Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.

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Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Mayor: Greg Fischer (to Jan. 2019)

2010 census population (rank)1: 597,337 (27); % change: n.a.; Male: 289,236 (48.4%); Female: 308,101 (51.6%); White: 421,439 (70.6%); Black: 136,705 (22.9%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,532 (0.3%); Asian: 12,903 (2.2%); Other race: 10,487 (1.8%); Two or more races: 13,873 (2.3%); Hispanic/Latino: 26,790 (4.5%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 76.4%; 65 and over: 12.6%; Median age: 37.1.

2013 population estimate (rank): 609,893 (28)

Land area: 385 sq mi. (997.15 sq km);

Avg. alt.: 482 ft.

Avg. daily temp.: Jan., 33° F; July, 78.4° F

Churches: 908;

City-owned parks: 122 (14,000+ ac.);

Radio stations: AM, 20; FM, 41;

Television stations: 4 commercial; 1 PBS; 1 city

Civilian Labor Force (MSA) 2013: 314,0771;

Unemployed (2013): 8.4%1,

Per capita personal income (MSA) 2013: $27,2401

Chamber of Commerce: Greater Louisville, Inc., 614 West Main St., Suite 6000, Louisville, KY 40202

1. Louisville-Jefferson County.

Louisville, which merged with Jefferson County in 2003, is the largest city in Kentucky. It is situated at the Falls of the Ohio, at the Kentucky-Indiana border.

In 1778, Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark and his troops established Fort Nelson within the current boundaries of Louisville. The following year, the town was named for France's King Louis XVI, who supported the colonists in the Revolutionary War. Its location at the Ohio River's falls gave the city both military and economic importance. By the early 19th century, it had become a major river port. The completion of the Portland Canal around the falls in 1830 further stimulated its economic growth and cultural development.

Between 1956 and 1984, Jefferson County voters rejected three proposals to create a consolidated local government for the entire county. Finally, in 2000, they approved a merger between Jefferson County and the City of Louisville, until then the county seat. The new Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government was formed on January 6, 2003.

The city is well known for horse racing (the Kentucky Derby has been held there since 1875), and is a leading producer of gin, whiskey, tobacco, and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Other major exports include chemicals, rubber, paint, and electrical appliances. It is home to the American Printing House for the Blind, the world's largest publisher of books in Braille, and the Kentucky School for the Blind. The University of Louisville was the first city-owned university in the U.S., founded in 1798, and the Louisville Free Public Library was one of the first public systems in the country.

See also Encyclopedia: Louisville.

Selected famous natives and residents:

  • Muhammad Ali boxer;
  • Ned Beatty actor;
  • Louis D. Brandeis Supreme Court justice;
  • John Mason Brown critic;
  • Tod Browning director;
  • Julia Carson U.S. representative;
  • A. B. “Happy” Chandler baseball player;
  • William Conrad actor;
  • Michael Dorris author;
  • Irene Dunne actress;
  • Sue Grafton author;
  • Lionel Hampton vibraharpist;
  • Paul Hornung football player;
  • Henry Hull actor;
  • Victor Mature actor;
  • Marsha Norman playwright;
  • Hunter S. Thompson author;
  • Mary Travers folksinger;
  • Gus Van Sant director.

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