State abbreviation/Postal code:
Steve Beshear, D (to Dec. 2015)
Lieut. Governor: Jerry Abramson, D
(to Dec. 2015)
Rand Paul, R (to Jan. 2017); Mitch
McConnell, R (to Jan. 2021)
Historical biographies of Congressional members
Secy. of State: Alison Lundergan Grimes, D (to Dec. 2015)
Treasurer: Todd Hollenbach, D (to Dec.
Atty. General: Jack Conway,
D (to Dec. 2015)
Entered Union (rank):
June 1, 1792 (15)
Present constitution adopted: 1891
United we stand, divided we fall
||tulip poplar (1994)
||“My Old Kentucky Home”
Origin of name:
From an Iroquoian word “Ken-tah-ten” meaning
“land of tomorrow”
10 largest cities (2014):
Florence, 31,088; Georgetown, 30,271;
39,728 sq mi. (102,896 sq km)
Geographic center: In Marion Co., 3 mi.
NNW of Lebanon
Number of counties: 120
Largest county by population and
area: Jefferson, 750,810 (2012); Pike, 787 sq mi.
State forests: 5 (35,809 ac.)
State parks: 52
2014 resident population:
2010 resident census population (rank):
4,339,367 (26). Male: 2,134,952 (49.2%); Female:
2,204,415 (50.8%). White: 3,809,537 (87.8%); Black:
337,520 (7.8%); American Indian: 10,120 (0.2%); Asian:
48,930 (1.1%); Other race: 55,551 (1.2%); Two or more
races: 75,208 (1.7%); Hispanic/Latino: 132,836 (3.1%).
2010 population 18 and over: 3,315,996; 65 and
over: 578,227 (13.3%); median age: 38.1.
additional census data
1. Consolidated with Jefferson County
Kentucky was the first region west of the Allegheny Mountains to be
settled by American pioneers. James Harrod established
the first permanent settlement at Harrodsburg in 1774; the
following year Daniel Boone, who had
explored the area in 1767, blazed the Wilderness Trail through
the Cumberland Gap and founded
Politically, the Kentucky region was originally part of Virginia, but
statehood was gained in 1792. Gen. Anthony Wayne's
victory in 1794 at Fallen Timbers in Ohio
marked the end of Native American resistance in the area and secured the
As a slaveholding state with a considerable abolitionist population,
Kentucky was caught in the middle during the Civil War, supplying both
Union and Confederate forces with thousands of troops.
Kentucky prides itself on producing some of the nation's best tobacco,
horses, and whiskey. Corn, soybeans, wheat, fruit, hogs, cattle, and dairy
products are among the agricultural items produced.
Among the manufactured items produced in the state are motor vehicles,
furniture, aluminum ware, brooms, apparel, lumber products, machinery,
textiles, and iron and steel products. Kentucky also produces significant
amounts of petroleum, natural gas, fluorspar, clay, and stone. However,
coal accounts for 85% of the total mineral income.
Louisville is famous for
the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and the Bluegrass country around
Lexington is the home of some of the world's finest race horses. Other
attractions are Mammoth Cave, the George S. Patton, Jr.,
Military Museum at Fort Knox, and Old Fort Harrod State Park.
In Aug. 2006, Comair Flight 5191 crashed shortly after takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, killing 49 of the 50 people on board.
An early 2012 tornado season delivers deadly funnels which kill 24 in Kentucky.
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