karen ever. I always say when asked my name, Karen, normal spelling." Aug. 19, 2010:
"I've always liked this name--so simple and pretty." Dec. 4, 2009:
"I love my name! I was named after Karen Carpenter as my Mum was a massive fan!" Dec. 9, 2008:
"I'm 14 and my name is Karen. I've met only one person before I went to highschool with the name "Karen." I've met three Karen's in highschool. I don't like to share the same name as another person but I do like my name.
It sounds childish and mature." Nov. 13, 2008:
"I love my name. It's very sophisticated, and I have never met another teenager with the name Karen. You really can't go wrong with it." Jul. 26, 2008:
"My name is karen. I was born in 1986. At first I didn't notice that anyone else had my name. Never went to school with a girl that had the same name. I felt really unique and special.I still do because it is after all my name." Jul. 11, 2008:
"I used to really dislike my name. I always felt like it was an older ladies name. (It is, in fact, my mother's name as well.) But now that I am grown, I do like having this name. I have never been teased because of it and I think it is somewhat sophisticated." May. 8, 2008:
"I was born in 1963 and I love my name. You can't mispronounce it, your sure it's a girl's name, you can't shorten it to something horrid. I have always thought it was a strong, yet feminine name." May. 8, 2008:
"I was born in 1952 when it was becoming very popular. I have a cousin named Karen and my best friend is named Karen. I also work with a Karen. I like my name and always have. I was so named because my family is frm Germany and it is used there though mostly with an "i". I like that there are no nick names for it. It has served me well. I work in a school and I don't think Ive heard of a child named Karen in years." Apr. 16, 2008:
"i luv the name karen, becaues it's my name..... what does it mean?" Aug. 12, 2007:
"I'm called Karen, i don't meet many other people from Ireland called Karen so i like it. Nobody ever spells or says it wrong. Its all good.
I was born in the 80s so that might explain why i don't meet many other Karens." Jan. 11, 2007:
"It's very simple, yet strong. I don't think you can go wrong with "Karen"..it's a solid great name." Jul. 31, 2006:
"Karen is my name and I like it. When I was born in 1938, it was not known by many. Although I knew a girl in Iowa with the same. I think my mother may have heard it on a radio show." Dec. 8, 2005:
"I love my name. I've never met another persom my age with Karen as their name. Only my teachers or my friend's parents. :)People also compliment it a lot and it's not hard to say or spell." Nov. 15, 2005:
"I've never been made fun of because of my name. It's not necessarily a popular name that I have noticed but I have never been the only Karen in school or in the office." Jun. 8, 2005:
6 Negative Comments
"I don't even think people name babies Karen. They just show up at age 35 with two kids to complain to retail workers and ask if they can speak to the manager." Feb. 10, 2018:
"I'm a Karen, named after the amazing singer Karen Carpenter but I was born in 2004 so I get teased for it in School. I just wished my mum had named me something more modern than Karen. Over the years I have realised that all my friends have common names e.g. Lucy, Ellie, Charlie, Sarah, Sophie. I am yet to find someone in my age group with my name." Feb. 11, 2017:
"My name was Karan, pronounced the same as Karen but my mother wanted to spell it differently. I never liked it! The spelling really annoyed me too.
I changed it by deed poll in my early 20's and it was one of the best things I ever did :)" Nov. 3, 2014:
"I was born in 1960 and I hate my name, I always have. I knew a couple more in school and around the neighbourhood growing up and they were over thrilled with it either. I am pleased that people call me K." Jul. 23, 2009:
"I was born in the Sixties and I too knew alot of other Karen's. Now I rarely if ever run into another Karen. I love the name and it has treated me well. Southern people pronouce it Kern and northerners pronouce it Kairun!" Jul. 18, 2007:
"i have always disliked my name, always been one of five or so in the class room or at work it reminds me of the mundane" Dec. 30, 2005:
39 Neutral Comments
"Born in 1965....when it was the third most popular baby girl name. Karen Patricia
I knew of one other Karen in my High School...my class was about 900 students.
My Dad wanted to name me Jean but, once they laid eyes on me, they changed it.
I like my name....but it is kind of funny that it?s considered an ?old lady? name now. I NEVER hear anyone naming their child Karen these days. If I meet another Karen by chance, I totally know about how old she is. I feel bonded to other Karen?s my age.
My older sister is named Elizabeth. Her name is classic and still popular.
But, I?m blessed, either way. Never really had a nickname in school....but my family called me Keer for fun." Jun. 15, 2019:
"It is the Danish and Norwegian form of Katherine and they pronounce it Car in. Here in the USA we say Care en. My grandmother named me because she lived in So. Dakota and there were a lot of Norwegian people there and it was an unusual name in the 1930's" Jun. 13, 2019:
"My name is Karyn Michelle. I was born in 1967 when the name was still popular. My Mom said Karyn was a derivative of Catherine which is my Mother's name. I had no other Karyn's in my classes until I got to college. At college,I met 3 other Karen's and we became great friends." Feb. 21, 2019:
"My older sisters named me Karen after the main character in The Red Shoes by the Brother?s Grimm - our dad read it to them while Mom was giving birth to me (in the 50s). A fairy tale and a beautiful ballet - In the story, Karen is punished for vainly choosing a pair of red shoes from the shoemaker. When she puts the enchanted shoes on, they start to dance, taking her with them. She can?t stop them or take them off. As you may expect, the ending is grusome and involves a woodcutter.
I?ve met very few Karen, Karin or other spellings. I want to like my name but always thought it a bit boring and childlike.
As an adult, I go by my middle name Mercedes, but my sisters still call me Karen:)" Sep. 30, 2018:
"Unlike the other people who responded I don't like my name. My mother chose the spelling Karin -- ok, it was somewhat different in 1958. I think the name Karen is like the name Edith or Ethel. Old and dying name." Sep. 22, 2018:
"Born in 1965, there were so many Karen's. I never was crazy about my name and I'm still not . I always wanted to be something elegant like Elizabeth or Sarah. I read a comment above by another Karen Anne (Ann), who was also nicknamed Kay Kay. Pretty neat that there is someone out there similar to me. There were lots of siblings named Karen & Kathy, like we were also. In another comment someone mentioned pronunciation in the north and south. My experience is actually the polar opposite. South Kay-i-run, and North Karn in one syllable." Apr. 15, 2018:
"I did not like my name when I was much younger but I totally love it now - Karen Marie. I agree with the comments - strong, yet feminine. I do not hear of the name being used too much anymore, especially not in younger generations (I was born in 1964). My Mother liked the name because she thought it could not be shortened into a nickname - Wrong, most of my family call me Kare or Kares and I get Care Bear quite a bit. Hoping it makes a comeback!" May. 2, 2017:
"My name is Karen Jean and I was born in 1936. I never had another girl in my class with my name the whole time I went to school. Everybody was named Barbara or Patricia. Karen is Danish and Norwegian for Katherine and is pronounced Car-in. In the USA it's pronounced Care- en." Jul. 21, 2015:
"Iam Karen born 1963 never had a problem with my name think it suits me and its better than all these silly pretentious names. I am a bubbly intelligent popular lady certainly not old.Only downside is that in the 60's and 70's used to get mistaken for Carol which i hate." May. 2, 2015:
"My name is Caren, yes it's with a C I know. My middle name is Rae, people say it's a country name with I guess is kind of true. I love the name and it has only been pronounced wrong a few times as careen. I love this name because it is very unique and I've only met 2 other Karens with a K. Never have I met one with a C" Apr. 2, 2015:
"Im told my mother named me after a sales clerk in southern Indiana, where I was born, in 1947. It was new and unique then, she said. But at work, there was always another Karen, it seemed, and I really disliked being called K2 in San Francisco in the 80s. Then I found out K2 is a mountain. I should have had a better sense of humor. Yes, it's still pretty common to meet another Karen. No, its not mispronounced (or misspelled much)." Mar. 16, 2015:
"is the name Karen ever been known to have a satanic meaning" Jan. 7, 2015:
"I was born in 1962. My Mom never named us (2 older sisters) until she her laid eyes on us! She looked at me and said I looked like an angel so she named me Karen and my middle name Angela. I liked my name growing up even more than I do now. It seems like I meet more Karens now then I ever did then! Strange, I know! Maybe that's why:) It sounds good professionally speaking and I like it overall. Any other Karen Angela's out there??" Jun. 21, 2014:
"I was born in 1956...my name is Karen Lea. Had several Karen's in my class and now now atleast 4 Karen's. We ll were born in the 50s. I have never thought of it as an older name, although now I think the Karen generation is identified by birth in the 50s give or take a few years earlier or later. Pronounced Keren..but in the Deep south..pronounced Kayrun. Don't like that!" Jan. 23, 2014:
"in 1954 i was named karen ann. my mother said it was modern and popular at that time. ann was the middle name of my aunt. in school i graduated with 1,327 students. there was 2 other girls with that name. i have been in the work force for over 40yrs. i have never worked with another karen. i have always liked my name. it is a strong feminine name. i am very glad my mother went with her instincts, because my father wanted to name me arlene.i wear my name proudly. thankyou mom." Jan. 6, 2014:
"it's my name and it's plain, not ugly, and you don't get any weird nicknames so it's fine. my middle name is Camilla which i can't stand." Mar. 6, 2013:
"I don't know how much I like the name Karen yet. I'm still getting to know her more and more each day ;)." Feb. 9, 2013:
"My name is Karen Louise, and I am proud of it! I was born into a military in 1960. We moved several times during my growing up and I still love traveling. My nicknames were usually based on the fact that I have red hair, not the name Karen. I always had fun writing the K just as fancy as I possibly could. For me Karen will always be spelled with a K, the proper way." Dec. 3, 2012:
"I was born the last out of 6 children in 1956, and named Karen, no middle name. As I grew older and realized all my sibblings had namesakes, I asked who I was named after. My mom said the girl born 1/2 hour before me in the hospital. As an adult, for fun when I met someone in my age group I would as their birthdate, looking for my Karen, believe it or not, I found the girl born 1/2 hour before me in our city in the same hospital. Through out all my school years, I was the only Karen in class." Aug. 10, 2012:
"I find my name, Karen Jean Anderson, to be so common it is VERY annoying. Including myself I actually know 4 people named Karen Anderson. I always wanted something a little more exotic. Less white bread." Mar. 9, 2012:
"This is my name and I don't love it. There names I like less than Karen, however, I wish I had a different name. Kristine would have been my preference." Jan. 23, 2012:
"i guess the name karen is okay...i dont have any nicknames, though...except in my spanish class i am called karin, which is the spanish version of karen. I am 13 years old." May. 10, 2011:
"I love my name although there is not many nicknames like mimi for maya an lud bug for lydia" Jan. 13, 2011:
"I was born in 1979 and have always known at least 5 other Karens in my life. It was very popular here in Scotland in the 70's. I often joke that I've never met a Karen younger than me! One of my best friends is called Karen, the other Sharon, LOL! 70's babies right enough. I actually really like my name and would love to see more people name their babies Karen nowadays (anything othe than Niamh would be nice, seems to be the name de jour!). Karen will come back into fashion one day I'm sure! I was almost called Kathleen so I feel lucky as I'm really not a fan of Kathleen (sorry if that's your name)." Sep. 28, 2010:
"My name is Karen, I was born in 1966, at school we had 4 Karen's in the same class and 3 of us had the middle name Louise.. How Common lol ... I get called Kaz or Kazzy .." Apr. 9, 2010:
"My name is Karen and I was born in 1960. In high school I started to become frustrated by how many other girls were named Karen, and it was made worse because there were no nicknames for or shortened versions of the name. I ended up changing the spelling to Karryn shortly after high school; I wanted something different but couldn't imagine answering to any other name. Internet searches back when it was first possible to search the Internet used to turn up just a few, and mostly in Australia, New Zealand and England. Now there are enough that I know I'm not along.
I wanted to avoid this problem with my children, so what name did my husband pick for our son back in 1992? Jackson! It's already #3 for the year 2009; it will probably go to #1 due to Michael Jackson's death.
I'd like to say at least our family has avoided naming children after celebrities, but my father's mother, who worked as an usher in a movie theatre, named my dad after Ronald Reagan..." Dec. 23, 2009:
"My name is Karen and I was born in 1978. My mum wanted a name that couldnt be shortened and thought that this was the name . . funny though as My friends all call me Kaz !!" Aug. 7, 2009:
"My sister's name is Karen Elise. She was born in 1988. She went to school with one Karin. She goes to college with one Karin. She works with a Caren. And the previous owner of her horse was named Karen. So she knows 4 other Karens." Jul. 26, 2009:
"I was born in 1962 during the height of popularity of the name Karen. I always liked my name. I had three girls in my class named Karen and there were probably 8 or 10 Karen's in my high school class. I don't hear of many babies being named Karen today."