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This article is about the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_0

For the river, see Kentucky River. Kentucky_sentence_1

For other uses, see Kentucky (disambiguation). Kentucky_sentence_2


CountryKentucky_header_cell_0_1_0 United StatesKentucky_cell_0_1_1
Before statehoodKentucky_header_cell_0_2_0 Part of Virginia (District of Kentucky)Kentucky_cell_0_2_1
Admitted to the UnionKentucky_header_cell_0_3_0 June 1, 1792 (15th)Kentucky_cell_0_3_1
CapitalKentucky_header_cell_0_4_0 FrankfortKentucky_cell_0_4_1
Largest cityKentucky_header_cell_0_5_0 LouisvilleKentucky_cell_0_5_1
Largest metroKentucky_header_cell_0_6_0 KentuckianaKentucky_cell_0_6_1
GovernorKentucky_header_cell_0_8_0 Andy Beshear (D)Kentucky_cell_0_8_1
Lieutenant GovernorKentucky_header_cell_0_9_0 Jacqueline Coleman (D)Kentucky_cell_0_9_1
LegislatureKentucky_header_cell_0_10_0 Kentucky General AssemblyKentucky_cell_0_10_1
Upper houseKentucky_header_cell_0_11_0 SenateKentucky_cell_0_11_1
Lower houseKentucky_header_cell_0_12_0 House of RepresentativesKentucky_cell_0_12_1
JudiciaryKentucky_header_cell_0_13_0 Kentucky Supreme CourtKentucky_cell_0_13_1
U.S. senatorsKentucky_header_cell_0_14_0 Mitch McConnell (R)

Rand Paul (R)Kentucky_cell_0_14_1

U.S. House delegationKentucky_header_cell_0_15_0 5 Republicans

1 Democrat (list)Kentucky_cell_0_15_1

TotalKentucky_header_cell_0_17_0 40,407 sq mi (104,656 km)Kentucky_cell_0_17_1
LandKentucky_header_cell_0_18_0 39,486 sq mi (102,269 km)Kentucky_cell_0_18_1
WaterKentucky_header_cell_0_19_0 921 sq mi (2,387 km)  2.2%Kentucky_cell_0_19_1
Area rankKentucky_header_cell_0_20_0 37thKentucky_cell_0_20_1
LengthKentucky_header_cell_0_22_0 395 mi (636 km)Kentucky_cell_0_22_1
WidthKentucky_header_cell_0_23_0 185 mi (298 km)Kentucky_cell_0_23_1
ElevationKentucky_header_cell_0_24_0 750 ft (230 m)Kentucky_cell_0_24_1
Highest elevation (Black Mountain)Kentucky_header_cell_0_25_0 4,145 ft (1,265 m)Kentucky_cell_0_25_1
Lowest elevation (Mississippi River at Kentucky Bend)Kentucky_header_cell_0_26_0 250 ft (78 m)Kentucky_cell_0_26_1
Population (2019)Kentucky_header_cell_0_27_0
TotalKentucky_header_cell_0_28_0 4,467,673Kentucky_cell_0_28_1
RankKentucky_header_cell_0_29_0 25thKentucky_cell_0_29_1
DensityKentucky_header_cell_0_30_0 110/sq mi (42.5/km)Kentucky_cell_0_30_1
Density rankKentucky_header_cell_0_31_0 21stKentucky_cell_0_31_1
Median household incomeKentucky_header_cell_0_32_0 $52,295Kentucky_cell_0_32_1
Income rankKentucky_header_cell_0_33_0 44thKentucky_cell_0_33_1
Demonym(s)Kentucky_header_cell_0_34_0 KentuckianKentucky_cell_0_34_1
Official languageKentucky_header_cell_0_36_0 EnglishKentucky_cell_0_36_1
Time zonesKentucky_header_cell_0_37_0
eastern halfKentucky_header_cell_0_38_0 UTC−05:00 (Eastern)Kentucky_cell_0_38_1
Summer (DST)Kentucky_header_cell_0_39_0 UTC−04:00 (EDT)Kentucky_cell_0_39_1
western halfKentucky_header_cell_0_40_0 UTC−06:00 (Central)Kentucky_cell_0_40_1
Summer (DST)Kentucky_header_cell_0_41_0 UTC−05:00 (CDT)Kentucky_cell_0_41_1
USPS abbreviationKentucky_header_cell_0_42_0 KYKentucky_cell_0_42_1
ISO 3166 codeKentucky_header_cell_0_43_0 US-KYKentucky_cell_0_43_1
Traditional abbreviationKentucky_header_cell_0_44_0 KyKentucky_cell_0_44_1
LatitudeKentucky_header_cell_0_45_0 36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ NKentucky_cell_0_45_1
LongitudeKentucky_header_cell_0_46_0 81° 58′ W to 89° 34′ WKentucky_cell_0_46_1
WebsiteKentucky_header_cell_0_47_0 Kentucky_cell_0_47_1


Kentucky state symbolsKentucky_header_cell_1_0_0
Living insigniaKentucky_header_cell_1_1_0
BirdKentucky_header_cell_1_2_0 CardinalKentucky_cell_1_2_1
ButterflyKentucky_header_cell_1_3_0 Viceroy butterflyKentucky_cell_1_3_1
Wildlife animalKentucky_header_cell_1_4_0 Gray squirrelKentucky_cell_1_4_1
FishKentucky_header_cell_1_5_0 Kentucky spotted bassKentucky_cell_1_5_1
FlowerKentucky_header_cell_1_6_0 GoldenrodKentucky_cell_1_6_1
Horse breedKentucky_header_cell_1_7_0 ThoroughbredKentucky_cell_1_7_1
InsectKentucky_header_cell_1_8_0 Western honeybeeKentucky_cell_1_8_1
TreeKentucky_header_cell_1_9_0 Tulip poplarKentucky_cell_1_9_1
Inanimate insigniaKentucky_header_cell_1_10_0
BeverageKentucky_header_cell_1_11_0 MilkKentucky_cell_1_11_1
DanceKentucky_header_cell_1_12_0 CloggingKentucky_cell_1_12_1
FoodKentucky_header_cell_1_13_0 BlackberryKentucky_cell_1_13_1
FossilKentucky_header_cell_1_14_0 BrachiopodKentucky_cell_1_14_1
GemstoneKentucky_header_cell_1_15_0 Freshwater pearlKentucky_cell_1_15_1
MineralKentucky_header_cell_1_16_0 CoalKentucky_cell_1_16_1
RockKentucky_header_cell_1_17_0 Kentucky agateKentucky_cell_1_17_1
SloganKentucky_header_cell_1_18_0 Kentucky Unbridled SpiritKentucky_cell_1_18_1
SoilKentucky_header_cell_1_19_0 Crider Soil SeriesKentucky_cell_1_19_1
OtherKentucky_header_cell_1_20_0 Chevrolet Corvette (state sports car)Kentucky_cell_1_20_1
State route markerKentucky_header_cell_1_21_0
State quarterKentucky_header_cell_1_22_0

Kentucky (US: /kənˈtʌki/ (listen) kən-TUK-ee, UK: /kɛn-/ ken-), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state in the Southern region of the United States, bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north; West Virginia and Virginia to the east; Tennessee to the south; and Missouri to the west. Kentucky_sentence_3

The bluegrass region in the central part of the state contains the state's capital, Frankfort, as well as its two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. Kentucky_sentence_4

Together they comprise more than 20% of the state's population. Kentucky_sentence_5

Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States. Kentucky_sentence_6

Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state on June 1, 1792, splitting from Virginia in the process. Kentucky_sentence_7

It is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on Kentucky bluegrass, a species of grass found in many of its pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state. Kentucky_sentence_8

It is home to the world's longest cave system: Mammoth Cave National Park, as well as the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky_sentence_9

The state is also known for horse racing, bourbon, moonshine, coal, "My Old Kentucky Home" historic state park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, Louisville Slugger®, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky colonel. Kentucky_sentence_10

Etymology Kentucky_section_0

In 1776 the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known to European Americans as Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky River. Kentucky_sentence_11

The precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning "(on) the meadow" or "(on) the prairie" (cf. Kentucky_sentence_12

Mohawk kenhtà:ke, Seneca gëdá'geh (phonemic /kẽtaʔkeh/), "at the field"). Kentucky_sentence_13

Others have suggested the term Kenta Aki, which could have come from an Algonquian language and was possibly derived from Shawnee. Kentucky_sentence_14

Folk etymology translates this as "Land of Our Fathers". Kentucky_sentence_15

The closest approximation in another Algonquian language, Ojibwe, translates as "Land of Our In-Laws", thus making a fairer English translation "The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers". Kentucky_sentence_16

In any case, the word aki means "land" in most Algonquian languages. Kentucky_sentence_17

Some also theorize that the name Kentucky may be a corruption of the word Catawba, in reference to the Catawba people who inhabited Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_18

Geography Kentucky_section_1

See also: List of counties in Kentucky and Coal mining in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_19

Kentucky is situated in the Upland South. Kentucky_sentence_20

A significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia. Kentucky_sentence_21

Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest and the Southeast. Kentucky_sentence_22

West Virginia lies to the northeast, Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west, Illinois to the northwest, and Indiana and Ohio to the north. Kentucky_sentence_23

Only Missouri and Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more. Kentucky_sentence_24

Kentucky's northern border is formed by the Ohio River and its western border by the Mississippi River; however, the official border is based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792. Kentucky_sentence_25

For instance, northbound travelers on U.S. Kentucky_sentence_26

41 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about two miles (3.2 km). Kentucky_sentence_27

Ellis Park, a thoroughbred racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_28

Waterworks Road is part of the only land border between Indiana and Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_29

Kentucky has a non-contiguous part known as Kentucky Bend, at the far west corner of the state. Kentucky_sentence_30

It exists as an exclave surrounded completely by Missouri and Tennessee, and is included in the boundaries of Fulton County. Kentucky_sentence_31

Road access to this small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River (populated by 18 people as of 2010) requires a trip through Tennessee. Kentucky_sentence_32

The epicenter of the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area, causing the Mississippi River to flow backwards in some places. Kentucky_sentence_33

Though the series of quakes changed the area geologically and affected the small number of inhabitants of the area at the time, the Kentucky Bend is the result of a surveying error, not the New Madrid earthquake. Kentucky_sentence_34

Regions Kentucky_section_2

Kentucky can be divided into five primary regions: the Cumberland Plateau in the east, which contains much of the historic coal mines; the north-central Bluegrass region, where the major cities and the capital are located; the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau (also known as the Pennyrile or Mississippi Plateau); the Western Coal Fields; and the far-west Jackson Purchase. Kentucky_sentence_35

The Bluegrass region is commonly divided into two regions, the Inner Bluegrass encircling 90 miles (140 km) around Lexington, and the Outer Bluegrass that contains most of the northern portion of the state, above the Knobs. Kentucky_sentence_36

Much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short, steep, and very narrow hills. Kentucky_sentence_37

The Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald cypress/tupelo swamps. Kentucky_sentence_38

Climate Kentucky_section_3

Located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that is best described as a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa), only small higher areas of the southeast of the state has an oceanic climate (Cfb) influenced by the Appalachians. Kentucky_sentence_39

Temperatures in Kentucky usually range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F (31 °C) to the winter low of 23 °F (−5 °C). Kentucky_sentence_40

The average precipitation is 46 inches (1,200 mm) a year. Kentucky_sentence_41

Kentucky has four distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of summer and winter. Kentucky_sentence_42

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. Kentucky_sentence_43

The state rarely experiences the extreme cold of far northern states, nor the high heat of the states in the Deep South. Kentucky_sentence_44

Temperatures seldom drop below 0 degrees or rise above 100 degrees. Kentucky_sentence_45

Rain and snowfall totals about 45 inches per year. Kentucky_sentence_46

Climate varies markedly within the state. Kentucky_sentence_47

The northern parts tend to be about five degrees cooler than those in western parts of the state. Kentucky_sentence_48

Somerset in the south-central part receives ten more inches of rain per year than, for instance, Covington to the north. Kentucky_sentence_49

Average temperatures for the entire Commonwealth range from the low 30s in January to the high 70s in mid-July. Kentucky_sentence_50

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_sentence_51

In general, Kentucky has relatively hot, humid, rainy summers, and moderately cold and rainy winters. Kentucky_sentence_52

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). Kentucky_sentence_53

In January the mean maximum temperatures range from 36 to 44 °F (2 to 7 °C); the mean minimum temperatures range from 19 to 26 °F (−7 to −3 °C). Kentucky_sentence_54

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 regions of the state. Kentucky_sentence_55

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). Kentucky_sentence_56

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 far-east. Kentucky_sentence_57


Monthly average high and low temperatures for various Kentucky cities ( °F)Kentucky_cell_2_0_0
CityKentucky_header_cell_2_1_0 JanKentucky_header_cell_2_1_1 FebKentucky_header_cell_2_1_2 MarKentucky_header_cell_2_1_3 AprKentucky_header_cell_2_1_4 MayKentucky_header_cell_2_1_5 JunKentucky_header_cell_2_1_6 JulKentucky_header_cell_2_1_7 AugKentucky_header_cell_2_1_8 SepKentucky_header_cell_2_1_9 OctKentucky_header_cell_2_1_10 NovKentucky_header_cell_2_1_11 DecKentucky_header_cell_2_1_12
LexingtonKentucky_header_cell_2_2_0 40.9/24.8Kentucky_cell_2_2_1 45.5/27.9Kentucky_cell_2_2_2 55.3/35.4Kentucky_cell_2_2_3 65.7/44.7Kentucky_cell_2_2_4 74.3/54.2Kentucky_cell_2_2_5 82.8/62.7Kentucky_cell_2_2_6 86.1/66.5Kentucky_cell_2_2_7 85.6/65.2Kentucky_cell_2_2_8 78.8/57.6Kentucky_cell_2_2_9 67.5/46.6Kentucky_cell_2_2_10 55.4/37.2Kentucky_cell_2_2_11 43.9/28Kentucky_cell_2_2_12
LouisvilleKentucky_header_cell_2_3_0 43/26.8Kentucky_cell_2_3_1 47.8/29.9Kentucky_cell_2_3_2 57.9/37.8Kentucky_cell_2_3_3 68.8/47.3Kentucky_cell_2_3_4 77.1/57Kentucky_cell_2_3_5 85.3/66Kentucky_cell_2_3_6 88.7/69.9Kentucky_cell_2_3_7 88.3/68.5Kentucky_cell_2_3_8 81.5/60.5Kentucky_cell_2_3_9 70.1/48.9Kentucky_cell_2_3_10 57.9/39.5Kentucky_cell_2_3_11 45.8/30Kentucky_cell_2_3_12
OwensboroKentucky_header_cell_2_4_0 41.2/23.2Kentucky_cell_2_4_1 46.6/26.8Kentucky_cell_2_4_2 58.3/36.7Kentucky_cell_2_4_3 69.3/45.9Kentucky_cell_2_4_4 78.1/54.5Kentucky_cell_2_4_5 86.4/62.8Kentucky_cell_2_4_6 89.2/66.6Kentucky_cell_2_4_7 88.2/64.4Kentucky_cell_2_4_8 82.4/58.3Kentucky_cell_2_4_9 71.6/45.7Kentucky_cell_2_4_10 58.1/37.4Kentucky_cell_2_4_11 45.9/28.2Kentucky_cell_2_4_12
PaducahKentucky_header_cell_2_5_0 43.4/25.8Kentucky_cell_2_5_1 48.9/29.5Kentucky_cell_2_5_2 59/37.7Kentucky_cell_2_5_3 69.4/46.6Kentucky_cell_2_5_4 78/56.3Kentucky_cell_2_5_5 86.2/64.9Kentucky_cell_2_5_6 89.3/68.5Kentucky_cell_2_5_7 89/66.1Kentucky_cell_2_5_8 82.1/57.8Kentucky_cell_2_5_9 71/46.7Kentucky_cell_2_5_10 58.4/37.9Kentucky_cell_2_5_11 46.3/28.6Kentucky_cell_2_5_12
PikevilleKentucky_header_cell_2_6_0 44/23Kentucky_cell_2_6_1 50/25Kentucky_cell_2_6_2 60/32Kentucky_cell_2_6_3 69/39Kentucky_cell_2_6_4 77/49Kentucky_cell_2_6_5 84/58Kentucky_cell_2_6_6 87/63Kentucky_cell_2_6_7 86/62Kentucky_cell_2_6_8 80/56Kentucky_cell_2_6_9 71/42Kentucky_cell_2_6_10 60/33Kentucky_cell_2_6_11 49/26Kentucky_cell_2_6_12
AshlandKentucky_header_cell_2_7_0 42/19Kentucky_cell_2_7_1 47/21Kentucky_cell_2_7_2 57/29Kentucky_cell_2_7_3 68/37Kentucky_cell_2_7_4 77/47Kentucky_cell_2_7_5 84/56Kentucky_cell_2_7_6 88/61Kentucky_cell_2_7_7 87/59Kentucky_cell_2_7_8 80/52Kentucky_cell_2_7_9 69/40Kentucky_cell_2_7_10 57/31Kentucky_cell_2_7_11 46/23Kentucky_cell_2_7_12
Bowling GreenKentucky_header_cell_2_8_0 45/26.4Kentucky_cell_2_8_1 50/29.6Kentucky_cell_2_8_2 59.8/37Kentucky_cell_2_8_3 69.7/45.6Kentucky_cell_2_8_4 77.8/55Kentucky_cell_2_8_5 86.1/63.9Kentucky_cell_2_8_6 89.4/67.9Kentucky_cell_2_8_7 88.9/66.1Kentucky_cell_2_8_8 82.1/58Kentucky_cell_2_8_9 71.2/46.3Kentucky_cell_2_8_10 59.4/37.5Kentucky_cell_2_8_11 47.9/29.2Kentucky_cell_2_8_12

Climate change Kentucky_section_4

Natural disasters Kentucky_section_5


Deadliest weather events in Kentucky historyKentucky_header_cell_3_0_0 DateKentucky_header_cell_3_0_1 Death TollKentucky_header_cell_3_0_2 Affected RegionsKentucky_header_cell_3_0_3
March 1890 middle Mississippi Valley tornado outbreakKentucky_cell_3_1_0 March 27, 1890Kentucky_cell_3_1_1 200+Kentucky_cell_3_1_2 Louisville, W KYKentucky_cell_3_1_3
Gradyville floodKentucky_cell_3_2_0 June 7, 1907Kentucky_cell_3_2_1 20Kentucky_cell_3_2_2 GradyvilleKentucky_cell_3_2_3
May–June 1917 tornado outbreak sequenceKentucky_cell_3_3_0 May 27, 1917Kentucky_cell_3_3_1 66Kentucky_cell_3_3_2 Fulton areaKentucky_cell_3_3_3
Early-May 1933 tornado outbreak sequenceKentucky_cell_3_4_0 May 9, 1933 TornadoKentucky_cell_3_4_1 38Kentucky_cell_3_4_2 South Central KYKentucky_cell_3_4_3
Ohio River flood of 1937Kentucky_cell_3_5_0 Early 1937Kentucky_cell_3_5_1 unknownKentucky_cell_3_5_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_5_3
April 3, 1974 tornado outbreakKentucky_cell_3_6_0 April 3, 1974Kentucky_cell_3_6_1 72Kentucky_cell_3_6_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_6_3
March 1, 1997 FloodingKentucky_cell_3_7_0 Early March 1997Kentucky_cell_3_7_1 18Kentucky_cell_3_7_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_7_3
Tornado outbreak sequence of May 2004Kentucky_cell_3_8_0 May 30, 2004Kentucky_cell_3_8_1 0Kentucky_cell_3_8_2 Jefferson County, KYKentucky_cell_3_8_3
December 21–24, 2004 North American winter stormKentucky_cell_3_9_0 December 21–24, 2004Kentucky_cell_3_9_1 unknownKentucky_cell_3_9_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_9_3
Widespread Flash FloodingKentucky_cell_3_10_0 September 22–23, 2006Kentucky_cell_3_10_1 6Kentucky_cell_3_10_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_10_3
January 2009 North American ice stormKentucky_cell_3_11_0 January 26–28, 2009Kentucky_cell_3_11_1 35Kentucky_cell_3_11_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_11_3
2009 Kentuckiana Flash FloodKentucky_cell_3_12_0 August 4, 2009Kentucky_cell_3_12_1 36Kentucky_cell_3_12_2 KentuckianaKentucky_cell_3_12_3
Tornado outbreak of March 2–3, 2012Kentucky_cell_3_13_0 March 2, 2012Kentucky_cell_3_13_1 22Kentucky_cell_3_13_2 StatewideKentucky_cell_3_13_3

Lakes and rivers Kentucky_section_6

See also: List of lakes in Kentucky, List of rivers of Kentucky, and List of dams and reservoirs in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_58

Kentucky has more navigable miles of water than any other state in the union, other than Alaska. Kentucky_sentence_59

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, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east. Kentucky_sentence_60

Its major internal rivers include the Kentucky River, Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Green River and Licking River. Kentucky_sentence_61

Though it has only three major natural lakes, Kentucky is home to many artificial lakes. Kentucky_sentence_62

Kentucky has both the largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi in water volume (Lake Cumberland) and surface area (Kentucky Lake). Kentucky_sentence_63

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 (4.9 billion cubic meters) of flood storage are the most of any lake in the TVA system. Kentucky_sentence_64

Kentucky's 90,000 miles (140,000 km) of streams provides one of the most expansive and complex stream systems in the nation. Kentucky_sentence_65

Natural environment and conservation Kentucky_section_7

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 km) of state forest, and 82 Wildlife Management Areas. Kentucky_sentence_66

Kentucky has been part of two of the most successful wildlife reintroduction projects in United States history. Kentucky_sentence_67

In the winter of 1997, the 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. Kentucky_sentence_68

As of 2009, the herd had reached the project goal of 10,000 animals, making it the largest herd east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky_sentence_69

The state also stocked wild turkeys in the 1950s. Kentucky_sentence_70

There were reported to be less than 900 at one point. Kentucky_sentence_71

Once nearly extinct here, wild turkeys thrive throughout today's Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_72

Hunters officially reported a record 29,006 birds taken during the 23-day season in Spring 2009. Kentucky_sentence_73

In 1991 the Land Between the Lakes partnered with the U.S. Kentucky_sentence_74

Fish and Wildlife Service for the Red Wolf Recovery Program, a captive breeding program. Kentucky_sentence_75

Natural attractions Kentucky_section_8


History Kentucky_section_9

Main article: History of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_76

See also: History of slavery in Kentucky, Kentucky Historical Society, and Hatfield-McCoy feud Kentucky_sentence_77

Native American settlement Kentucky_section_10

It is not known exactly when the first humans arrived in what is now Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_78

Based on evidence in other regions, humans were likely living in Kentucky prior to 10,000 BCE, but "archaeological evidence of their occupation has yet to be documented". Kentucky_sentence_79

Around 1800 BCE, a gradual transition began from a hunter-gatherer economy to agriculturalism. Kentucky_sentence_80

Around 900 CE, a Mississippian culture took root in western and central Kentucky; by contrast, a Fort Ancient culture appeared in eastern Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_81

While the two had many similarities, the distinctive ceremonial earthwork mounds constructed in the former's centers were not part of the culture of the latter. Kentucky_sentence_82

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. Kentucky_sentence_83

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 began entering Kentucky in greater numbers in the mid-18th century, there were no major Native American settlements in the region. Kentucky_sentence_84

As of the 16th century, the area known as Kentucky was home to tribes from five different culture groups – Iroquoian, Sioux, Algonquian, Muskogean and Yuchi. Kentucky_sentence_85

Around the Bluestone River was the Siouan Tutelo. Kentucky_sentence_86

North of the Tennessee River was the Yuchi and south of it was the Cherokee. Kentucky_sentence_87

Much of the interior of the state was controlled by the Algonquian Cisca; the confluence region of the Mississippi and Ohio was home to the Chickasaw. Kentucky_sentence_88

During a period known as the Beaver Wars, 1640–1680, another Algonquian tribe called the Maumee, or Mascouten was chased out of southern Michigan. Kentucky_sentence_89

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 and Moneton. Kentucky_sentence_90

The Maumee were closely related to the Miami of Indiana. Kentucky_sentence_91

Later, the Kispoko merged with the Shawnee (who broke off from the Powhatan on the east coast) and the Thawikila of Ohio to form the larger Shawnee nation which inhabited the Ohio River Valley into the 19th century. Kentucky_sentence_92

The Shawnee from the northwest and Cherokee from the south also sent parties into the area regularly for hunting. Kentucky_sentence_93

Today there are two state recognized tribes in Kentucky, the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky and the Ridgetop Shawnee. Kentucky_sentence_94

French claim and exploration Kentucky_section_11

Main articles: New France and Louisiana (New France) Kentucky_sentence_95

See also: History of Kentucky § First Europeans in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_96

Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle was a French explorer who claimed all of the land along the Mississippi River Valley, including Kentucky, for France. Kentucky_sentence_97

In July 1669, Robert de la Salle organized twenty four men and six canoes for his expedition. Kentucky_sentence_98

During this venture, he met Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, the first white men to explore and map the Mississippi River, in Hamilton, Ontario. Kentucky_sentence_99

The expedition eventually reached the Ohio River, allegedly, which it followed as far as Louisville, Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_100

European settlement and conflict with Native Americans Kentucky_section_12

Main articles: French and Indian War, Treaty of Paris (1763), Indian Reserve (1763), Colony of Virginia, and History of Kentucky § Early period of European settlement Kentucky_sentence_101

In 1774 James Harrod founded the first permanent European settlement in Kentucky at the site of present-day Harrodsburg. Kentucky_sentence_102

As more settlers entered the area, warfare broke out with the Native Americans over their traditional hunting grounds. Kentucky_sentence_103

A 1790 U.S. government report states that 1,500 Kentucky settlers had been killed by Native Americans since the end of the Revolutionary War. Kentucky_sentence_104

In 1786 George Rogers Clark led a group of 1,200 men in actions against Shawnee towns on the Wabash River to begin the Northwest Indian War. Kentucky_sentence_105

Establishment as county and then as a state Kentucky_section_13

Main articles: American Revolutionary War; Western theater of the American Revolutionary War; Lee Resolution; United States Declaration of Independence; Kentucky County, Virginia; Treaty of Paris (1783); Admission to the Union; and List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union Kentucky_sentence_106

See also: History of Kentucky § 1792 – Admission to the Union Kentucky_sentence_107

On December 31, 1776, the region of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains was established as Kentucky County by the Virginia General Assembly. Kentucky_sentence_108

(Kentucky County was abolished on June 30, 1780, when it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties.) Kentucky_sentence_109

On several occasions the region's residents petitioned the General Assembly and the Confederation Congress for separation from Virginia and statehood. Kentucky_sentence_110

Ten constitutional conventions were held in Danville between 1784 and 1792. Kentucky_sentence_111

One petition, which had Virginia's assent, came before the Confederation Congress in early July 1788. Kentucky_sentence_112

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. Kentucky_sentence_113

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. Kentucky_sentence_114

On December 18, 1789, Virginia again gave its consent to Kentucky statehood. Kentucky_sentence_115

The United States Congress gave its approval on February 4, 1791. Kentucky_sentence_116

(This occurred two weeks before Congress approved Vermont's petition for statehood.) Kentucky_sentence_117

Kentucky officially became the fifteenth state in the Union on June 1, 1792. Kentucky_sentence_118

Isaac Shelby, a military veteran from Virginia, was elected its first Governor. Kentucky_sentence_119

19th century Kentucky_section_14

Main articles: Ordinance of Secession and Kentucky in the American Civil War Kentucky_sentence_120

Central Kentucky, the bluegrass region, was the area of the state with the most slave owners. Kentucky_sentence_121

Planters cultivated tobacco and hemp (see Hemp in Kentucky) and were noted for their quality livestock. Kentucky_sentence_122

During the 19th century, 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_sentence_123

Kentucky was one of the border states during the American Civil War. Kentucky_sentence_124

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 Ordinance of Secession on November 20, 1861. Kentucky_sentence_125

They established a Confederate government of Kentucky with its capital in Bowling Green. Kentucky_sentence_126

Though 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. Kentucky_sentence_127

Some 21st-century Kentuckians observe Confederate Memorial Day on Confederate leader Jefferson Davis' birthday, June 3, and participate in Confederate battle re-enactments. Kentucky_sentence_128

Both Davis and U.S. president Abraham Lincoln were born in Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_129

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. Kentucky_sentence_130

Goebel was contesting the Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899, which William S. Taylor was initially believed to have won. Kentucky_sentence_131

For several months, J. Kentucky_sentence_132

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. Kentucky_sentence_133

After fleeing to Indiana, Taylor was indicted as a co-conspirator in Goebel's assassination. Kentucky_sentence_134

Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office. Kentucky_sentence_135

20th century Kentucky_section_15

The Black Patch Tobacco Wars, a vigilante action, occurred in Western Kentucky in the early 20th century. Kentucky_sentence_136

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. Kentucky_sentence_137

Many local farmers and activists united in a refusal to sell their crops to the major tobacco companies. Kentucky_sentence_138

An Association meeting occurred in downtown Guthrie, where a vigilante wing of "Night Riders", formed. Kentucky_sentence_139

The riders terrorized farmers who sold their tobacco at the low prices demanded by the tobacco corporations. Kentucky_sentence_140

They burned several tobacco warehouses throughout the area, stretching as far west as Hopkinsville to Princeton. Kentucky_sentence_141

In the later period of their operation, they were known to physically assault farmers who broke the boycott. Kentucky_sentence_142

Governor Augustus E. Willson declared martial law and deployed the Kentucky National Guard to end the wars. Kentucky_sentence_143

On October 15, 1959, a B-52 carrying two nuclear weapons collided in midair with a KC-135 tanker near Hardinsburg, Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_144

One of the nuclear bombs was damaged by fire but both weapons were recovered. Kentucky_sentence_145

Law and government Kentucky_section_16

Further information: List of governors of Kentucky, Kentucky Senate, and Kentucky House of Representatives Kentucky_sentence_146

Kentucky is one of four U.S. Kentucky_sentence_147

states to officially use the term commonwealth. Kentucky_sentence_148

The term was used for Kentucky as it had also been used by Virginia, from which Kentucky was created. Kentucky_sentence_149

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. Kentucky_sentence_150

Kentucky was originally styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the act admitting it to the union, since that is how it was referred to in Kentucky's first constitution. Kentucky_sentence_151

The commonwealth term was used in citizen petitions submitted between 1786 and 1792 for the creation of the state. Kentucky_sentence_152

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. Kentucky_sentence_153

The other three states officially called "commonwealths" are Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Kentucky_sentence_154

Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands are also formally commonwealths. Kentucky_sentence_155

Kentucky is one of only five states that elect their state officials in odd-numbered years (the others being Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia). Kentucky_sentence_156

Kentucky holds elections for these offices every four years in the years preceding Presidential election years. Kentucky_sentence_157

Thus, Kentucky held gubernatorial elections in 2011, 2015 and 2019. Kentucky_sentence_158

Executive branch Kentucky_section_17

The executive branch is headed by the governor who serves as both head of state and head of government. Kentucky_sentence_159

The lieutenant governor may or may not have executive authority depending on whether the person is a member of the Governor's cabinet. Kentucky_sentence_160

Under the current Kentucky Constitution, the lieutenant governor assumes the duties of the governor only if the governor is incapacitated. Kentucky_sentence_161

(Before 1992 the lieutenant governor assumed power any time the governor was out of the state.) Kentucky_sentence_162

The governor and lieutenant governor usually run on a single ticket (also per a 1992 constitutional amendment), and are elected to four-year terms. Kentucky_sentence_163

The current governor is Andy Beshear, and the lieutenant governor is Jacqueline Coleman. Kentucky_sentence_164

Both are Democrats. Kentucky_sentence_165

Other elected constitutional offices include the Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture. Kentucky_sentence_166

Currently, Republican Michael G. Adams serves as the Secretary of State. Kentucky_sentence_167

The commonwealth's chief prosecutor, law enforcement officer, and law officer is the Attorney General, currently Republican Daniel Cameron. Kentucky_sentence_168

The Auditor of Public Accounts is Republican Mike Harmon. Kentucky_sentence_169

Republican Allison Ball is the current Treasurer. Kentucky_sentence_170

Republican Ryan Quarles is the current Commissioner of Agriculture. Kentucky_sentence_171

Legislative branch Kentucky_section_18

Kentucky's legislative branch consists of a bicameral body known as the Kentucky General Assembly. Kentucky_sentence_172

The Senate is considered the upper house. Kentucky_sentence_173

It has 38 members, and is led by the President of the Senate, currently Robert Stivers (R). Kentucky_sentence_174

The House of Representatives has 100 members, and is led by the Speaker of the House, currently David Osborne of the Republican Party. Kentucky_sentence_175

In November 2016, Republicans won control of the House for the first time since 1922, and currently have supermajorities in both the House and Senate. Kentucky_sentence_176

Judicial branch Kentucky_section_19

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_sentence_177

The Kentucky Court of Justice is headed by the Chief Justice of the Commonwealth. Kentucky_sentence_178

The chief justice is appointed by, and is an elected member of, the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_179

The current chief justice is John D. Minton Jr. Kentucky_sentence_180

Unlike federal judges, who are usually appointed, justices serving on Kentucky state courts are chosen by the state's populace in non-partisan elections. Kentucky_sentence_181

Federal representation Kentucky_section_20

Kentucky's two U.S. Kentucky_sentence_182

Senators are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, both Republicans. Kentucky_sentence_183

The state is divided into six Congressional Districts, represented by Republicans James Comer (1st), Brett Guthrie (2nd), Thomas Massie (4th), Hal Rogers (5th) and Andy Barr (6th) and Democrat John Yarmuth (3rd). Kentucky_sentence_184

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. Kentucky_sentence_185

Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kentucky_sentence_186

Law Kentucky_section_21

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. Kentucky_sentence_187

The statutes are enforced by local police, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, and constables and deputy constables. Kentucky_sentence_188

Unless they have completed a police academy elsewhere, these officers are required to complete Police Officer Professional Standards (POPS) training at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Center on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Kentucky_sentence_189

Additionally, in 1948, the 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_sentence_190

Kentucky is one of the 32 states in the United States that sanctions the death penalty for certain murders defined as heinous. Kentucky_sentence_191

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. Kentucky_sentence_192

Only three people have been executed in Kentucky since the U.S. Kentucky_sentence_193

Supreme Court re-instituted the practice in 1976. Kentucky_sentence_194

The most notable execution in Kentucky was that of Rainey Bethea on August 14, 1936. Kentucky_sentence_195

Bethea was publicly hanged in Owensboro for the rape and murder of Lischia Edwards. Kentucky_sentence_196

Irregularities with the execution led to this becoming the last public execution in the United States. Kentucky_sentence_197

Kentucky has been on the front lines of the debate over displaying the Ten Commandments on public property. Kentucky_sentence_198

In the 2005 case of McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, the U.S. Kentucky_sentence_199

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. Kentucky_sentence_200

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_sentence_201

Kentucky has also been known to have unusually high political candidacy age laws, especially compared to surrounding states. Kentucky_sentence_202

The origin of this is unknown, but it has been suggested it has to do with the commonwealth tradition. Kentucky_sentence_203

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. Kentucky_sentence_204

Politics Kentucky_section_22

Further information: Political party strength in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_205


Presidential elections resultsKentucky_table_caption_4
YearKentucky_header_cell_4_0_0 RepublicanKentucky_header_cell_4_0_1 DemocratKentucky_header_cell_4_0_2
2016Kentucky_cell_4_1_0 62.54% 1,202,942Kentucky_cell_4_1_1 32.69% 628,834Kentucky_cell_4_1_2
2012Kentucky_cell_4_2_0 60.49% 1,087,190Kentucky_cell_4_2_1 37.80% 679,370Kentucky_cell_4_2_2
2008Kentucky_cell_4_3_0 57.37% 1,048,462Kentucky_cell_4_3_1 41.15% 751,985Kentucky_cell_4_3_2
2004Kentucky_cell_4_4_0 59.55% 1,069,439Kentucky_cell_4_4_1 39.69% 712,733Kentucky_cell_4_4_2
2000Kentucky_cell_4_5_0 56.50% 872,492Kentucky_cell_4_5_1 41.37% 638,898Kentucky_cell_4_5_2
1996Kentucky_cell_4_6_0 44.88% 623,283Kentucky_cell_4_6_1 45.84% 636,614Kentucky_cell_4_6_2
1992Kentucky_cell_4_7_0 41.34% 617,178Kentucky_cell_4_7_1 44.55% 665,104Kentucky_cell_4_7_2
1988Kentucky_cell_4_8_0 55.52% 734,281Kentucky_cell_4_8_1 43.88% 580,368Kentucky_cell_4_8_2
1984Kentucky_cell_4_9_0 60.04% 822,782Kentucky_cell_4_9_1 39.37% 539,589Kentucky_cell_4_9_2
1980Kentucky_cell_4_10_0 49.07% 635,274Kentucky_cell_4_10_1 47.61% 616,417Kentucky_cell_4_10_2
1976Kentucky_cell_4_11_0 45.57% 531,852Kentucky_cell_4_11_1 52.75% 615,717Kentucky_cell_4_11_2
1972Kentucky_cell_4_12_0 63.37% 676,446Kentucky_cell_4_12_1 34.77% 371,159Kentucky_cell_4_12_2
1968Kentucky_cell_4_13_0 43.79% 462,411Kentucky_cell_4_13_1 37.65% 397,541Kentucky_cell_4_13_2
1964Kentucky_cell_4_14_0 35.65% 372,977Kentucky_cell_4_14_1 64.01% 669,659Kentucky_cell_4_14_2
1960Kentucky_cell_4_15_0 53.59% 602,607Kentucky_cell_4_15_1 46.41% 521,855Kentucky_cell_4_15_2

Where politics are concerned, Kentucky historically has been very competitive. Kentucky_sentence_206

It leaned toward the Democratic Party since 1860, when the Whig Party dissolved and was considered among the Democratic Solid South, excepting three occasions when it went for the Republican candidate. Kentucky_sentence_207

The southeastern section had aligned with the Union during the war and tended to support Republican candidates. Kentucky_sentence_208

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. Kentucky_sentence_209

As of March 2020, 48.42% of the state's voters were officially registered as Democrats, and 42.75% were registered Republican, who tend to be conservative whites. Kentucky_sentence_210

Some 8.83% were registered with some other political party or as Independents. Kentucky_sentence_211

Despite this, a majority of the state's voters have generally elected Republican candidates for federal office since around the turn of the 21st century. Kentucky_sentence_212

From 1964 through 2004, Kentucky voted for the eventual winner of the election for President of the United States; however, in the 2008 election the state lost its bellwether status. Kentucky_sentence_213

Republican John McCain won Kentucky, but he lost the national popular and electoral vote to Democrat Barack Obama (McCain carried Kentucky 57% to 41%). Kentucky_sentence_214

116 of Kentucky's 120 counties supported former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 election while he lost to Barack Obama nationwide. Kentucky_sentence_215

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 (Texas) in 1964, Jimmy Carter (Georgia) in 1976, and Bill Clinton (Arkansas) in 1992 and 1996. Kentucky_sentence_216

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. Kentucky_sentence_217

At the same time, voters have continued to elect Democratic candidates to state and local offices in many jurisdictions. Kentucky_sentence_218

Demographics Kentucky_section_23

Main article: Demographics of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_219

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Kentucky was 4,467,673 on July 1, 2019, a 2.96% increase since the 2010 United States Census. Kentucky_sentence_220

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. Kentucky_sentence_221

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. Kentucky_sentence_222

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. Kentucky_sentence_223

As of 2015, Kentucky's population included about 149,016 foreign-born persons (3.4%). Kentucky_sentence_224

In 2016 the population density of the state was 110 people per square mile (42.5/km²). Kentucky_sentence_225

Kentucky's population has grown during every decade since records have been kept. Kentucky_sentence_226

But during most decades of the 20th century there was also net out-migration from Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_227

Since 1900, rural Kentucky counties have had a net loss of more than a million people to migration, while urban areas have experienced a slight net gain. Kentucky_sentence_228

Kentucky's center of population is in Washington County, in the city of Willisburg. Kentucky_sentence_229

Race and ancestry Kentucky_section_24


Race/Ethnicity ()Kentucky_header_cell_5_0_0
White, non-HispanicKentucky_cell_5_1_0 86.3%Kentucky_cell_5_1_1
Black or African AmericanKentucky_cell_5_2_0 7.8%Kentucky_cell_5_2_1
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)Kentucky_cell_5_3_0 3.1%Kentucky_cell_5_3_1
AsianKentucky_cell_5_4_0 1.1%Kentucky_cell_5_4_1
American Indian or Alaska NativeKentucky_cell_5_5_0 0.2%Kentucky_cell_5_5_1
Pacific IslanderKentucky_cell_5_6_0 0.1%Kentucky_cell_5_6_1

According to U.S. Census Bureau official statistics, the largest ancestry in 2013 was American totalling 20.2%. Kentucky_sentence_230

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%). Kentucky_sentence_231

In the state's most urban counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Fayette, Boone, Kenton, and Campbell, German is the largest reported ancestry. Kentucky_sentence_232

Americans of Scots-Irish and English stock are present throughout the entire state. Kentucky_sentence_233

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_sentence_234

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 in ancestry). Kentucky_sentence_235

The Ridgetop 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. Kentucky_sentence_236

In the 2000 census, some 20,000 people in the state identified as Native American (0.49%). Kentucky_sentence_237

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. Kentucky_sentence_238

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. Kentucky_sentence_239

The number of African Americans living in Kentucky declined during the 20th century. Kentucky_sentence_240

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. Kentucky_sentence_241

Today, less than 9% of the state's total population is African-American. Kentucky_sentence_242

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. Kentucky_sentence_243

The county's population is 20% African American. Kentucky_sentence_244

Other areas with high concentrations, beside Christian and Fulton counties and the Bluegrass region, are the cities of Paducah and Lexington. Kentucky_sentence_245

Some mining communities in far Southeastern Kentucky have populations that are between five and 10 percent African-American. Kentucky_sentence_246

Language Kentucky_section_25

In 2000 96.1% of all residents five years old and older spoke only English at home, a decrease from 97.5% in 1990. Kentucky_sentence_247

Speech patterns in the state generally reflect the first settlers' Virginia and Kentucky backgrounds. Kentucky_sentence_248

South Midland features are best preserved in the mountains, but some common to Midland and Southern are widespread. Kentucky_sentence_249

After a vowel, the /r/ may be weak or missing. Kentucky_sentence_250

For instance, Coop has the vowel of put, but the root rhymes with boot. Kentucky_sentence_251

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. Kentucky_sentence_252

In Kentucky English, a young man may carry, not escort, his girlfriend to a party. Kentucky_sentence_253

Spanish is the second-most-spoken language in Kentucky, after English. Kentucky_sentence_254

Religion Kentucky_section_26

See also: Religion in Louisville, Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_255

As of 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) reported the following groupings of Kentucky's 4,339,367 residents: Kentucky_sentence_256


Kentucky is home to several seminaries. Kentucky_sentence_257

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville is the principal seminary for the Southern Baptist Convention. Kentucky_sentence_258

Louisville is also the home of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, an institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Kentucky_sentence_259

Lexington has one seminary, Lexington Theological Seminary (affiliated with the Disciples of Christ). Kentucky_sentence_260

The Baptist Seminary of Kentucky is located on the campus of Georgetown College in Georgetown. Kentucky_sentence_261

Asbury Theological Seminary, a multi-denominational seminary in the Methodist tradition, is located in nearby Wilmore. Kentucky_sentence_262

In addition to seminaries, there are several colleges affiliated with denominations: Kentucky_sentence_263


Louisville is home to the Cathedral of the Assumption, the third-oldest Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States. Kentucky_sentence_264

The city also holds the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and their printing press. Kentucky_sentence_265

Reflecting late 19th, 20th and 21st-century immigration from different countries, Louisville also has Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu communities. Kentucky_sentence_266

In 1996 the Center for Interfaith Relations established the Festival of Faiths, the first and oldest annual interfaith festival to be held in the United States. Kentucky_sentence_267

The Christian creationist apologetics group, Answers in Genesis, along with its Creation Museum, is headquartered in Petersburg, Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_268

Cities and towns Kentucky_section_27

Economy Kentucky_section_28

See also: Economy of Louisville, Kentucky; Economy of Lexington, Kentucky; and Kentucky locations by per capita income Kentucky_sentence_269

Early in its history, Kentucky gained recognition for its excellent farming conditions. Kentucky_sentence_270

It was the site of the first commercial winery in the 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_sentence_271

Today Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle production, and 14th in corn production. Kentucky_sentence_272

Kentucky has also been a long-standing major center of the tobacco industry – both as a center of business and tobacco farming. Kentucky_sentence_273

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_sentence_274

Kentucky ranks 4th among U.S. states in the number of automobiles and trucks assembled. Kentucky_sentence_275

The Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac XLR (2004–2009), Ford Escape, Ford Super Duty trucks, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Solara, Toyota Venza, and Lexus ES 350 are assembled in Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_276

Kentucky has historically been a major coal producer, but the coal industry has been in decline since the 1980s, and the number of people employed in the coal industry there dropped by more than half between 2011 and 2015. Kentucky_sentence_277

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 States). Kentucky_sentence_278

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. Kentucky_sentence_279

Bourbon has been a growing market – with production of Kentucky bourbon rising 170 percent between 1999 and 2015. Kentucky_sentence_280

In 2019 the state had more than fifty distilleries for bourbon production. Kentucky_sentence_281

Kentucky exports reached a record $22.1 billion in 2012, with products and services going to 199 countries. Kentucky_sentence_282

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 Kentucky in 2012 totaled nearly $2.7 billion, with the creation of more than 14,000 new jobs. Kentucky_sentence_283

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. Kentucky_sentence_284

Fort Knox, a United States Army post best known as the site of the United States Bullion Depository, which is used to house a large portion of the United States official gold reserves, is located in Kentucky between Louisville and Elizabethtown. Kentucky_sentence_285

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 m) opened at Fort Knox. Kentucky_sentence_286

The new complex employs nearly 4,300 soldiers and civilians. Kentucky_sentence_287

Kentucky contains two of the twenty U.S. Kentucky_sentence_288

Federal Penitentiaries: 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 Forest). Kentucky_sentence_289

The total gross state product for 2019 Q1 was $213.313 billion. Kentucky_sentence_290

Its per-capita income was $25,888 in 2017. Kentucky_sentence_291

An organization called the Institute for Truth in Accounting estimated that the state government's debts exceeded its available assets by $26,300 per taxpayer as of 2011, ranking the state as having the 5th highest such debt burden in the nation. Kentucky_sentence_292

As of October 2019, the state's unemployment rate is 4.3%. Kentucky_sentence_293

In 2014 Kentucky was found to be the most affordable U.S. state in which to live. Kentucky_sentence_294

Taxation Kentucky_section_29

Tax is collected by the Kentucky Department of Revenue. Kentucky_sentence_295

There are six income tax brackets, ranging from 2% to 6% of personal income. Kentucky_sentence_296

The sales tax rate in Kentucky is 6%. Kentucky_sentence_297

Kentucky has a broadly based classified property tax system. Kentucky_sentence_298

All classes of property, unless exempted by the Constitution, are taxed by the state, although at widely varying rates. Kentucky_sentence_299

Many of these classes are exempted from taxation by local government. Kentucky_sentence_300

Of the classes that are subject to local taxation, three have special rates set by the General Assembly, one by the 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. Kentucky_sentence_301

Real property is assessed on 100% of the fair market value and property taxes are due by December 31. Kentucky_sentence_302

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. Kentucky_sentence_303

Until January 1, 2006, Kentucky imposed a tax on intangible personal property held by a taxpayer on January 1 of each year. Kentucky_sentence_304

The Kentucky intangible tax was repealed under House Bill 272. Kentucky_sentence_305

Intangible property consisted of any property or investment that represents evidence of value or the right to value. Kentucky_sentence_306

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 paper. Kentucky_sentence_307

Government-promoted slogans Kentucky_section_30

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. Kentucky_sentence_308

This campaign was neither a failure nor a success. Kentucky_sentence_309

Though it was meant to embrace southern values, many Kentuckians rejected the slogan as cheesy and ineffective. Kentucky_sentence_310

It was quickly seen that the slogan did not encourage tourism as much as initially hoped for. Kentucky_sentence_311

So government decided to create a different slogan to embrace Kentucky as a whole while also encouraging more people to visit the Bluegrass. Kentucky_sentence_312

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. Kentucky_sentence_313

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. Kentucky_sentence_314

The Fletcher administration aggressively marketed the brand in both the public and private sectors. Kentucky_sentence_315

Since that time, the "Welcome to Kentucky" signs at border areas have an "Unbridled Spirit" symbol on them. Kentucky_sentence_316

Tourism Kentucky_section_31

See also: Kentucky Bourbon Trail Kentucky_sentence_317

Tourism has become an increasingly important part of the Kentucky economy. Kentucky_sentence_318

In 2019 tourism grew to $7.6 billion in economic impact. Kentucky_sentence_319

Key attractions include horse racing with events like the Kentucky Derby and the Keeneland Fall and Spring Meets, bourbon distillery tours and natural attractions such as the state’s many lakes and parks to include Mammoth Cave, Lake Cumberland and Red River Gorge. Kentucky_sentence_320

The state also has several religious destinations such as the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter of Answers in Genesis. Kentucky_sentence_321

The Horse Industry Kentucky_section_32

See also: Horse racing in the United States Kentucky_sentence_322

Horse Racing has long been associated with Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_323

Churchill Downs, the home of the Derby, is a large venue with a capacity exceeding 165,000. Kentucky_sentence_324

The track hosts multiple events throughout the year and is a significant draw to the city of Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_325

Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, hosts two major meets, the Spring and Fall running. Kentucky_sentence_326

Beyond hosting races Keeneland also hosts a significant horse auction drawing buyers from around the world. Kentucky_sentence_327

In 2019 $360 million was spent on the September Yearling sale. Kentucky_sentence_328

The Kentucky Horse Park in Georgetown hosts multiple events throughout the year, including international equestrian competitions and also offers horseback riding from April to October. Kentucky_sentence_329

Transportation Kentucky_section_33

Main article: Transportation in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_330

Roads Kentucky_section_34

See also: List of Kentucky State Highways Kentucky_sentence_331

Kentucky is served by six major Interstate highways (I-24, I-64, I-65, I-69, I-71, and I-75), seven parkways, and six bypasses and spurs (I-165, I-169, I-264, I-265, I-275, and I-471). Kentucky_sentence_332

The parkways were originally toll roads, but on November 22, 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher ended the toll charges on the William H. Natcher Parkway and the Audubon Parkway, the last two parkways in Kentucky to charge tolls for access. Kentucky_sentence_333

The related toll booths have been demolished. Kentucky_sentence_334

Ending the tolls some seven months ahead of schedule was generally agreed to have been a positive economic development for transportation in Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_335

In June 2007, a law went into effect raising the speed limit on rural portions of Kentucky Interstates and parkways from 65 to 70 miles per hour (105 to 113 km/h). Kentucky_sentence_336

Road tunnels include the interstate Cumberland Gap Tunnel and the rural Nada Tunnel. Kentucky_sentence_337

Rails Kentucky_section_35

See also: List of Kentucky railroads Kentucky_sentence_338

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Ashland, South Portsmouth, Maysville and Fulton. Kentucky_sentence_339

The Cardinal (trains 50 and 51) is the line that offers Amtrak service to Ashland, South Shore, Maysville and South Portsmouth. Kentucky_sentence_340

The City of New Orleans (trains 58 and 59) serve Fulton. Kentucky_sentence_341

The Northern Kentucky area is served by the Cardinal at Cincinnati Union Terminal. Kentucky_sentence_342

The terminal is just across the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Kentucky_sentence_343

Norfolk Southern Railway passes through the Central and Southern parts of the Commonwealth, via its Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific (CNO&TP) subsidiary. Kentucky_sentence_344

The line originates in Cincinnati and terminates 338 miles south in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kentucky_sentence_345

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 Transportation. Kentucky_sentence_346

Coal was by far the most common cargo, accounting for 76% of cargo loaded and 61% of cargo delivered. Kentucky_sentence_347

Bardstown features a tourist attraction known as My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. Kentucky_sentence_348

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. Kentucky_sentence_349

The Kentucky Railway Museum is located in nearby New Haven. Kentucky_sentence_350

Other areas in Kentucky are reclaiming old railways in rail trail projects. Kentucky_sentence_351

One such project is Louisville's Big Four Bridge. Kentucky_sentence_352

When the bridge's Indiana approach ramps opened in 2014, completing the pedestrian connection across the Ohio River, the Big Four Bridge rail trail became the second-longest pedestrian-only bridge in the world. Kentucky_sentence_353

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. Kentucky_sentence_354

Air Kentucky_section_36

See also: List of airports in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_355

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. Kentucky_sentence_356

Louisville International Airport is home to UPS's Worldport, its international air-sorting hub. Kentucky_sentence_357

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is the largest airport in the state, and is a focus city for passenger airline Delta Air Lines and headquarters of its Delta Private Jets. Kentucky_sentence_358

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. Kentucky_sentence_359

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 subsidiary Endeavor Air. Kentucky_sentence_360

There are also a number of regional airports scattered across the state. Kentucky_sentence_361

On August 27, 2006, 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 Flight 5191, sometimes mistakenly identified by the press as Comair Flight 5191. Kentucky_sentence_362

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. Kentucky_sentence_363

Water Kentucky_section_37

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. Kentucky_sentence_364

Louisville was a major port for steamships in the nineteenth century. Kentucky_sentence_365

Today, most barge traffic on Kentucky waterways 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. Kentucky_sentence_366

Many of the largest ports in the United States are located in or adjacent to Kentucky, including: Kentucky_sentence_367


  • Huntington-Tristate (includes Ashland, Kentucky), largest inland port and 7th largest overallKentucky_item_3_32
  • Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, 5th largest inland port and 43rd overallKentucky_item_3_33
  • Louisville-Southern Indiana, 7th largest inland port and 55th overallKentucky_item_3_34

As a state, Kentucky ranks 10th overall in port tonnage. Kentucky_sentence_368

The only natural obstacle along the entire length of the Ohio River is the Falls of the Ohio, located just west of Downtown Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_369

Subdivisions and settlements Kentucky_section_38

Counties Kentucky_section_39

See also: List of counties in Kentucky and Fiscal Court Kentucky_sentence_370

Kentucky is subdivided into 120 counties, the largest being Pike County at 787.6 square miles (2,040 km), and the most populous being Jefferson County (which coincides with the Louisville Metro governmental area) with 741,096 residents as of 2010. Kentucky_sentence_371

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. Kentucky_sentence_372

Despite the unusual name, the Fiscal Court no longer has judicial functions. Kentucky_sentence_373

Consolidated city-county governments Kentucky_section_40

Kentucky's two most populous counties, Jefferson and Fayette, have their governments consolidated with the governments of their largest cities. Kentucky_sentence_374

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 Metro Mayor and Urban County Mayor, respectively. Kentucky_sentence_375

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. Kentucky_sentence_376

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". Kentucky_sentence_377

Major cities Kentucky_section_41

See also: List of cities in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_378

The Metro Louisville government area has a 2018 population of 1,298,990. Kentucky_sentence_379

Under United States Census Bureau methodology, the population of Louisville was 623,867. Kentucky_sentence_380

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. Kentucky_sentence_381

In 2018 the Louisville Combined Statistical Area (CSA) had a population of 1,569,112; including 1,209,191 in Kentucky, which means more than 25% of the state's population now lives in the Louisville CSA. Kentucky_sentence_382

Since 2000, over one-third of the state's population growth has occurred in the Louisville CSA. Kentucky_sentence_383

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. Kentucky_sentence_384

The second largest city is Lexington with a 2018 census population of 323,780, its metro had a population of 516,697, and its CSA, which includes the Frankfort and Richmond statistical areas, having a population of 746,310. Kentucky_sentence_385

The Northern Kentucky area, which comprises the seven Kentucky counties in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky metropolitan area, had a population of 447,457 in 2018. Kentucky_sentence_386

The metropolitan areas of Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky have a combined population of 2,402,958 as of 2018, which is 54% of the state's total population on only about 19% of the state's land. Kentucky_sentence_387

This area is often referred to as the Golden triangle as it contains a majority of the state's wealth, population, population growth, and economic growth, it is also where most of the state's largest cities by population are located. Kentucky_sentence_388

It is referred to the Golden triangle as the metro areas of Lexington, Louisville, and Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati outline a triangle shape. Kentucky_sentence_389

Interstates I-71, I-75, and I-64 form the triangle shape. Kentucky_sentence_390

Additionally all counties in Kentucky that are part of a MSA or CSA have a total population of 2,970,694, which is 67% of the state's population. Kentucky_sentence_391

As of 2017 Bowling Green had a population of 67,067, making it the third most-populous city in the state. Kentucky_sentence_392

The Bowling Green metropolitan area had an estimated population of 174,835; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 228,743. Kentucky_sentence_393

The two other fast growing urban areas in Kentucky are the Bowling Green area and the "Tri Cities Region" of southeastern Kentucky, comprising Somerset, London and Corbin. Kentucky_sentence_394

Although only one town in the "Tri Cities" (Somerset) currently has more than 12,000 people, the area has been experiencing heightened population and job growth since the 1990s. Kentucky_sentence_395

Growth has been especially rapid in Laurel County, which outgrew areas such as Scott and Jessamine counties around Lexington or Shelby and Nelson Counties around Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_396

London significantly grew in population in the 2000s, from 5,692 in 2000 to 7,993 in 2010. Kentucky_sentence_397

London also landed a Wal-Mart distribution center in 1997, bringing thousands of jobs to the community. Kentucky_sentence_398

In northeast Kentucky, the greater Ashland area is an important transportation, manufacturing, and medical center. Kentucky_sentence_399

Iron and petroleum production, as well as the transport of coal by rail and barge, have been historical pillars of the region's economy. Kentucky_sentence_400

Due to a decline in the area's industrial base, Ashland has seen a sizable reduction in its population since 1990; however, the population of the area has since stabilized with the medical service industry taking a greater role in the local economy. Kentucky_sentence_401

The Ashland area, including the counties of Boyd and Greenup, are part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Kentucky_sentence_402

As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. Kentucky_sentence_403

More than 21,000 of those people (as of 2010) reside within the city limits of Ashland. Kentucky_sentence_404

The largest county in Kentucky by area is Pike, which contains Pikeville and suburb Coal Run Village. Kentucky_sentence_405

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. Kentucky_sentence_406

Pike County contains slightly more than 68,000 people. Kentucky_sentence_407

Only three U.S. states have capitals with smaller populations than Kentucky's Frankfort (pop. Kentucky_sentence_408

25,527): Augusta, Maine (pop. Kentucky_sentence_409

18,560), Pierre, South Dakota (pop. Kentucky_sentence_410

13,876), and Montpelier, Vermont (pop. Kentucky_sentence_411

8,035). Kentucky_sentence_412

Education Kentucky_section_42

Main article: Education in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_413

See also: Education Reform in Kentucky, List of colleges and universities in Kentucky, List of high schools in Kentucky, and List of school districts in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_414

Kentucky maintains eight public four-year universities. Kentucky_sentence_415

There are two general tiers: major research institutions (the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville) and regional universities, which encompasses the remaining six schools. Kentucky_sentence_416

The regional schools have specific target counties that many of their programs are targeted towards (such as Forestry at Eastern Kentucky University or Cave Management at Western Kentucky University), however most of their curriculum varies little from any other public university. Kentucky_sentence_417

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. Kentucky_sentence_418

UK is the flagship and land grant of the system and has agriculture extension services in every county. Kentucky_sentence_419

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. Kentucky_sentence_420

The state's sixteen public two-year colleges have been governed by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System since the passage of the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997, commonly referred to as House Bill 1. Kentucky_sentence_421

Before the passage of House Bill 1, most of these colleges were under the control of the University of Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_422

Transylvania University, a liberal arts university located in Lexington, was founded in 1780 as the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains. Kentucky_sentence_423

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. Kentucky_sentence_424

This policy was successfully challenged in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Berea College v. Kentucky in 1908. Kentucky_sentence_425

This decision effectively segregated Berea until the landmark Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Kentucky_sentence_426

There are 173 school districts and 1,233 public schools in Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_427

For the 2010 to 2011 school year, there were approximately 647,827 students enrolled in public school. Kentucky_sentence_428

Kentucky has been the site of much educational reform over the past two decades. Kentucky_sentence_429

In 1989 the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled the state's education system was unconstitutional. Kentucky_sentence_430

The response of the General Assembly was passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) the following year. Kentucky_sentence_431

Years later, Kentucky has shown progress, but most agree that further reform is needed. Kentucky_sentence_432

The West Virginia teachers' strike in 2018 inspired teachers in other states, including Kentucky, to take similar action. Kentucky_sentence_433

Culture Kentucky_section_43

Main article: Culture of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_434

See also: Theater in Kentucky; Performing arts in Louisville, Kentucky; and List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area Kentucky_sentence_435

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. Kentucky_sentence_436

The state is known for bourbon and whiskey distilling, tobacco, horse racing, and college basketball. Kentucky_sentence_437

Kentucky is more similar to the Upland South in terms of ancestry that is predominantly American. Kentucky_sentence_438

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. Kentucky_sentence_439

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. Kentucky_sentence_440

Scottish Americans, English Americans and Scotch-Irish Americans have heavily influenced Kentucky culture, and are present in every part of the state. Kentucky_sentence_441

As of the 1980s the only counties in the United States where more than half 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_sentence_442

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. Kentucky_sentence_443

While less than 8% of the total population is black, Kentucky has a relatively significant rural African American population in the Central and Western areas of the state. Kentucky_sentence_444

Kentucky adopted the Jim Crow system of racial segregation in most public spheres after the Civil War. Kentucky_sentence_445

Louisville's 1914 ordinance for residential racial segregation was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1917. Kentucky_sentence_446

However, in 1908 Kentucky enacted the Day Law, "An Act to Prohibit White and Colored Persons from Attending the Same School", which 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 thirty African American students entered UK graduate and professional programs. Kentucky_sentence_447

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. Kentucky_sentence_448

The biggest day in American horse racing, the Kentucky Derby, is preceded by the two-week Derby Festival in Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_449

The Derby Festival features many events, including Thunder Over Louisville, the Pegasus Parade, the Great Steamboat Race, Fest-a-Ville, the Chow Wagon, BalloonFest, BourbonVille, and many others leading up to the big race. Kentucky_sentence_450

Louisville also plays host to the Kentucky State Fair and the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. Kentucky_sentence_451

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. Kentucky_sentence_452

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. Kentucky_sentence_453

Old Louisville, the largest historic preservation district in the United States featuring Victorian architecture and the third largest overall, hosts the St. Kentucky_sentence_454

James Court Art Show, the largest outdoor art show in the United States. Kentucky_sentence_455

The neighborhood was also home to the 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. Kentucky_sentence_456

Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. Kentucky_sentence_457

Hodgenville, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, hosts the annual Lincoln Days Celebration, and also hosted the kick-off for the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in February 2008. Kentucky_sentence_458

Bardstown celebrates its heritage as a major bourbon-producing region with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Kentucky_sentence_459

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 Rally. Kentucky_sentence_460

Winchester celebrates an original Kentucky creation, Beer Cheese, with its Beer Cheese Festival held annually in June. Kentucky_sentence_461

Beer Cheese was developed in Clark County at some point in the 1940s along the Kentucky River. Kentucky_sentence_462

The residents of tiny Benton pay tribute to their favorite tuber, the sweet potato, by hosting Tater Day. Kentucky_sentence_463

Residents of Clarkson in Grayson County celebrate their city's ties to the honey industry by celebrating the Clarkson Honeyfest. Kentucky_sentence_464

The Clarkson Honeyfest is held the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in September, and is the "Official State Honey Festival of Kentucky". Kentucky_sentence_465

Music Kentucky_section_44

Main article: Music of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_466

See also: :Category:Musicians from Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_467

Renfro Valley, Kentucky is home to Renfro Valley Entertainment Center and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and is known as "Kentucky's Country Music Capital", a designation given it by the Kentucky State Legislature in the late 1980s. Kentucky_sentence_468

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 years. Kentucky_sentence_469

The Renfro Valley Gatherin' is today America's second oldest continually broadcast radio program of any kind. Kentucky_sentence_470

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. Kentucky_sentence_471

Contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman is a Paducah native, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Everly Brothers are closely connected with Muhlenberg County, where older brother Don was born. Kentucky_sentence_472

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. Kentucky_sentence_473

Kentucky was also home to Mildred and Patty Hill, the Louisville sisters credited with composing the tune to the ditty Happy Birthday to You in 1893; Loretta Lynn (Johnson County), Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys, and Billy Ray Cyrus (Flatwoods). Kentucky_sentence_474

However, its depth lies in its signature sound – Bluegrass music. Kentucky_sentence_475

Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass", was born in the small Ohio County 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. Kentucky_sentence_476

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is located in Owensboro, while the annual Festival of the Bluegrass is held in Lexington. Kentucky_sentence_477

Kentucky is also home to famed jazz musician and pioneer, Lionel Hampton. Kentucky_sentence_478

Blues legend W. Kentucky_sentence_479

C. Handy and R&B singer Wilson Pickett also spent considerable time in Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_480

The R&B group Midnight Star and Hip-Hop group Nappy Roots were both formed in Kentucky, as were country acts The Kentucky Headhunters, Montgomery Gentry and Halfway to Hazard, The Judds, as well as Dove Award-winning Christian groups Audio Adrenaline (rock) and Bride (metal). Kentucky_sentence_481

Heavy Rock band Black Stone Cherry hails from rural Edmonton. Kentucky_sentence_482

Rock band My Morning Jacket with lead singer and guitarist Jim James originated out of Louisville, as well as bands Wax Fang, White Reaper, Tantric. Kentucky_sentence_483

Rock bands Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent, and Morning Teleportation are also from Bowling Green. Kentucky_sentence_484

The bluegrass groups Driftwood and Kentucky Rain, along with Nick Lachey of the pop band 98 Degrees are also from Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_485

King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew is from Covington. Kentucky_sentence_486

Post rock band Slint also hails from Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_487

Noted singer and actress Rosemary Clooney was a native of Maysville, her legacy being celebrated at the annual music festival bearing her name. Kentucky_sentence_488

Noted songwriter and actor Will Oldham is from Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_489

More recently in the limelight are country artists Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, and Chris Knight. Kentucky_sentence_490

In eastern Kentucky, old-time music carries on the tradition of ancient ballads and reels developed in historical Appalachia. Kentucky_sentence_491

Literature Kentucky_section_45

Main article: Kentucky literature Kentucky_sentence_492

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. Kentucky_sentence_493

Major works from the state include 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 States; All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (1946), rated as the 36th best English-language novel of the 20th century; The Dollmaker (1954) by Harriette Arnow; Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1962) by Harry Caudill, which contributed to initiating the U.S. Government's War on poverty, and others. Kentucky_sentence_494

Author Thomas Merton lived most of his life and wrote most of his books – including The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), ranked on National Review's list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century – during his time as a monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_495

Author Hunter S. Thompson is also a native of the state. Kentucky_sentence_496

Since the later part of the 20th century, several writers from Kentucky have published widely read and critically acclaimed books, including: Wendell Berry (fl. Kentucky_sentence_497

1960–), Silas House (fl. 2001–), Barbara Kingsolver (fl. 1988–), poet Maurice Manning (fl. 2001–), and Bobbie Ann Mason (fl. 1988–). Kentucky_sentence_498

Well-known playwrights from Kentucky include Marsha Norman (works include 'night, Mother, 1983) and Naomi Wallace (works include One Flea Spare, 1995). Kentucky_sentence_499

Cuisine Kentucky_section_46

Main article: Cuisine of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_500

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. Kentucky_sentence_501

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. Kentucky_sentence_502

It was developed at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Kentucky_sentence_503

The Pendennis Club in Louisville is the birthplace of the Old Fashioned cocktail. Kentucky_sentence_504

Also, western Kentucky is known for its own regional style of barbecue. Kentucky_sentence_505

Central Kentucky is the birthplace of Beer Cheese. Kentucky_sentence_506

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. Kentucky_sentence_507

Sports Kentucky_section_47

Main article: Sports in Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_508

State symbols Kentucky_section_48

Main article: List of Kentucky state insignia Kentucky_sentence_509

See also: Flag of Kentucky and Seal of Kentucky Kentucky_sentence_510


InsigniaKentucky_header_cell_6_0_0 SymbolKentucky_header_cell_6_0_1 Binomial nomenclatureKentucky_header_cell_6_0_2 Year adoptedKentucky_header_cell_6_0_3
Official state birdKentucky_cell_6_1_0 CardinalKentucky_cell_6_1_1 Cardinalis cardinalisKentucky_cell_6_1_2 1926Kentucky_cell_6_1_3
Official state butterflyKentucky_cell_6_2_0 Viceroy butterflyKentucky_cell_6_2_1 Limenitis archippusKentucky_cell_6_2_2 1990Kentucky_cell_6_2_3
Official state danceKentucky_cell_6_3_0 CloggingKentucky_cell_6_3_1 Kentucky_cell_6_3_2 2006Kentucky_cell_6_3_3
Official state beverageKentucky_cell_6_4_0 MilkKentucky_cell_6_4_1 Kentucky_cell_6_4_2 2005Kentucky_cell_6_4_3
Official state fishKentucky_cell_6_5_0 Kentucky spotted bassKentucky_cell_6_5_1 Micropterus punctulatusKentucky_cell_6_5_2 2005Kentucky_cell_6_5_3
Official state fossilKentucky_cell_6_6_0 BrachiopodKentucky_cell_6_6_1 undeterminedKentucky_cell_6_6_2 1986Kentucky_cell_6_6_3
Official state flowerKentucky_cell_6_7_0 GoldenrodKentucky_cell_6_7_1 Soldiago giganteaKentucky_cell_6_7_2 1926Kentucky_cell_6_7_3
Official state fruitKentucky_cell_6_8_0 BlackberryKentucky_cell_6_8_1 Rubus allegheniensisKentucky_cell_6_8_2 2004Kentucky_cell_6_8_3
Official state gemstoneKentucky_cell_6_9_0 Freshwater pearlKentucky_cell_6_9_1 Kentucky_cell_6_9_2 1986Kentucky_cell_6_9_3
State grassKentucky_cell_6_10_0 Kentucky bluegrassKentucky_cell_6_10_1 Poa pratensisKentucky_cell_6_10_2 TraditionalKentucky_cell_6_10_3
Official state mottoKentucky_cell_6_11_0 "United we stand, divided we fall"Kentucky_cell_6_11_1 Kentucky_cell_6_11_2 1942/1792Kentucky_cell_6_11_3
Official state sloganKentucky_cell_6_12_0 "United we stand, divided we fall"Kentucky_cell_6_12_1 Kentucky_cell_6_12_2 2004Kentucky_cell_6_12_3
Official state Latin mottoKentucky_cell_6_13_0 "Deo gratiam habeamus" ("Let us be grateful to God")Kentucky_cell_6_13_1 Kentucky_cell_6_13_2 2002Kentucky_cell_6_13_3
Official state horseKentucky_cell_6_14_0 ThoroughbredKentucky_cell_6_14_1 Equus caballusKentucky_cell_6_14_2 1996Kentucky_cell_6_14_3
Official state mineralKentucky_cell_6_15_0 CoalKentucky_cell_6_15_1 Kentucky_cell_6_15_2 1998Kentucky_cell_6_15_3
Official state outdoor musicalKentucky_cell_6_16_0 The Stephen Foster StoryKentucky_cell_6_16_1 Kentucky_cell_6_16_2 2002Kentucky_cell_6_16_3
Official state instrumentKentucky_cell_6_17_0 Appalachian dulcimerKentucky_cell_6_17_1 Kentucky_cell_6_17_2 2001Kentucky_cell_6_17_3
State nicknameKentucky_cell_6_18_0 "The bluegrass state"Kentucky_cell_6_18_1 Kentucky_cell_6_18_2 TraditionalKentucky_cell_6_18_3
Official state rockKentucky_cell_6_19_0 Kentucky agateKentucky_cell_6_19_1 Kentucky_cell_6_19_2 2000Kentucky_cell_6_19_3
Official state soilKentucky_cell_6_20_0 Crider soil seriesKentucky_cell_6_20_1 Kentucky_cell_6_20_2 1990Kentucky_cell_6_20_3
Official state treeKentucky_cell_6_21_0 Tulip poplarKentucky_cell_6_21_1 Liriodendron tulipiferaKentucky_cell_6_21_2 1994Kentucky_cell_6_21_3
Official wild animal game speciesKentucky_cell_6_22_0 Gray squirrelKentucky_cell_6_22_1 Sciurus carolinensisKentucky_cell_6_22_2 1968Kentucky_cell_6_22_3
Official state songKentucky_cell_6_23_0 "My Old Kentucky Home" (revised version)Kentucky_cell_6_23_1 Kentucky_cell_6_23_2 1928/1986Kentucky_cell_6_23_3
Official state silverware patternKentucky_cell_6_24_0 Old Kentucky blue grass: the Georgetown patternKentucky_cell_6_24_1 Kentucky_cell_6_24_2 1996Kentucky_cell_6_24_3
Official state musicKentucky_cell_6_25_0 Bluegrass musicKentucky_cell_6_25_1 Kentucky_cell_6_25_2 2007Kentucky_cell_6_25_3
Official state automobileKentucky_cell_6_26_0 Chevrolet CorvetteKentucky_cell_6_26_1 Kentucky_cell_6_26_2 2010Kentucky_cell_6_26_3

Official state places and events Kentucky_section_49

Unless otherwise specified, all state symbol information is taken from Kentucky State Symbols. Kentucky_sentence_511

Kentucky colonel Kentucky_section_50

Main article: Kentucky colonel Kentucky_sentence_512

The distinction of being named a Kentucky colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky_sentence_513

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. Kentucky_sentence_514

The sitting governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel's commission, by issuance of letters patent. Kentucky_sentence_515

Kentucky colonels are commissioned for life and act officially as the state's goodwill ambassadors. Kentucky_sentence_516

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: