Kentucky (/kənˈtʌki/ ( listen) kən-TUK-ee), officially
the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east
south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the
"State of Kentucky" in the law creating it,
Kentucky is one of four
U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia,
Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in
Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union.
Kentucky is the
37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United
Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the
bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One
of the major regions in
Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central
Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and
Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant
resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave
National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams
in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes
east of the
Kentucky is also known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries,
moonshine, coal, the historic site My Old
Kentucky Home, automobile
manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, and
Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Kentucky Home, a widely known historic mansion for which
Kentucky's state song, "My Old
Kentucky Home" was written in 1852 by
Narrow country roads bounded by stone and wood plank fences are a
feature in the
Kentucky Bluegrass region.
2.2.1 Natural disasters
2.3 Lakes and rivers
2.4 Natural environment and conservation
2.5 Natural attractions
3.1 19th century
3.2 20th century
4 Law and government
4.1 Executive branch
4.2 Legislative branch
4.3 Judicial branch
4.4 Federal representation
5.1 Race and ancestry
6.2 Government-promoted slogans
8 Subdivisions and settlements
Consolidated city-county governments
8.3 Major cities
11.5 State symbols
11.6 Official state places and events
13 See also
15.2.1 Surveys and reference
15.2.2 Specialized scholarly studies
16 External links
In 1776, the counties of
Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains
became known as
Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky
River. The precise etymology of the name is
uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning "(on) the
meadow" or "(on) the prairie" (cf. Mohawk kenhtà:ke, Seneca
gëdá'geh (phonemic /kẽtaʔkeh/), "at the field").
Others have put forth the possibility of Kenta Aki, which would
absolutely come from Algonquian language and, therefore, would
probably have derived from the Shawnees. Folk etymology states that
this translates as "Land of Our Fathers." The closest approximation in
another Algonquian language, Ojibwe (N. Michigan) translates it
more-so to "Land of Our In-Laws," thus making a fairer English
translation "The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers."  In any
case, the word aki comes out as land in practically all Algonquian
A map of Kentucky
List of Kentucky counties
List of Kentucky counties and
Coal mining in Kentucky
Kentucky is situated in the Upland South. A significant
portion of eastern
Kentucky is part of Appalachia.
Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest and the Southeast.
Virginia lies to the east,
Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee
to the south,
Missouri to the west,
Indiana to the
Ohio to the north and northeast. Only
Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more.
Kentucky's northern border is formed by the
Ohio River and its western
border by the
Mississippi River. The official state borders are based
on the courses of the rivers as they existed when
Kentucky became a
state in 1792 but some parts of the river have deviated since then.
For instance, northbound travelers on U.S. 41 from Henderson, after
Ohio River, will be in
Kentucky for about two miles
(3.2 km). Ellis Park, a thoroughbred racetrack, is located in
this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the only land
Indiana and Kentucky.
Kentucky has a non-contiguous part known as
Kentucky Bend, at the far
west corner of the state. It exists as an exclave surrounded
Missouri and Tennessee, and is included in the
boundaries of Fulton County. Road access to this small part of
Kentucky on the
Mississippi River (populated by only 18 people as of
2010) requires a trip through Tennessee. The epicenter of the
1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes
1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area, even
causing the river to flow backwards in some places. Though the series
of quakes did change the area geologically and affect the (small
number of) inhabitants of the area at the time, the
Kentucky Bend was
formed because of a surveying error, not the New Madrid
Kentucky's regions (click on image for color-coding information.)
Kentucky can be divided into five primary regions: the Cumberland
Plateau in the east, the north-central Bluegrass region, the
south-central and western
Pennyroyal Plateau (also known as the
Mississippi Plateau), the Western
Coal Fields and the
far-west Jackson Purchase.
Bluegrass region is commonly divided into two regions, the Inner
Bluegrass—the encircling 90 miles (140 km) around
Lexington—and the Outer Bluegrass—the region that contains most of
the northern portion of the state, above the Knobs. Much of the outer
Bluegrass is in the
Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short, steep,
and very narrow hills.
Eastern Kentucky Coalfield
Eastern Kentucky Coalfield is known for its rugged terrain.
Bluegrass region features hundreds of horse farms.
Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald
Köppen climate types of Kentucky
Located within the southeastern interior portion of North America,
Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid
subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa). Temperatures in
range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F (31 °C) to the
winter low of 23 °F (−5 °C). The average precipitation
is 46 inches (1,200 mm) a year.
Kentucky experiences four
distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of
summer and winter. The highest recorded temperature was
114 °F (46 °C) at Greensburg on July 28, 1930 while the
lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F (−38 °C) at
Shelbyville on January 19, 1994. Due to its location,
Kentucky has a
moderate humid subtropical climate, with abundant rainfall. It has
four distinct seasons, but rarely experiences the extreme cold as far
northern states, nor the high heat of the states in the Deep South.
Temperatures extremely seldom drop below 0 degrees or rise above 100
degrees. Rain and snowfall totals about 45 inches per year. There are
also big variations in climate within the state. The northern parts
tend to be about 5 degrees cooler than those in western parts of the
state. Somerset in the south-central part receives 10 more inches of
rain per year than, for instance, Covington to the north. Average
temperatures for the entire Commonwealth go from the low 30s in
January to the high 70s in mid-July. The annual average temperature
varies from 55 to 60 °F (13 to 16 °C): of 55 °F
(13 °C) in the far north as an average annual temperature and of
60 °F (16 °C) in the extreme southwest.
Kentucky has relatively humid warm rainy summers, and
moderately cold and snowy winters. Mean maximum temperatures in July
vary from 83 to 90 °F (28 to 32 °C); the mean minimum July
temperatures are 61 to 69 °F (16 to 21 °C). In January the
mean maximum temperatures range from 36 to 44 °F (2 to
7 °C); the mean minimum temperatures range from 36 to
44 °F (2 to 7 °C). Temperature means vary with northern
and far-eastern mountain-regions averaging five degrees cooler
year-round, compared to the relatively warmer areas of the southern-
and western region of the state. Precipitation also varies north to
south with the north averaging of 38 to 40 inches (970 to
1,020 mm), and the south averaging of 50 inches (1,300 mm).
Days per year below the freezing point vary from about sixty days in
the southwest to more than a hundred days in the far-north and
Monthly average high and low temperatures for various
Deadliest weather events in
March 1890 middle
Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak
March 27, 1890
Louisville, W KY
April 3, 1974 tornado outbreak
April 3, 1974
May–June 1917 tornado outbreak sequence
May 27, 1917
Early-May 1933 tornado outbreak sequence
May 9, 1933 Tornado
South Central KY
January 2009 Central Plains and Midwest ice storm
Tornado outbreak of March 2–3, 2012
March 2, 2012
Ohio River flood of 1937
June 7, 1907
March 1, 1997 Flooding
Early March 1997
Lakes and rivers
See also: List of lakes in Kentucky, List of rivers of Kentucky, and
List of dams and reservoirs in Kentucky
Lake Cumberland is the largest artificial American lake east of the
Mississippi River by volume.
Kentucky has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the
union, other than Alaska.
Kentucky is the only
U.S. state to have a continuous border of rivers
running along three of its sides—the
Mississippi River to the west,
Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and
Tug Fork to
the east. Its major internal rivers include the
Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Green River and Licking River.
Though it has only three major natural lakes,
Kentucky is home to
many artificial lakes.
Kentucky has both the largest artificial lake
east of the
Mississippi in water volume (Lake Cumberland) and surface
Kentucky Lake's 2,064 miles (3,322 km) of
shoreline, 160,300 acres (64,900 hectares) of water surface, and
4,008,000 acre feet (4,944 Gl) of flood storage are the most of any
lake in the TVA system.
Kentucky's 90,000 miles (140,000 km) of streams provides one of
the most expansive and complex stream systems in the nation.
Natural environment and conservation
Once an industrial wasteland, Louisville's reclaimed waterfront now
features thousands of trees and miles of walking trails.
Kentucky has an expansive park system, which includes one national
park, two National Recreation areas, two National Historic Parks, two
national forests, two National Wildlife Refuges, 45 state parks,
37,896 acres (153 km2) of state forest, and 82 Wildlife
Kentucky has been part of two of the most successful wildlife
reintroduction projects in
United States history. In the winter of
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources began to
re-stock elk in the state's eastern counties, which had been extinct
from the area for over 150 years. As of 2009, the herd had reached the
project goal of 10,000 animals, making it the largest herd east of the
The state also stocked wild turkeys in the 1950s. There were reported
to be less than 900 at one point. Once nearly extinct here, wild
turkeys thrive throughout today's Kentucky. Hunters officially
reported a record 29,006 birds taken during the 23-day season in
A female gray wolf shot in 2013 in
Hart County, Kentucky
Hart County, Kentucky by a hunter
was the first verified sighting of the species in
Kentucky in modern
See also: List of taxa described from Kentucky
Red River Gorge
Red River Gorge is one of Kentucky's most visited places
Forest at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area, Meade County, Kentucky
Cumberland Gap, chief passageway through the
Appalachian Mountains in
early American history.
Cumberland Falls, the only place in the Western Hemisphere where a
"moonbow" may be regularly seen, due to the spray of the falls.
Mammoth Cave National Park, featuring the world's longest known cave
Red River Gorge
Red River Gorge Geological Area, part of the Daniel Boone National
Land Between the Lakes, a
National Recreation Area
National Recreation Area managed by the
United States Forest Service.
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Whitley City.
Black Mountain, state's highest point. Runs along the south ridge
of Pine Mountain in Letcher County, Kentucky. The highest point
located in Harlan County.
Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve, 2,639-acre (11 km2) state
nature preserve on southern slope of Pine Mountain in Letcher County.
Includes one of the largest concentrations of rare and endangered
species in the state, as well as a 60-foot (18 m) waterfall
Kentucky Wild River.[clarification needed]
Jefferson Memorial Forest, located in the southern fringes of
Louisville in the Knobs region, the largest municipally run forest in
the United States.
Lake Cumberland, 1,255 miles (2,020 km) of shoreline located in
South Central Kentucky.
Natural Bridge, located in
Slade, Kentucky Powell County.
Breaks Interstate Park, located in southeastern Pike County, Kentucky
and Southwestern Virginia. The Breaks is commonly known as the "Grand
Canyon of the South."
Main article: History of Kentucky
See also: History of slavery in Kentucky,
Kentucky in the American
Kentucky Historical Society, and Hatfield-McCoy feud
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace near Hodgenville
In about the 10th century, the
Kentucky native people's variety of
corn became highly productive, supplanting the Eastern Agricultural
Complex, and replaced it with a maize-based agriculture in the
Mississippian era. French explorers in the 17th century documented
numerous tribes living in
Kentucky until the
Beaver Wars in the 1670s.
However, by the time that European colonial explorers and settlers
Kentucky in greater numbers in the mid-18th century,
there were no major Native American settlements in the region.
As of the 16th century, the area known as
Kentucky was home to tribes
from five different culture groups—Iroquoian, Hokan Sioux,
Algonquian, Muskogean & Yuchi. Around the Bluestone River was the
Siouan Tutelo. North of the
Tennessee River was the
Yuchi & south
of it was the Cherokee. Much of the interior of the state was
controlled by the Algonquian Cisca  & the confluence region of
Ohio was home to the Chickasaw. During a period
known as the Beaver Wars, 1640–1680, another Algonquian tribe called
the Maumee, or
Mascouten was chased out of southern Michigan. The
vast majority of them moved to Kentucky, pushing the
Kispoko east and
war broke out with the
Tutelo that pushed them deeper into Appalachia,
where they merged with the
Saponi & Moneton. The Maumee were
closely related to the Miami of Indiana. Later, the
Shawnee (who broke off from the Powhatan on the east coast)
& the Thawikila of
Ohio to form the larger
Shawnee nation that
Ohio River Valley into the 19th century.
Shawnee from the northwest and
Cherokee from the south also sent
parties into the area regularly for hunting. As more settlers entered
the area, warfare broke out because the Native Americans considered
the settlers to be encroaching on their traditional hunting
grounds. Today there are two state recognized tribes in Kentucky,
Cherokee Nation of
Kentucky and the Ridgetop
A 1790 U.S. government report states that 1,500
had been killed by Native Americans since the end of the Revolutionary
War. In 1786,
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark led a group of 1,200 men in
Shawnee towns on the
Wabash River to begin the
Northwest Indian War.
On December 31, 1776, the region of
Virginia beyond the Appalachian
Mountains was established as
Kentucky County by the
Kentucky County was abolished on June 30, 1780, when it
was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties.) On several
occasions the region's residents petitioned the General Assembly and
the Confederation Congress for separation from
Virginia and statehood.
Ten constitutional conventions were held in Danville between 1784 and
One petition, which had Virginia's assent, came before the
Confederation Congress in early July 1788. Unfortunately, its
consideration came up a day after word of New Hampshire's
all-important ninth ratification of the proposed Constitution, thus
establishing it as the new framework of governance for the United
States. In light of this development, Congress thought that it would
be "unadvisable" to admit
Kentucky into the Union, as it could do so
"under the Articles of Confederation" only, but not "under the
Constitution", and so declined to take action.
On December 18, 1789,
Virginia again gave its consent to Kentucky
United States Congress gave its approval on February 4,
1791. (This occurred two weeks before Congress approved Vermont's
petition for statehood.)
Kentucky officially became the fifteenth
state in the Union on June 1, 1792. Isaac Shelby, a military veteran
from Virginia, was elected its first Governor.
Designed by the Washington Monument's architect Robert Mills in 1845,
the U.S. Marine Hospital in Louisville is considered the best extant
antebellum hospital in the country.
Central Kentucky, the bluegrass region, was the area of the state with
the most slave owners. Planters cultivated tobacco and hemp (see Hemp
in Kentucky) and were noted for their quality livestock. During the
Kentucky slaveholders began to sell unneeded slaves to
the Deep South, with Louisville becoming a major slave market and
departure port for slaves being transported downriver.
Kentucky was one of the border states during the American Civil
War. Although frequently described as never having seceded,
representatives from 68 of 110 counties met at Russellville calling
themselves the "Convention of the People of Kentucky" and passed an
Secession on November 20, 1861. They established a
Confederate government of Kentucky
Confederate government of Kentucky with its capital in Bowling
Kentucky was represented by the central star on the Confederate
battle flag, it remained officially "neutral" throughout the war
due to the Union sympathies of a majority of the Commonwealth's
citizens. Some 21st-century Kentuckians observe Confederate Memorial
Day on Confederate President Jefferson Davis' birthday, June 3, and
participate in Confederate battle re-enactments. Both
Jefferson Davis and U.S. President Abraham
Lincoln were born in Kentucky.
On January 30, 1900, Governor William Goebel, flanked by two
bodyguards, was mortally wounded by an assassin while walking to the
State Capitol in downtown Frankfort. Goebel was contesting the
Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899, which
William S. Taylor
William S. Taylor was
initially believed to have won. For several months, J. C. W. Beckham,
Goebel's running mate, and Taylor fought over who was the legal
governor, until the Supreme Court of the
United States ruled in May in
favor of Beckham. After fleeing to Indiana, Taylor was indicted as a
co-conspirator in Goebel's assassination. Goebel is the only governor
U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office.
William Goebel in Frankfort
The Black Patch
Tobacco Wars, a vigilante action, occurred in Western
Kentucky in the early 20th century. As a result of the tobacco
industry monopoly, tobacco farmers in the area were forced to sell
their crops at prices that were too low. Many local farmers and
activists united in a refusal to sell their crops to the major tobacco
An Association meeting occurred in downtown Guthrie, where a
vigilante wing of "Night Riders", formed. The riders terrorized
farmers who sold their tobacco at the low prices demanded by the
tobacco corporations. They burned several tobacco warehouses
throughout the area, stretching as far west as Hopkinsville to
Princeton. In the later period of their operation, they were known to
physically assault farmers who broke the boycott. Governor Augustus E.
Willson declared martial law and deployed the
Kentucky National Guard
to end the wars.
Law and government
See also: List of Governors of Kentucky,
Kentucky Senate, and Kentucky
House of Representatives
Kentucky is one of four U.S. states to officially use the term
commonwealth. The term was used for
Kentucky as it had also been used
by Virginia, from which
Kentucky was created. The term has no
particular significance in its meaning and was chosen to emphasize the
distinction from the status of royal colonies as a place governed for
the general welfare of the populace.
The commonwealth term was used in citizen petitions submitted between
1786 and 1792 for the creation of the state. It was
also used in the title of a history of the state that was published in
1834 and was used in various places within that book in references to
Virginia and Kentucky. The other two states officially called
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Kentucky is one of only five states that elects its state officials in
odd-numbered years (the others being Louisiana, Mississippi, New
Jersey, and Virginia).
Kentucky holds elections for these offices
every 4 years in the years preceding Presidential election years.
Kentucky held gubernatorial elections in 2011 and 2015.
The governor's mansion in Frankfort
The executive branch is headed by the governor who serves as both head
of state and head of government. The lieutenant governor may or may
not have executive authority depending on whether the person is a
member of the Governor's cabinet. Under the current Kentucky
Constitution, the lieutenant governor assumes the duties of the
governor only if the governor is incapacitated. (Before 1992 the
lieutenant governor assumed power any time the governor was out of the
state.) The governor and lieutenant governor usually run on a single
ticket (also per a 1992 constitutional amendment), and are elected to
four-year terms. The current governor is Republican Matt Bevin, and
the lieutenant governor is Jenean Hampton.
Other elected constitutional offices include the Secretary of State,
Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer and
Commissioner of Agriculture. Currently, Democrat Alison Lundergan
Grimes serves as the Secretary of State. The commonwealth's chief
prosecutor, law enforcement officer, and law officer is the Attorney
General, currently Democrat Andy Beshear. The Auditor of Public
Accounts is Republican Mike Harmon. Republican
Allison Ball is the
current Treasurer. Republican
Ryan Quarles is the current Commissioner
Kentucky State Capitol
Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort
Kentucky's legislative branch consists of a bicameral body known as
Kentucky General Assembly.
The Senate is considered the upper house. It has 38 members, and is
led by the President of the Senate, currently
Robert Stivers (R).
The House of Representatives has 100 members, and is led by the
Speaker of the House, currently
Jeff Hoover of the Republican
In November 2016, Republicans won control of the House for the first
time since 1922, and currently have supermajorities in both the House
The judicial branch of
Kentucky is called the
Kentucky Court of
Justice and comprises courts of limited jurisdiction called
District Courts; courts of general jurisdiction called Circuit Courts;
specialty courts such as Drug Court and Family Court; an
intermediate appellate court, the
Kentucky Court of Appeals; and a
court of last resort, the
Kentucky Supreme Court.
Kentucky Court of Justice is headed by the
Chief Justice of the
Unlike federal judges, who are usually appointed, justices serving on
Kentucky state courts are chosen by the state's populace in
A map showing Kentucky's six congressional districts.
Kentucky's two U.S. Senators are Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell and Rand Paul, both Republicans. The state is divided into
six Congressional Districts, represented by Republicans James Comer
Brett Guthrie (2nd),
Thomas Massie (4th),
Hal Rogers (5th) and
Andy Barr (6th) and Democrat
John Yarmuth (3rd).
In the federal judiciary,
Kentucky is served by two United States
district courts: the Eastern District of Kentucky, with its primary
seat in Lexington, and the Western District of Kentucky, with its
primary seat in Louisville. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals
for the Sixth Circuit, based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
State sign, Interstate 65
Kentucky's body of laws, known as the
Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS),
were enacted in 1942 to better organize and clarify the whole of
Kentucky law. The statutes are enforced by local police, sheriffs
and deputy sheriffs, and constables and deputy constables. Unless they
have completed a police academy elsewhere, these officers are required
to complete training at the
Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice
Training Center on the campus of Eastern
Additionally, in 1948, the
Kentucky General Assembly
Kentucky General Assembly established the
Kentucky State Police, making it the 38th state to create a force
whose jurisdiction extends throughout the given state.
Kentucky is one of the 32 states in the
United States that sanctions
the death penalty for certain murders defined as heinous. Those
convicted of capital crimes after March 31, 1998 are always executed
by lethal injection; those convicted on or before this date may opt
for the electric chair. Only three people have been executed in
Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court re-instituted the practice in
1976. The most notable execution in
Kentucky was that of Rainey Bethea
on August 14, 1936. Bethea was publicly hanged in Owensboro for the
rape and murder of Lischia Edwards. Irregularities with the
execution led to this becoming the last public execution in the United
Kentucky has been on the front lines of the debate over displaying the
Ten Commandments on public property. In the 2005 case of McCreary
County v. ACLU of Kentucky, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision
of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that a display of the Ten
Commandments in the Whitley City courthouse of McCreary County was
unconstitutional. Later that year, Judge Richard Fred
Suhrheinrich, writing for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the
case of ACLU of
Kentucky v. Mercer County, wrote that a display
including the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the
Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta, The Star-Spangled Banner, and the
national motto could be erected in the Mercer County courthouse.
Kentucky has also been known to have unusually high political
candidacy age laws, especially compared to surrounding states. The
origin of this is unknown, but it has been suggested[by whom?] it has
to do with the commonwealth tradition.
A 2008 study found that Kentucky's Supreme Court to be the least
influential high court in the nation with its decisions rarely being
followed by other states.
Political party strength in Kentucky
Presidential elections results
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election.
Where politics are concerned,
Kentucky historically has been very
competitive. It leaned slightly toward the Democratic Party since
1860, when the Whig Party dissolved. The state was not included as
among the "Solid South" that prevailed in the former Confederacy after
states disenfranchised blacks at the turn of the century. The
southeastern section had aligned with the Union during the war and
tended to support Republican candidates.
In a reversal of the demographics of party alignment in the post-Civil
War nineteenth century, in the 21st century state, Democrats include
liberal whites, African Americans, and other minorities. As of March
2018, 50.09% of the state's voters were officially registered as
Democrats, 41.35% were registered Republican, who tend to be
conservative whites. Some 8.57% were registered with some other
political party or as Independents. Despite this, the majority of
persons who vote in the state have generally elected Republican
candidates for federal office since around the turn of the 21st
From 1964 through 2004,
Kentucky voted for the eventual winner of the
election for President of the United States. In the 2008 election,
however, the state lost its bellwether status. Republican John McCain
won Kentucky, but he lost the national popular and electoral vote to
Barack Obama (McCain carried
Kentucky 57 to 41%). 116 of
Kentucky's 120 counties supported former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt
Romney in the 2012 election while he lost to Barack Obama
Voters in the Commonwealth supported the previous three Democratic
candidates elected to the White House in the late 20th century, all
from Southern states:
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (Texas) in 1964, Jimmy Carter
(Georgia) in 1976, and
Bill Clinton (Arkansas) in 1992 and 1996. In
21st-century presidential elections, the state has become a Republican
stronghold, supporting that party's presidential candidates by
double-digit margins from 2000 through 2016. At the same time, voters
have continued to elect Democratic candidates to state and local
offices in many jurisdictions.
Voter registration and party enrollment as of March 2018
Number of voters
Main article: Demographics of Kentucky
Kentucky Population Density Map
United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of
Kentucky was 4,454,189 on July 1, 2017, a 2.6% increase since the 2010
United States Census.
As of July 1, 2016,
Kentucky had an estimated population of 4,436,974,
which is an increase of 12,363 from the prior year and an increase of
97,607, or 2.2%, since the year 2010. This includes a natural increase
since the last census of 73,541 people (that is 346,968 births minus
273,427 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 26,135 people
into the state. Immigration from outside the
United States resulted in
a net increase of 40,051 people, and migration within the country
produced a net decrease of 13,916 people. As of 2015, Kentucky's
population included about 149,016 foreign-born persons (3.4%). In
2016, the population density of the state was 110 people per square
Kentucky's total population has grown during every decade since
records have been kept. But, during most decades of the 20th century,
there was also net out-migration from Kentucky. Since 1900, rural
Kentucky counties have had a net loss of more than 1 million people
from migration, while urban areas have experienced a slight net
The center of population of
Kentucky is located in Washington County,
in the city of Willisburg.
Race and ancestry
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
American Indian or
Kentucky racial breakdown of population
Native American and
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
Two or more races
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau official statistics, the largest
ancestry in 2013 was American totalling 20.2%. In 1980, before the
status of ethnic American was an available option on the official
census, the largest claimed ancestries in the commonwealth were
English (49.6%), Irish (26.3%), and German
(24.2%). In the state's most urban
counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Fayette, Boone, Kenton, and Campbell,
German is the largest reported ancestry. Americans of Scots-Irish and
English stock are present throughout the entire state. Many residents
claim Irish ancestry because of known "Scots-Irish" among their
ancestors, who immigrated from Ireland, where their ancestors had
moved for a period from Scotland during the plantation period.
Kentucky was populated in the early 19th century by a
large group of multi-racial settlers, sometimes called Melungeons, who
practiced endogamy until about 1900. They also resided in Hancock
Tennessee and nearby areas.
As of the 1980s, the only counties in the
United States where over
half of the population cited "English" as their only ancestry group
were in the hills of eastern
Kentucky (virtually every county in this
region had a majority of residents identifying as exclusively English
Shawnee organized in the early 21st century as a
non-profit to gain structure for their community and increase
awareness of Native Americans in Kentucky. In the 2000 census, some
20,000 people in the state identified as Native American (0.49%). In
June 2011, Jerry "2 Feather" Thornton, a Cherokee, led a team in the
Voyage of Native American Awareness 2011 canoe journey, to begin on
the Green River in
Rochester, Kentucky and travel through to the Ohio
River at Henderson.
African Americans, who were mostly enslaved at the time, made up 25%
of Kentucky's population before the Civil War; they were held and
worked primarily in the central Bluegrass region, an area of hemp and
tobacco cultivation, as well as raising blooded livestock. The number
of African Americans living in
Kentucky declined during the 20th
century. Many migrated during the early part of the century to the
industrial North and Midwest during the Great Migration for jobs and
the chance to leave segregated, oppressive societies. Today, less than
9% of the state's total population is African-American.[citation
The state's African-American population is highly urbanized and 52% of
them live in the Louisville metropolitan area; 44.2% of them reside in
Jefferson County. The county's population is 20% African American.
Other areas with high concentrations, beside
Christian and Fulton
counties and the Bluegrass region, are the cities of Paducah and
Lexington. Some mining communities in far Southeastern
populations that are between five and 10 percent
In 2000, 96.1% of all residents five years old and older spoke only
English at home, a decrease from 97.5% in 1990.
Pronunciation of "Butler County, Kentucky" by Dorothy Murphy, lifelong
resident of Central City, Kentucky.
Speech patterns in the state generally reflect the first settlers'
Kentucky backgrounds. South Midland features are best
preserved in the mountains, but some common to Midland and Southern
are widespread. After a vowel, the /r/ may be weak or missing. For
instance, Coop has the vowel of put, but the root rhymes with boot. In
southern Kentucky, earthworms are called redworms, a burlap bag is
known as a tow sack or the Southern grass sack, and green beans are
called snap beans. In
Kentucky English, a young man may carry, not
escort, his girlfriend to a party.
Spanish is the second-most-spoken language in Kentucky, after
See also: Religion in Louisville, Kentucky
Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington Theological Seminary (then College of the Bible), 1904.
Religion in Kentucky
Religion in Kentucky (2014)
As of 2010, the
Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)
reported the following groupings of Kentucky's 4,339,367 residents:
48% not affiliated with any religious group, 2,101,653 persons
42% Protestant Christian, 1,819,860 adherents
33% Evangelical Protestant, 1,448,947 adherents (23% within the
Baptist Convention, 1,004,407 adherents)
7.1% Mainline Protestant, 305,955 adherents (4.4% in the United
Methodist Church, 189,596 adherents)
1.5% Black Protestant, 64,958 adherents
8.3% Catholic Church, 359,783 adherents
0.74% Latter-day Saints, 31,991 adherents
0.60% other religions, 26,080 adherents (0.26% Muslim, 0.16% Judaism,
0.06% Buddhism, 0.01% Hindu, other Christian, etc.)
Kentucky is home to several seminaries. Southern
Seminary in Louisville is the principal seminary for the Southern
Baptist Convention. Louisville is also the home of the Louisville
Presbyterian Theological Seminary, an institution of the Presbyterian
Church (USA). Lexington has two seminaries, Lexington Theological
Seminary (affiliated with the Disciples of Christ), and the Baptist
Seminary of Kentucky. Asbury Theological Seminary, a
multi-denominational seminary in the Methodist tradition, is located
in nearby Wilmore.
In addition to seminaries, there are several colleges affiliated with
Bellarmine University and
Spalding University are
affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Transylvania University is affiliated with the Disciples
Owensboro, Kentucky Wesleyan College is associated with the United
Methodist Church and
Brescia University is associated with the Roman
In Pikeville, the
University of Pikeville
University of Pikeville is affiliated with the
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Asbury University (a separate institution from the
seminary) is associated with the
Christian College Consortium.
Baptist Denomination is associated with:
University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg
Campbellsville University, in Campbellsville
Georgetown College, in Georgetown
Baptist Bible College, in Pineville, Kentucky
Louisville is home to the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church
(USA) and their printing press. Louisville also has Muslim,
Christian creationist apologetics group Answers in Genesis, along
with its Creation Museum, is headquartered in Petersburg, Kentucky.
See also: Economy of Louisville, Kentucky; Economy of Lexington,
Kentucky locations by per capita income
The best selling car in the United States, the Toyota Camry, is
manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The best selling truck in the United States, the Ford F-Series, is
manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky.
Early in its history
Kentucky gained recognition for its excellent
farming conditions. It was the site of the first commercial winery in
United States (started in present-day Jessamine County in 1799)
and due to the high calcium content of the soil in the Bluegrass
region quickly became a major horse breeding (and later racing) area.
Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef
cattle production, and 14th in corn production.
also been a long-standing major center of the tobacco industry –
both as a center of business and tobacco farming.
Today Kentucky's economy has expanded to importance in non
agricultural terms as well, especially in auto manufacturing, energy
fuel production, and medical facilities.
Kentucky ranks 4th among U.S. states in the number of automobiles and
trucks assembled. The Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac XLR
(2004–2009), Ford Escape,
Ford Super Duty
Ford Super Duty trucks, Ford Expedition,
Lincoln Navigator, Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota
Solara, Toyota Venza, and Lexus ES 350 are assembled in
Kentucky has historically been a major coal producer, but employment
by "King Coal" has been in a 30-year decline there, and the number of
people employed in the coal industry there dropped by more than half
between 2011 and 2015.
As of 2010, 24% of electricity produced in the U.S. depended on either
enriched uranium rods coming from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
(the only domestic site of low grade uranium enrichment), or from the
107,336 tons of coal extracted from the state's two coal fields (which
combined produce 4% percent of the electricity in the United
Kentucky produces 95% of the world's supply of bourbon whiskey, and
the number of barrels of bourbon being aged in
Kentucky (more than 5.7
million) exceeds the state's population. Bourbon has been a
growing market – with production of
Kentucky bourbon rising 170
percent between 1999 and 2015.
Kentucky exports reached a record $22.1 billion in 2012, with products
and services going to 199 countries.
According to the
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the
primary state agency in
Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and
new investment in the state, new business investment in
2012 totaled nearly $2.7 billion, with the creation of more than
14,000 new jobs. One such investment was L'Oréal in Northern
Kentucky, which added 200 jobs on top of the 280 already in existing
facilities in Florence and Walton.
Fort Knox, a
United States Army post best known as the site of the
U.S. Bullion Depository, which is used to house a large portion of the
United States official gold reserves, is located in
Louisville and Elizabethtown. In May 2010, the Army Human Resource
Center of Excellence, the largest office building in the state at
nearly 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2) opened at Fort Knox. The
new complex employs nearly 4,300 soldiers and civilians.
Kentucky contains two of the twenty U.S. Federal Penitentiaries –
USP Big Sandy
USP Big Sandy (in the east in Martin County near Inez) and USP
McCreary (in the south in McCreary County in the Daniel Boone National
The total gross state product for 2016 was $197 billion, 28th in the
nation. Its per-capita personal income was US$38,926, 46th in the
nation. An organization called the Institute for Truth in
Accounting estimated that the state government's debts exceeded its
available assets by US$26,300 per taxpayer as of 2011, ranking the
state as having the 5th highest such debt burden in the nation.
As of February 2018, the state's unemployment rate is 4.1%. In
Kentucky was found to be the most affordable
U.S. state in which
There are six income tax brackets, ranging from 2% to 6% of personal
income. The sales tax rate in
Kentucky is 6%.
Kentucky has a broadly based classified property tax system. All
classes of property, unless exempted by the Constitution, are taxed by
the state, although at widely varying rates. Many of these
classes are exempted from taxation by local government. Of the classes
that are subject to local taxation, three have special rates set by
the General Assembly, one by the
Kentucky Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court and the
remaining classes are subject to the full local rate, which includes
the tax rate set by the local taxing bodies plus all voted levies.
Real property is assessed on 100% of the fair market value and
property taxes are due by December 31. Once the primary source of
state and local government revenue, property taxes now account for
only about 6% of the Kentucky's annual General Fund revenues.
Until January 1, 2006,
Kentucky imposed a tax on intangible personal
property held by a taxpayer on January 1 of each year. The Kentucky
intangible tax was repealed under House Bill 272. Intangible
property consisted of any property or investment that represents
evidence of value or the right to value. Some types of intangible
property included: bonds, notes, retail repurchase agreements,
accounts receivable, trusts, enforceable contracts sale of real estate
(land contracts), money in hand, money in safe deposit boxes,
annuities, interests in estates, loans to stockholders, and commercial
In December 2002, the
Kentucky governor Paul Patton unveiled the state
slogan "It's that friendly", in hope of drawing more people into
the state based on the idea of southern hospitality. This campaign was
neither a failure nor a success. Though it was meant
to embrace southern values, many Kentuckians rejected the slogan as
cheesy and ineffective. It was quickly seen that the slogan did
not encourage tourism as much as initially hoped for. So government
decided to create a different slogan to embrace
Kentucky as a whole
while also encouraging more people to visit the Bluegrass.
In 2004, then Governor
Ernie Fletcher launched a comprehensive
branding campaign with the hope of making the state's $12–14 million
advertising budget more effective. The resulting "Unbridled
Spirit" brand was the result of a $500,000 contract with New West, a
Kentucky-based public relations advertising and marketing firm, to
develop a viable brand and tag line. The Fletcher administration
aggressively marketed the brand in both the public and private
sectors. Since that time, the "Welcome to Kentucky" signs at border
areas have an "Unbridled Spirit" symbol on them.
At 464 miles (747 km) long,
Kentucky Route 80 is the longest
route in Kentucky, pictured here west of Somerset.
Main article: Transportation in Kentucky
See also: List of
Kentucky State Highways
Kentucky is served by six major interstate highways (I-24, I-64, I-65,
I-69, I-71, and I-75), nine parkways, and four bypasses and spurs
(I-264, I-265, I-275, and I-471). The parkways were originally toll
roads, but on November 22, 2006, Governor
Ernie Fletcher ended the
toll charges on the
William H. Natcher Parkway
William H. Natcher Parkway and the Audubon
Parkway, the last two parkways in
Kentucky to charge tolls for
access. The related toll booths have been demolished.
Ending the tolls some seven months ahead of schedule was generally
agreed to have been a positive economic development for transportation
in Kentucky. In June 2007, a law went into effect raising the speed
limit on rural portions of
Kentucky Interstates from 65 to 70 miles
per hour (105 to 113 km/h).
Road tunnels include the interstate
Cumberland Gap Tunnel and the
rural Nada Tunnel.
High Bridge over the
Kentucky River was the tallest rail bridge in the
world when it was completed in 1877.
See also: List of
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to
Ashland, South Portsmouth, Maysville and Fulton. The Cardinal (trains
50 and 51) is the line that offers
Amtrak service to Ashland, South
Shore, Maysville and South Portsmouth. The City of New Orleans (trains
58 and 59) serve Fulton. The
Northern Kentucky area is served by the
Cardinal at the
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. The Museum
Center is just across the
Ohio River in Cincinnati.
Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway passes through the Central and Southern parts
of the Commonwealth, via its Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas
Pacific (CNO&TP) subsidiary. The line originates in
terminates 338 miles south in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
As of 2004, there were approximately 2,640 miles (4,250 km) of
railways in Kentucky, with about 65% of those being operated by CSX
Coal was by far the most common cargo, accounting for
76% of cargo loaded and 61% of cargo delivered.
Bardstown features a tourist attraction known as My Old Kentucky
Dinner Train. Run along a 20-mile (30 km) stretch of rail
purchased from CSX in 1987, guests are served a four-course meal as
they make a two-and-a-half hour round-trip between Bardstown and
Limestone Springs. The
Kentucky Railway Museum
Kentucky Railway Museum is located in
nearby New Haven.
Other areas in
Kentucky are reclaiming old railways in rail trail
projects. One such project is Louisville's Big Four Bridge. When the
Indiana approach ramps opened in 2014, completing the
pedestrian connection across the
Ohio River, the
Big Four Bridge
Big Four Bridge rail
trail became the second-longest pedestrian-only bridge in the
world. The longest pedestrian-only bridge is also found in
Kentucky—the Newport Southbank Bridge, popularly known as the
"Purple People Bridge", connecting Newport to Cincinnati, Ohio.
See also: List of airports in Kentucky
Kentucky's primary airports include Louisville International Airport
(Standiford Field (SDF)) of Louisville, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
International Airport (CVG) of Cincinnati/Covington, and Blue Grass
Airport (LEX) in Lexington.
Louisville International Airport
Louisville International Airport is home
to UPS's Worldport, its international air-sorting hub.
Northern Kentucky International Airport is the largest
airport in the state, and is hub to passenger airline Delta Air Lines
and headquarters of its Delta Private Jets. The airport is one of DHL
Aviation's three super-hubs, serving destinations throughout the
Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, making it the 7th busiest airport
in the U.S. and 36th in the world based on passenger and cargo
operations. CVG is also a focus city for Frontier
Airlines and is the largest O&D airport and base for Allegiant
Air, along with home to a maintenance for
American Airlines subsidiary
PSA Airlines and
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Endeavor Air. There are
also a number of regional airports scattered across the state.
On August 27, 2006,
Blue Grass Airport
Blue Grass Airport was the site of a crash that
killed 47 passengers and 2 crew members aboard a Bombardier CRJ
designated Comair Flight 191, or
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Flight 5191,
sometimes mistakenly identified by the press as Comair Flight
5191. The lone survivor was the flight's first officer, James
Polehinke, who doctors determined to be brain damaged and unable to
recall the crash at all.
A barge hauling coal in the Louisville and Portland Canal, the only
manmade section of the
As the state is bounded by two of the largest rivers in North America,
water transportation has historically played a major role in
Kentucky's economy. Louisville was a major port for steamships in the
nineteenth century. Today, most barge traffic on
consists of coal that is shipped from both the Eastern and Western
Coalfields, about half of which is used locally to power many power
plants located directly off the
Ohio River, with the rest being
exported to other countries, most notably Japan.
Many of the largest ports in the
United States are located in or
adjacent to Kentucky, including:
Huntington-Tristate (includes Ashland, Kentucky), largest inland port
and 7th largest overall
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, 5th largest inland port and 43rd overall
Louisville-Southern Indiana, 7th largest inland port and 55th overall
As a state,
Kentucky ranks 10th overall in port tonnage.
The only natural obstacle along the entire length of the
Ohio River is
the Falls of the Ohio, located just west of Downtown Louisville.
Subdivisions and settlements
List of counties in Kentucky
List of counties in Kentucky and Fiscal Court
Kentucky is subdivided into 120 counties, the largest being Pike
County at 787.6 square miles (2,040 km2), and the most populous
being Jefferson County (which coincides with the Louisville Metro
governmental area) with 741,096 residents as of 2010.
County government, under the
Kentucky Constitution of 1891, is vested
in the County Judge/Executive, (formerly called the County Judge) who
serves as the executive head of the county, and a legislature called a
Fiscal Court. Despite the unusual name, the
Fiscal Court no longer has
Consolidated city-county governments
Kentucky's two most populous counties, Jefferson and Fayette, have
their governments consolidated with the governments of their largest
cities. Louisville-Jefferson County Government (Louisville Metro) and
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (Lexington Metro) are unique
in that their city councils and county
Fiscal Court structures have
been merged into a single entity with a single chief executive, the
Mayor and Urban County Mayor, respectively. Although the
counties still exist as subdivisions of the state, in reference the
names Louisville and Lexington are used to refer to the entire area
coextensive with the former cities and counties. Somewhat
incongruously, when entering Lexington-Fayette the highway signs read
"Fayette County" while most signs leading into Louisville-Jefferson
simply read "Welcome to Louisville Metro".
See also: List of cities in Kentucky
Largest cities or towns in Kentucky
The Metro Louisville government area has a 2016 population of
United States Census Bureau methodology, the
population of Louisville was 616,261. The latter figure is the
population of the so-called "balance"—the parts of Jefferson County
that were either unincorporated or within the City of Louisville
before the formation of the merged government in 2003. In 2016, the
Louisville Combined Statistical Area (CSA) has a population of
1,510,495; including 1,025,000 in Kentucky, which is nearly one-fourth
of the state's population. Since 2000, over one-third of the state's
population growth has occurred in the Louisville CSA. In addition, the
top 28 wealthiest places in
Kentucky are in Jefferson County and seven
of the 15 wealthiest counties in the state are located in the
Louisville CSA.[not specific enough to verify]
The second largest city is Lexington with a 2016 census population of
318,449 and its CSA, which includes the Frankfort and Richmond
statistical areas, having a population of 732,372. The Northern
Kentucky area, which comprises the seven
Kentucky counties in the
Northern Kentucky metropolitan area, had a population of
2,180,642 in 2016. The metropolitan areas of Louisville, Lexington,
Northern Kentucky have a combined population of 4,196,444 as of
2016, which is 94% of the state's total population.
As of 2016 Bowling Green had a population of 65,234, making it the
third most-populous city in the state. The Bowling Green metropolitan
area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined
statistical area it shares with
Glasgow has an estimated population of
The two other fast growing urban areas in
Kentucky are the Bowling
Green area and the "Tri Cities Region" of southeastern Kentucky,
London and Corbin.
Although only one town in the "Tri Cities", namely Somerset, currently
has more than 12,000 people, the area has been experiencing heightened
population and job growth since the 1990s. Growth has been especially
rapid in Laurel County, which outgrew areas such as Scott and
Jessamine counties around Lexington or Shelby and Nelson Counties
London significantly grew in population in the
2000s, from 5,692 in 2000 to 7,993 in 2010.
London also landed a
Wal-Mart distribution center in 1997, bringing thousands of jobs to
In northeast Kentucky, the greater Ashland area is an important
transportation, manufacturing, and medical center. Iron and petroleum
production, as well as the transport of coal by rail and barge, have
been historical pillars of the region's economy. Due to a decline in
the area's industrial base, Ashland has seen a sizable reduction in
its population since 1990. The population of the area has since
stabilized, however, with the medical service industry taking a
greater role in the local economy. The Ashland area, including the
counties of Boyd and Greenup, are part of the Huntington-Ashland,
Metropolitan Statistical Area
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2000 census,
the MSA had a population of 288,649. More than 21,000 of those people
(as of 2010) reside within the city limits of Ashland.
The largest county in
Kentucky by area is Pike, which contains
Pikeville and suburb
Coal Run Village. The county and surrounding area
is the most populated region in the state that is not part of a
Micropolitan Statistical Area or a Metropolitan Statistical Area
containing nearly 200,000 people in five counties: Floyd County,
Martin County, Letcher County, and neighboring Mingo County, West
Virginia. Pike County contains slightly over 68,000 people.
Only three U.S. states have capitals with smaller populations than
Kentucky's Frankfort (pop. 25,527), those being
Augusta, Maine (pop.
Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre, South Dakota (pop. 13,876), and Montpelier, Vermont
The library at the University of Kentucky, Kentucky's flagship
University of Louisville
University of Louisville is Kentucky's urban research university.
Main article: Education in Kentucky
See also: List of colleges and universities in Kentucky, List of high
schools in Kentucky, and List of school districts in Kentucky
Kentucky maintains eight public four-year universities. There are two
general tiers: major research institutions (the University of Kentucky
and the University of Louisville) and regional universities, which
encompasses the remaining 6 schools. The regional schools have
specific target counties that many of their programs are targeted
towards (such as Forestry at
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University or Cave
Management at Western
Kentucky University), however most of their
curriculum varies little from any other public university.
UK and UofL have the highest academic rankings and admissions
standards although the regional schools aren't without their national
recognized departments – examples being Western Kentucky
University's nationally ranked Journalism Department or Morehead State
University offering one of the nation's only Space Science degrees. UK
is the flagship and land grant of the system and has agriculture
extension services in every county. The two research schools split
duties related to the medical field, UK handles all medical outreach
programs in the eastern half of the state while UofL does all medical
outreach in the state's western half.
The state's sixteen public two-year colleges have been governed by the
Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Kentucky Community and Technical College System since the passage of
the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, commonly referred
to as House Bill 1. Before the passage of House Bill 1, most of
these colleges were under the control of the University of Kentucky.
Transylvania University, located in Lexington, is the oldest
university west of the Allegheny Mountains, founded in 1780.
Transylvania is a liberal arts university, consistently ranked in the
top tier in the country.
Berea College, located at the extreme southern edge of the Bluegrass
below the Cumberland Plateau, was the first coeducational college in
the South to admit both black and white students, doing so from its
very establishment in 1855. This policy was successfully
challenged in the
United States Supreme Court in the case of Berea
Kentucky in 1908. This decision effectively segregated
Berea until the landmark
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
There are 173 school districts and 1,233 public schools in
Kentucky. For the 2010 to 2011 school year, there were
approximately 647,827 students enrolled in public school.
Kentucky has been the site of much educational reform over the past
two decades. In 1989, the
Kentucky Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the
state's education system was unconstitutional. The response of
the General Assembly was passage of the
Kentucky Education Reform Act
(KERA) the following year. Years later,
Kentucky has shown progress,
but most agree that further reform is needed.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March
See also: Category:
The Buffalo Trace Distillery
Culture of Kentucky
See also: Theater in Kentucky; Performing arts in Louisville,
Kentucky; and List of attractions and events in the Louisville
Although Kentucky's culture is generally considered to be Southern, it
is unique in that it is also influenced by the Midwest and Southern
Appalachia in certain areas of the state. The state is known for
bourbon and whiskey distilling, tobacco, horse racing, and college
Kentucky is more similar to the
Upland South in terms of
ancestry that is predominantly American.
Nevertheless, during the 19th century,
Kentucky did receive a
substantial number of German immigrants, who settled mostly in the
Midwest, along the
Ohio River primarily in Louisville, Covington and
Newport. Only Maryland,
Delaware and West
Virginia have higher
German ancestry percentages than
Kentucky among Census-defined
Southern states, although Kentucky's percentage is closer to Arkansas
and Virginia's than the previously named state's percentages. Scottish
Americans, English Americans and Scotch-Irish Americans have heavily
Kentucky culture, and are present in every part of the
state. As of the 1980s the only counties in the United States
where over half of the population cited "English" as their only
ancestry group were all in the hills of eastern
Kentucky (and made up
virtually every county in this region).
Kentucky was a slave state, and blacks once comprised over one-quarter
of its population. However, it lacked the cotton plantation system and
never had the same high percentage of African Americans as most other
slave states. With less than 8% of its current population being black,
Kentucky is rarely included in modern-day definitions of the Black
Belt, despite a relatively significant rural African American
population in the Central and Western areas of the
Kentucky adopted the Jim Crow system of racial segregation in most
public spheres after the Civil War. Louisville's 1914 ordinance for
residential racial segregation was struck down by the US Supreme Court
in 1917. However, in 1908
Kentucky enacted the Day Law, "An Act to
Prohibit White and Colored Persons from Attending the Same School",
Berea College unsuccessfully challenged at the US Supreme Court
in 1908; in 1948,
Lyman T. Johnson filed suit for admission to the
University of Kentucky; as a result in the summer of 1949, nearly
African American students entered UK graduate and professional
Kentucky integrated its schools after the 1954 Brown v.
Board of Education verdict, later adopting the first state civil
rights act in the South in 1966.
Old Louisville is the largest Victorian Historic neighborhood in the
The biggest day in American horse racing, the
Kentucky Derby, is
preceded by the two-week Derby Festival in Louisville. Louisville
also plays host to the
Kentucky State Fair and the Kentucky
Shakespeare Festival. Bowling Green, the state's third-largest
city and home to the only assembly plant in the world that
manufactures the Chevrolet Corvette, opened the National Corvette
Museum in 1994. The fourth-largest city, Owensboro, gives
credence to its nickname of "Barbecue Capital of the World" by hosting
the annual International Bar-B-Q Festival.
Old Louisville, the largest historic preservation district in the
United States featuring
Victorian architecture and the third largest
overall, hosts the St. James Court Art Show, the largest outdoor
art show in the United States. The neighborhood was also home to
Southern Exposition (1883–1887), which featured the first public
display of Thomas Edison's light bulb, and was the setting of
Alice Hegan Rice's novel, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.
Hodgenville, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, hosts the annual
Lincoln Days Celebration, and also hosted the kick-off for the
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in February 2008.
Bardstown celebrates its heritage as a major bourbon-producing region
Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
Glasgow mimics Glasgow,
Scotland by hosting the
Glasgow Highland Games, its own version of the
Highland Games, and Sturgis hosts "Little Sturgis", a mini
version of Sturgis, South Dakota's annual Sturgis Motorcycle
Winchester celebrates an original
Kentucky creation, Beer Cheese, with
Beer Cheese Festival
Beer Cheese Festival held annually in June. Beer Cheese was
developed in Clark County at some point in the 1940s along the
The residents of tiny Benton pay tribute to their favorite tuber, the
sweet potato, by hosting Tater Day. Residents of Clarkson in
Grayson County celebrate their city's ties to the honey industry by
celebrating the Clarkson Honeyfest. The Clarkson Honeyfest is
held the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in September, and is the
"Official State Honey Festival of Kentucky".
Main article: Music of Kentucky
See also: Category:Musicians from Kentucky
The breadth of music in
Kentucky is indeed wide, stretching from the
Purchase to the eastern mountains.
Renfro Valley, Kentucky is home to Renfro Valley Entertainment Center
Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and is known as "Kentucky's
Country Music Capital", a designation given it by the
Legislature in the late 1980s. The Renfro Valley Barn Dance was where
Renfro Valley's musical heritage began, in 1939, and influential
country music luminaries like Red Foley, Homer & Jethro, Lily May
Ledford & the Original Coon Creek Girls, Martha Carson, and many
others have performed as regular members of the shows there over the
Renfro Valley Gatherin' is today America's second oldest
continually broadcast radio program of any kind. It is broadcast on
local radio station
WRVK and a syndicated network of nearly 200 other
stations across the
United States and Canada every week.
U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum
U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville provides
background on the country music artists from Eastern Kentucky
Christian music star
Steven Curtis Chapman
Steven Curtis Chapman is a Paducah
native, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers
The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers are
closely connected with Muhlenberg County, where older brother Don was
born. Merle Travis, Country & Western artist known for both his
signature "Travis picking" guitar playing style, as well as his hit
song "Sixteen Tons", was also born in Muhlenberg County.
also home to Mildred and Patty Hill, the Louisville sisters credited
with composing the tune to the ditty
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You in 1893;
Loretta Lynn (Johnson County),
Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of
the Backstreet Boys, and
Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus (Flatwoods).
However, its depth lies in its signature sound—Bluegrass music. Bill
Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass", was born in the small
town of Rosine, while Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, David "Stringbean"
Akeman, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones, Sonny and Bobby Osborne, and
Sam Bush (who has been compared to Monroe) all hail from Kentucky. The
International Bluegrass Music Museum
International Bluegrass Music Museum is located in Owensboro,
while the annual
Festival of the Bluegrass is held in Lexington.
Kentucky is also home to famed jazz musician and pioneer, Lionel
Hampton (although this has been disputed in recent years). Blues
W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy and R&B singer
Wilson Pickett also spent
considerable time in Kentucky. The R&B group
Midnight Star and
Nappy Roots were both formed in Kentucky, as were
country acts The
Montgomery Gentry and Halfway
to Hazard, The Judds, as well as Dove Award-winning
Audio Adrenaline (rock) and Bride (metal). Heavy Rock band Black Stone
Cherry hails from rural Edmonton, Indie rock band My Morning Jacket
with lead singer and guitarist
Jim James also originated out of
Louisville, on the local independent music Scene. Rock bands Cage the
Elephant, Sleeper Agent, and
Morning Teleportation are also from
Bowling Green. The bluegrass groups Driftwood and
Kentucky Rain, along
Nick Lachey of the pop band
98 Degrees are also from Kentucky.
King Crimson guitarist
Adrian Belew is from Covington.
Post rock band
Slint also hails from Louisville. Noted singer and actress Rosemary
Clooney was a native of Maysville, her legacy being celebrated at the
annual music festival bearing her name. And most recently in the
limelight are artists Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, and Sundy Best,
all from East Kentucky.
In eastern Kentucky, old-time music carries on the tradition of
ancient ballads and reels developed in historical Appalachia.
Kentucky has played a major role in Southern and American literature,
producing works that often celebrate the working class, rural life,
nature, and explore issues of class, extractive economy, and family.
Major works from the state include
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) by Harriet
Beecher Stowe, widely seen as one of the impetuses for the American
Civil War; The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1908) by John Fox,
Jr., which was the first novel to sell a million copies in the United
All the King's Men
All the King's Men by
Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren (1946) rated as the
36th greatest novel by Modern Library; The Dollmaker (1954) by
Harriette Arnow later adapted into a popular film starring Jane Fonda;
Night Comes to the Cumberlands
Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1962) by Harry Caudill, which led to
The War on Poverty, and others.
Thomas Merton lived most of his life
and wrote most of his books during his time as a monk at the Abbey of
Our Lady of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky.
Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson is
also a native of the state. In recent years writers from
consistently published widely read and critically acclaimed books.
These authors include Wendell Berry, Silas House, Barbara Kingsolver,
Maurice Manning, and Bobbie Ann Mason, among others.
Well-known playwrights from
Marsha Norman ('Night
Naomi Wallace (One Flea Spare).
The Hot Brown
Main article: Cuisine of Kentucky
Kentucky's cuisine is generally similar to traditional southern
cooking, although in some areas of the state it can blend elements of
both the South and Midwest. One original
Kentucky dish is
called the Hot Brown, a dish normally layered in this order: toasted
bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes and topped with mornay sauce. It was
developed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. The
Pendennis Club in
Louisville is the birthplace of the
Old Fashioned cocktail. Also,
Kentucky is known for its own regional style of barbecue.
Kentucky is the birthplace of Beer Cheese.
Harland Sanders, a
Kentucky colonel, originated
Kentucky Fried Chicken
at his service station in North Corbin, though the first franchised
KFC was located in South Salt Lake, Utah.
Main article: Sports in Kentucky
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2014) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message)
Churchill Downs hosts the
Kentucky is the home of several sports teams such as Minor League
Louisville Bats and Class A
Lexington Legends and
the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods. They are also home to the Frontier
Florence Freedom and several teams in the MCFL. The Lexington
Louisville Fire of the now-defunct af2 had been
interested in making a move up to the "major league" Arena Football
League, but nothing has come of those plans.
The northern part of the state lies across the
Ohio River from
Cincinnati, which is home to a
National Football League
National Football League team, the
Bengals, and a
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball team, the Reds. It is not
uncommon for fans to park in the city of Newport and use the Newport
Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, locally known as the "Purple People
Bridge", to walk to these games in Cincinnati. Also, Georgetown
College in Georgetown was the location for the Bengals' summer
training camp, until it was announced in 2012 that the Bengals would
no longer use the facilities.
As in many states, especially those without major league professional
sport teams, college athletics are prominent. This is especially true
of the state's three Division I
Football Bowl Subdivision
Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
programs, including the
Kentucky Wildcats, the Western Kentucky
Hilltoppers, and the Louisville Cardinals. The Wildcats, Hilltoppers,
and Cardinals are among the most tradition-rich college men's
basketball teams in the United States, combining for 11 National
championships and 24 NCAA Final Fours; all three are
high on the lists of total all-time wins, wins per season, and average
wins per season.
Kentucky Wildcats are particularly notable, leading all Division I
programs in all-time wins, win percentage, NCAA tournament
appearances, and being second only to UCLA in NCAA
championships. Louisville has also stepped onto the
football scene in recent years, including winning the 2007 Orange Bowl
as well as the 2013 Sugar Bowl, and also producing 2016 Heisman Trophy
winner Lamar Jackson. Western Kentucky, the 2002 national champion in
Division I-AA football (now
Football Championship Subdivision
Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)),
completed its transition to Division I FBS football in 2009.
Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville on the
first Saturday in May. The
Valhalla Golf Club
Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville has hosted
several editions of the PGA Championship, Senior
PGA Championship and
Ryder Cup since the 1990s.
NASCAR Cup Series has a race at the
Kentucky Speedway in Sparta,
Kentucky, which is within an hour driving distance from Cincinnati,
Louisville and Lexington. The race is called the Quaker State 400. The
Nationwide Series and the
Camping World Truck Series
Camping World Truck Series also race
there, and previously the IndyCar Series.
Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville was the primary location for
training and rehab for
WWE professional wrestlers from 2000 until
WWE moved its contracted talent to
Wrestling. OVW later became the primary developmental territory for
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2011 to 2013.
In 2014 Louisville City FC, a professional soccer team in the league
then known as USL Pro and now as the United Soccer League, was
announced. The team made its debut in 2015, playing home games at
Louisville Slugger Field. In its first season, Louisville City was the
official reserve side for
Orlando City SC
Orlando City SC while making its debut in
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer at the same time. That arrangement ended in 2016,
when Orlando City established a directly controlled reserve side in
Main article: List of
Kentucky state insignia
Flag of Kentucky
Flag of Kentucky and Seal of Kentucky
Official state bird
Official state butterfly
Official state dance
Official state beverage
Official state fish
Kentucky spotted bass
Official state fossil
Official state flower
Official state fruit
Official state gemstone
Official state motto
"United we stand, divided we fall"
Official state slogan
"United we stand, divided we fall"
Official state Latin motto
"Deo gratiam habeamus" ("Let us be grateful to God")
Official state horse
Official state mineral
Official state outdoor musical
Stephen Foster Story
Official state instrument
"The bluegrass state"
Official state rock
Official state soil
Crider soil series
Official state tree
Official wild animal game species
Official state song
Kentucky Home" (revised version)
Official state silverware pattern
Kentucky blue grass: the Georgetown pattern
Official state music
Official state automobile
Official state places and events
State arboretum: Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
State botanical garden: The Arboretum: State Botanical Garden of
State Science Center:
Kentucky Science Center
State center for celebration of
African American heritage: Kentucky
African American Heritage
State honey festival: Clarkson Honeyfest
Iroquois Amphitheater (Louisville)
State tug-o-war championship: The Fordsville Tug-of-War Championship
Covered Bridge Capital of Kentucky: Fleming County
Covered Bridge of Kentucky: Switzer
Covered Bridge (Franklin
Official steam locomotive of Kentucky: "Old 152" (located in the
Kentucky Railway Museum
Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven)
Official pipe band: Louisville Pipe Band
State bourbon festival:
Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Inc., in Bardstown,
Official State outdoor musical: The
Stephen Foster Story at My Old
Kentucky Home, Bardstown
Unless otherwise specified, all state symbol information is taken from
Kentucky State Symbols.
Kentucky colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the
Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions for
Kentucky colonels are given
by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in
recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a
community, state or the nation. The sitting governor of the
Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel's commission,
by issuance of letters patent.
Louisville Slugger baseball bat is made in Kentucky.
It holds the Guinness World Record for the largest bat.
Kentucky's 2001 commemorative quarter featuring My Old
Thunder Over Louisville
Thunder Over Louisville is the largest annual fireworks show in the
Kentucky's horse farms are world-renowned.
The Daniel Boone National Forest.
Ohio River forms the northern border of Kentucky.
Kentucky cities have historic areas near downtown, such as this
example in Bowling Green.
Index of Kentucky-related articles
Outline of Kentucky
Outline of Kentucky – organized list of topics about Kentucky
Kentucky State Symbols".
Kentucky Department for Libraries and
Archives. Archived from the original on July 31, 2007. Retrieved
November 29, 2006.
^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau.
December 20, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States
Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15,
2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
United States Congress. "Public Statutes at Large of the United
States of America". Statutes at Large: 1st Congress. p. 189.
Retrieved 4 June 2017.
^ a b "About Kentucky". Ezilon Search. Retrieved November 29,
^ Harper, Douglas. "Kentucky". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved
February 25, 2007. "Kentucky". Oxford English Dictionary.
Retrieved February 25, 2007. [permanent dead link]
^ Mithun, Marianne. 1999. Languages of Native North America.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 312
^ "Kentucky". Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2006. Archived
from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved February 25,
^ McCafferty, Michael (2008). Native American Place Names of Indiana.
Illinois Press. p. 250.
^ Nichols, John & Nyholm, Earl "Concise Dictionary of Minnesota
^ ed. in chief Frederick C. Mish (2003). Merriam-Webster's Collegiate
Dictionary (11th ed.). Merriam–Webster. p. 1562.
ISBN 978-0-87779-809-5. Retrieved January 17, 2013. CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ The North American Midwest: A Regional Geography. New York: Wiley
^ "Map of [1494–1557] Waterworks Rd Evansville, IN". Retrieved
January 1, 2009.
Virginia Quarterly Review. 89 (4): 22–23. October 1,
2013. ISSN 0042-675X.
^ "Life on the Mississippi".
Kentucky Educational Television. January
28, 2002. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "The Geography of Kentucky — Climate". NetState.com. June 15,
2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Geographical Configuration". Encyclopedia of Kentucky. New York:
Somerset Publishers. 1987. ISBN 0-403-09981-1.
^ Klotter, James C. and Freda C. (2015). Faces of Kentucky. University
Press of Kentucky. Page 53. ISBN 9780813160528.
^ Weigl Publishing, Inc. (2008). Discover America: Kentucky: The
Bluegrass State. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Page 8.
^ Jones, Ronald (2005). Plant Life of Kentucky: An Illustrated Guide
to the Vascular Flora. University Press of Kentucky. Page 11.
^ "Corbin, Kentucky: A Fisherman's Paradise". Corbin, Kentucky
Economic Development. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006.
Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). "Rivers". The
Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C.
Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.
p. 774. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. Retrieved February 18,
^ Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). "Lakes". The
Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C.
Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.
p. 531. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. Retrieved February 18,
Tennessee Valley Authority, The
Kentucky Project: A Comprehensive
Report on the Planning, Design, Construction, and Initial Operations
Kentucky Project, Technical Report No. 13 (Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1951), pp. 1–12, 68, 115–116,
^ Thompson, George E. (2009). You Live Where?: Interesting and Unusual
Facts about where We Live. iUniverse. p. 39.
Elk Restoration Update and Hunting Information". Kentucky
Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Archived from the original
on September 26, 2006. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
^ Pearce, Tom (March 27, 1994). "Once nearly extinct, turkeys gobbling
throughout state". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved May 15,
^ "Hunters Take Record Number of Spring Turkey".
of Fish and Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on January
17, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
^ Russ McSpadden (August 19, 2013). "Wild Wolf in Kentucky, First in
150 Years, Killed by Hunter". Earth First! News. Retrieved September
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park".
Kentucky Department of Parks.
October 19, 2005. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006.
Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Mammoth Cave National Park". National Park Service. October 12,
2006. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Science In Your Backyard: Kentucky".
United States Geological
Survey. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Bad Branch State Nature Preserve".
Kentucky State Nature Preserves
Commission. Archived from the original on October 24, 2006. Retrieved
November 29, 2006.
^ "Jefferson Memorial Forest". Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "The Grand Canyon Of The South Is Right Here In
Virginia And It's
Breathtaking". OnlyInYourState. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
^ louis, franquelin, jean baptiste. "Franquelin's map of Louisiana.".
LOC.gov. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
^ "EARLY INDIAN MIGRATION IN OHIO". GenealogyTrails.com. Retrieved
August 17, 2017.
^ "The Presence". History of Native Americans in Central Kentucky.
Mercer County Online. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ Metts, Tara.The-Caring-Difference-Newsletter"National Indian Child
Welfare Association (NICWA) and its implications in Kentucky", Summer
2010, Vol. 9, No. 2, p. 4, www.scibd.com. Retrieved September 2013
^ Cooper, Sara. Indian Welfare Act Compliance Desk Aid May 2010,
www.scribd.com. Retrieved September 2013
^ James, James Alton (1928). The Life of George Rogers Clark. Chicago:
Chicago Press. ISBN 0-404-03549-3.
^ Harrison, Lowell H (2001) .
George Rogers Clark
George Rogers Clark and the War in
the West. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
^ Kesavan, Vasan (December 1, 2002). "When Did the Articles of
Confederation Cease to Be Law". Notre Dame Law Review. 78 (1):
70–71. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
^ 1 Stat. 189
^ 1 Stat. 191
^ "Constitution Square State Historic Site". Danville-Boyle County
Convention and Visitors Bureau. Archived from the original on October
11, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Border States in the Civil War". CivilWarHome.com. February 15,
2002. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "Ordinances of Secession". Historical Text Archive. Retrieved
November 29, 2006.
^ "Civil War Sites — Bowling Green, KY". WMTH Corporation.
Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ Irby, Jr., Richard E. "A Concise History of the Flags of the
Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America and the Sovereign State of Georgia".
About North Georgia. Golden Ink. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ "KRS 2.110 Public Holidays" (PDF).
Kentucky General Assembly.
Retrieved November 29, 2006.
^ Tony Hiss, Confederates in the Attic
^ "The Old State Capitol".
Kentucky Historical Society. Archived from
the original on August 27, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
^ Lochte, Kate; Markgraf, Matt (September 22, 2014). "Understanding
the Black Patch
Tobacco War of West
Kentucky and Tennessee". WKMS.
Retrieved May 6, 2016.
^ The Commonwealth of Kentucky,
Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer,
University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky website.
^ Butler, Mann, A History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Wilcox,
Dickerman & Co., 1834.
^ a b Boyd, Gordon (January 3, 2017). "
Jeff Hoover becomes Kentucky's
first Republican House Speaker in 96 years". WAVE. Retrieved January
Kentucky Court of Justice – Home". Retrieved January 21,
^ "Adult Drug Court –
Kentucky Drug Court: Saving Costs, Saving
Lives". Retrieved January 21, 2017.
^ "Family Court". Retrieved January 21, 2017.
^ "Reviser of Statutes Office — History and Functions".
Kentucky Legislative Research Commission. Retrieved December 27,
^ "History of the DOCJT".
Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice.
Archived from the original on March 23, 2006. Retrieved December 27,
^ "History of the
Kentucky State Police".
Kentucky State Police.
Retrieved December 27, 2006.
^ "Authorized Methods of Execution by State". Death Penalty
Information Center. Retrieved December 28, 2006.
^ Long, Paul A. (June 11, 2001). "'The Last Public Execution in
Kentucky Post. Archived from the original on January
17, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2006.
^ Montagne, Renee (May 1, 2001). "The Last Public Execution in
America". NPR. Retrieved December 27, 2006.
^ "McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky".
Cornell University Law
School. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved
December 27, 2006.
^ "Text of decision in ACLU of
Kentucky v. Mercer County" (PDF).
Retrieved December 27, 2006.
^ Liptak, Adam (March 11, 2008). "Around the U.S., High Courts Follow
California's Lead". The New York Times.
^ Leip, David. "Presidential General Election Results
Comparison — Kentucky". US Election Atlas. Retrieved December
^ a b "Election Statistics Registration Statistics". elect.ky.gov.
Retrieved March 18, 2018.
Kentucky Presidential Results". POLITICO. Retrieved June 25,
^ POLITICO. "2012 Election Results Map by State – Live Voting
Updates". POLITICO. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
Kentucky population". Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data – 2010
Census". 2010.census.gov. Archived from the original on November 18,
2011. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ a b c "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the
United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July
1, 2016" (CSV). U.S. Census Bureau. December 2016. Retrieved March 5,
^ Price, Michael. "Migration in Kentucky: Will the Circle Be
Unbroken?". Exploring the Frontier of the Future: How
Live, Learn and Work. University of Louisville. pp. 5–10.
Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. Retrieved April 30,
^ "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000". U.S. Census
Bureau. Archived from the original (TXT) on January 17, 2010.
Retrieved December 27, 2006.
^ Campbell Gibson and Kay Jung (September 2002). "Historical Census
Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic
Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and
States". census.gov. Archived from the original on December 24,
^ Office, US Census Bureau Public Information. "Census 2000 data for
Kentucky". www.census.gov. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
^ "2010 Census Data". Census.gov. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
^ "Population estimates, July 1, 2015, (V2015)". www.census.gov.
Retrieved June 25, 2016.
^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder
– Results". census.gov. Archived from the original on December 14,
^ "Ancestry of the Population by State: 1980 – Table 3" (PDF).
Census.gov. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
^ Sharing the Dream: White Males in a Multicultural America By Dominic
^ Reynolds Farley, 'The New Census Question about Ancestry: What Did
It Tell Us?', Demography, Vol. 28, No. 3 (August 1991), pp. 414, 421.
^ Stanley Lieberson and Lawrence Santi, 'The Use of Nativity Data to
Estimate Ethnic Characteristics and Patterns', Social Science
Research, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1985), pp. 44–6.
^ Lieberson, Stanley & Waters, Mary C. (1986). "Ethnic Groups in
Flux: The Changing Ethnic Responses of American Whites". Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science. 487 (79): 82–86.
^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census. Archived from the original on
October 15, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
^ a b James Paul Allen and Eugene James Turner, We the People: An
Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity (Macmillan, 1988), 41.
^ Vincent Schilling, "A Canoe Voyage to Increase Cultural
Understanding", Indian Country Today, May 19, 2011, accessed January
^ a b c d "
Kentucky – Languages". city-data.com. Retrieved February
^ The Pew Forum - America’s Changing Religious Landscape
Association of Religion Data Archives State Membership
Report". www.thearda.com. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
^ "Muslims in Louisville". Irfi.org. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ "2007 Rankings of States and Counties". bamabeef.org. Archived from
the original on May 4, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Corn Production Detective" (PDF). National Council on Economic
Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2007. Retrieved
May 3, 2007.
Kentucky Trade and Industry Development".
Tradeandindustrydev.com. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
^ a b c d e f g Eblin, Tom (December 27, 2015). "Year in Kentucky
business saw Toyota expand, bourbon boom, coal decline". Lexington
Herald-Leader. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
Utah Geological Survey – U.S.
Coal Production by State,
1994–2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3,
2010. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ Associated Press, Bourbon,
Whiskey Sales Up in US; Exports
Top $1B (February 3, 2015).
^ Snchez, Francisco J. (March 15, 2013). "Ky. one of fastest-growing
states in exporting products Op-Ed". Kentucky.com. Retrieved July
^ "Maker of hair care products to expand in Kentucky". Businessweek.
Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved July 10,
^ Business First (May 27, 2010). "Human resource center opens at Fort
Knox". Louisville.bizjournals.com. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
^ "Kentucky: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State". Retrieved October
^ "Kentucky: Per Capita Personal Income". Retrieved October 4,
^ "State Data Lab "Snapshot By The Numbers: Kentucky". January 2013.
Retrieved April 3, 2013.
Kentucky Employment: February 2018" (PDF).
Kentucky Office of
Employment and Training. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
^ CNBC. "America's cheapest states to live in 2014". CNBC.com.
Retrieved November 19, 2015.
Kentucky Income Tax Rates". salary. com. Retrieved May 1,
^ "Sales & Use Tax".
Kentucky Department of Revenue. Archived from
the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Property Tax".
Kentucky Department of Revenue. Archived from the
original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "State Taxes –
Kentucky – Overview". bankrate.com. Retrieved May
^ "Text of the House Bill 272". State of Kentucky. Retrieved August
^ a b "
Kentucky frowns on smiley license plates". NBC News. July 16,
2005. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
^ "Unbridled Spirit→Information". State of Kentucky. Archived from
the original on June 1, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Branding campaign puts
Kentucky in step with national trend –
Louisville – Louisville Business First". Louisville Business First.
Retrieved November 27, 2015.
^ "'Unbridled Spirit' Wins
Kentucky Slogan Vote". The New York Times.
December 2, 2004.
^ Stinnett, Chuck. "Fletcher:Tolls to end November 22". Archived from
the original on October 8, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ Stinnett, Chuck (November 22, 2006). "Onlookers Cheer Booth
Destruction at Ceremony". Courier Press. Retrieved August 10,
^ Steitzer, Stephanie (June 26, 2007). "Many new laws go on books
^ "Railroad Service in Kentucky". Association of American Railroads.
Archived from the original (PDF) on January 17, 2013. Retrieved May 1,
2007. Also, Norfolk Southern's main north-south line runs
through central and southern Kentucky, starting in Cincinnati.
Formerly the CNO&TP subsidiary of Southern Railway, it is NS's
most profitable line.
^ Knight, Andy. "On the Right Track –
Kentucky Dinner Train serves
up railroad nostalgia". Cincinnati.com. Archived from the original on
April 10, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
Kentucky Railway Museum". Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ Shafer, Sheldon (March 5, 2007). "Bridges money may be shifted".
^ Crowley, Patrick (April 23, 2003). "Meet the Purple People Bridge".
Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Fast Facts". Louisville International Airport. Archived from the
original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
^ "Crash Kills 49". Web.archive.org. November 5, 2006. Archived from
the original on November 5, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ "Comair Crash Survivor Leaves Hospital". CBS. October 3, 2006.
Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Top 20 Inland U.S. Ports for 2003" (PDF). Archived from the
original (PDF) on August 25, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ "CY 2001 Tonnage for Selected U.S. Ports by
Web.archive.org. May 2, 2010. Archived from the original on May 2,
2010. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
Kentucky Counties, University of Kentucky
Kentucky (USA): State, Major Cities, Towns & Places" Check url=
value (help). City Population. July 21, 2016. Retrieved December 2,
Kentucky State Data Center". Ksdc.louisville.edu. Retrieved August
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved
^ "Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997". State of
Kentucky. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ "Berea College:Learning, Labor, and Service". Diversity Web.
Retrieved May 1, 2007.
Berea College v. Kentucky". Brownat50.org. Retrieved December 7,
^ "Kentucky's Schools and Districts".
Kentucky Department of
Education. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007. Retrieved June
Kentucky Education Facts".
Kentucky Department of Education.
Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved June 15,
^ "A Guide to the
Kentucky Education Reform Act
Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990". Education
Resources Information Center. Archived from the original on October
11, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007. [Abstract of A Guide to the
Kentucky Education Reform Act
Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 – provided by Education
Resources Information Center (ERIC)]
^ Roeder, Phillip. "Education Reform and Equitable Excellence: The
Kentucky Experiment". Archived from the original on December 7, 2008.
Retrieved May 1, 2007.
^ Brittingham, Angela & de la Cruz, G. Patricia (June 2004).
"Ancestry 2000: Census 2000 Brief" (PDF).
United States Census Bureau.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-09-20. Retrieved June 28,
2007. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ "Kentucky's German Americans in the Civil War".
Kygermanscw.yolasite.com. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
^ "2000 Census: Percent Reporting Any German Ancestry". Retrieved July
^ Beale, Calvin (July 21, 2004). "High Poverty in the Rural U.S. and
South: Progress and Persistence in the 1990s". Archived from the
original (PowerPoint) on June 26, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
^ Womack, Veronica L. (July 23, 2004). "The American Black Belt
Region: A Forgotten Place". Archived from the original (PowerPoint) on
June 26, 2007. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
^ Unknown. "Identifying the "Black Belt" of Cash-Crop Production"
(JPEG Image). Bowdoin College. Retrieved June 28, 2007.
^ "Desegregation of UK – ExploreKYHistory". ExploreKYHistory.
Chicago Tribune (1966-01-26). "
Kentucky OK's Rights Bill; 1st in
Kentucky yesterday became the first state south of the
Mason-Dixon line to adopt a civil rights measure. With only one
dissenting vote, the state Senate approval a bill outlawing racial
discrimination in public accommodations and employment that is
stronger than the federal act of 1964. It sailed thru [sic] the House
76 to 12 last week. A milder bill had failed to get out of committee
in 1964... Gov.
Edward T. Breathitt
Edward T. Breathitt said he would sign the measure
tomorrow at the base of Abraham Lincoln's status in the capitol
^ "Derby Festival Home Page". Retrieved May 13, 2011.
Kentucky State Fair". Retrieved December 25, 2006.
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Home Page". Retrieved December 25,
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum press release". Archived from the original
on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
National Corvette Museum
National Corvette Museum Home Page". Retrieved December 25,
^ "Home Page of the International Barbecue Festival". Retrieved
December 25, 2006.
^ "Stately Mansions Grace Old Louisville". Atlanta Journal
Constitution. Archived from the original on April 22, 2006. Retrieved
December 25, 2006.
St. James Court Art Show
St. James Court Art Show Home Page". Retrieved December 25,
^ "The Heart Line" (PDF).
Kentucky Commission on Community
Volunteerism and Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on
September 26, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
Old Louisville and Literature". Archived from the original on
December 24, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Kentucky Bourbon Festival Home Page". Retrieved December 25,
Highland Games Home Page". Retrieved December 25,
^ "Little Sturgis Rally Home Page". Archived from the original on
December 23, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
^ "Downtown Winchester
Kentucky Beer Cheese Festival".
^ "A Culinary History of Kentucky: Burgoo, Beer Cheese and
Tater Day Festival A Local Legacy". Archived from the original on
December 27, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
^ "Clarkson Honeyfest home page". Archived from the original on May
13, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
^ "International Bluegrass Music Museum". Archived from the original
on May 2, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2006.
Festival of the Bluegrass Home Page". Retrieved November 30,
^ Voce, Steve (September 2, 2002). "Obituary: Lionel Hampton". The
Independent. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved
June 3, 2007.
^ "Southern Recipes – Southern Food and Recipes".
Southernfood.about.com. June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
^ "International Institute of Culinary Arts". Archived from the
original on January 6, 2008.
Hot Brown Recipe". Brown Hotel. Archived from the original on
August 23, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
^ Henetz, Patty; Nii, Jenifer K. (April 21, 2004). "Colonel's landmark
KFC is mashed". Deseret News. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
^ "About the camp". Georgetown College. Retrieved December 18,
^ "Kentucky's State Symbols".
Kentucky Department of Libraries and
Archives. Archived from the original on December 13, 2006. Retrieved
December 18, 2006.
^ "Unbridled Spirit Information". State of Kentucky. November 20,
2006. Archived from the original on June 1, 2008. Retrieved December
^ "HB71: An act designating bluegrass music as the official state
music of Kentucky" (DOC). Legislative Research Commission. Retrieved
June 26, 2007.
^ "KRS 2.099 – State Honey Festival" (PDF).
Assembly. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
Miller, Penny M.
Kentucky Politics & Government: Do We Stand
Jewell, Malcolm E. and Everett W. Cunningham,
Kentucky Politics (1968)
Surveys and reference
Bodley, Temple and Samuel M. Wilson.
History of Kentucky
History of Kentucky 4 vols.
Caudill, Harry M.,
Night Comes to the Cumberlands
Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963).
Channing, Steven. Kentucky: A Bicentennial History (1977).
Clark, Thomas Dionysius. A
History of Kentucky
History of Kentucky (many editions,
History of Kentucky
History of Kentucky (1880).
Gunther, John (1947). "Romance and Reality in Kentucky". Inside U.S.A.
New York, London: Harper & Brothers. pp. 640–652.
Harrison, Lowell H. and James C. Klotter. A New History of Kentucky
Kleber, John E. et al. The
Kentucky Encyclopedia (1992), standard
reference history. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0
Klotter, James C. Our Kentucky: A Study of the Bluegrass State (2000),
high school text
Lucas, Marion Brunson and Wright, George C. A History of Blacks in
Kentucky 2 vols. (1992).
Kentucky African Americans
Share, Allen J. Cities in the Commonwealth: Two Centuries of Urban
Wallis, Frederick A. and Hambleton Tapp. A Sesqui-Centennial History
Kentucky 4 vols. (1945).
Ward, William S., A Literary
History of Kentucky
History of Kentucky (1988)
WPA, Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State (1939), classic guide.
Yater, George H. (1987). Two Hundred Years at the Fall of the Ohio: A
History of Louisville and Jefferson County (2nd ed.). Filson Club,
Incorporated. ISBN 0-9601072-3-1.
Specialized scholarly studies
Bakeless, John. Daniel Boone, Master of the Wilderness (1989)
Blakey, George T. Hard Times and New Deal in Kentucky, 1929–1939
Coulter, E. Merton. The Civil War and Readjustment in
Davis, Alice. "Heroes: Kentucky's Artists from Statehood to the New
Ellis, William E. The
Kentucky River (2000).
Faragher, John Mack. Daniel Boone (1993)
Fenton, John H. Politics in the Border States: A Study of the Patterns
of Political Organization, and Political Change, Common to the Border
States: Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and
Harlow, Luke E. Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate
Kentucky, 1830–1880. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Ireland, Robert M. The County in
Kentucky History (1976)
Klotter, James C.; Harrison, Lowell; Ramage, James; Roland, Charles;
Taylor, Richard; Bush, Bryan S; Fugate, Tom; Hibbs, Dixie; Matthews,
Lisa; Moody, Robert C.; Myers, Marshall; Sanders, Stuart; McBride,
Stephen (2005). Rose, Jerlene, ed. Kentucky's Civil War 1861–1865.
Clay City, Kentucky: Back Home In Kentucky, Inc.
Kelly, Andrew, Ed. "
Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and
American Culture". Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, 2015.
Klotter, James C. Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900–1950 (1992)
Pearce, John Ed. Divide and Dissent:
Kentucky Politics, 1930–1963
Remini, Robert V. Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union (1991).
Sonne, Niels Henry. Liberal Kentucky, 1780–1828 (1939)
Tapp, Hambleton and James C. Klotter.
Kentucky Decades of Discord,
Townsend, William H. Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War
Waldrep, Christopher Night Riders: Defending Community in the Black
Patch, 1890–1915 (1993) tobacco wars
Find more aboutKentuckyat's sister projects
Definitions from Wiktionary
Media from Wikimedia Commons
News from Wikinews
Quotations from Wikiquote
Texts from Wikisource
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Travel guide from Wikivoyage
Learning resources from Wikiversity
Kentucky State Guide, from the Library of Congress
Kentucky at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Kentucky Department of Tourism
GPS Specific Map of
Kentucky Destinations (map)
USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Kentucky
Energy & Environmental Data for Kentucky
Kentucky State Facts from USDA
Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit
Kentucky Virtual Library
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau
Kentucky at Ballotpedia
Kentucky State Databases – Annotated list of searchable databases
Kentucky state agencies and compiled by the Government
Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.
Geographic data related to
Kentucky at OpenStreetMap
List of U.S. states
List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union
Admitted on June 1, 1792 (15th)
Topics related to Kentucky
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Seal of Kentucky
Protected areas of Kentucky
National Historical Parks
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
NPS National Recreation Areas
Big South Fork
National Military Park
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
George Washington and Jefferson
USFS National Recreation Areas
Land Between the Lakes
National Wildlife Refuges
Ohio River Islands
State Resort Parks
Barren River Lake
Blue Licks Battlefield
Dale Hollow Lake
Kentucky Dam Village
Rough River Dam
State Historic Sites
Big Bone Lick
Dr. Thomas Walker
Isaac Shelby Cemetery
Old Mulkey Meetinghouse
William Whitley House
Dawkins Line Rail Trail
E. P. "Tom" Sawyer
Green River Lake
John James Audubon
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road
Old Fort Harrod
Pine Mountain Trail
Axe Lake Swamp
Bad Branch Falls
Bat Cave and Cascade Caverns
Six Mile Island
Breaks Interstate Park
Kentucky Horse Park
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
Midwestern United States
Government and Politics
New France (1534–1763)
Canada (1608–1763) Pays d'en Haut
Domaine du roy
Louisiana (1682–1762, 1802–1803)
Île Royale (1713–1763)
List of towns
Fort de Buade
Fort de Chartres
Fortress of Louisbourg
St. Louis (Illinois)
St. Louis (Texas)
List of Forts
Bishop of Quebec
Governor of Trois-Rivières
Governor of Montreal
Company of 100 Associates
Compagnie de l'Occident
Chemin du Roy
Coureur des bois
Gens de couleur libres
War and peace
Military of New France
French and Iroquois Wars
Great Peace of Montreal
French colonization of the Americas
French colonial empire
History of Quebec
History of the Acadians
History of the French-Americans
French West Indies
Atlantic slave trade
Political divisions of the Confederate States (1861–65)
States in exile
1 Admitted to the Union June 20, 1863.
2 Organized January 18, 1862.
Political divisions of the United States
Northern Mariana Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
List of Indian reservations
Coordinates: 37°30′N 85°00′W / 37.5°N 85°W / 37.5;
ISNI: 0000 0004 0617 4335
BNF: cb119617050 (data)