Kentucky State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#42 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2021

Looking to move to the south of the US but not feeling up to extreme heat and humidity? Then, Kentucky is a great option. It combines a nice quality of air and nature with colder weather and industry. Though there are not many educational opportunities, people won’t have problems finding a job. Discover even more aspects of living here below.

Updated: April 26, 2021
  • Area
    40,407 sq mi
  • Capital
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

This is one of four provinces without a simple name, as it’s officially called the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It’s in the northern section of the South of the United States and has miles of borders with many other regions to the west. Some of them include Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. The state capital is called Frankfort, although this is not the largest city. Instead, Louisville is the biggest one, while the second one is Lexington. Almost 20% of the Kentucky population live in this county. 

The territory is not very big, as it’s only the 37th most extensive. As regards its history, it officially became a state in 1792, making it one of the oldest. In the past, it used to be part of Virginia. Today, the nickname is the “Bluegrass State” because of the pastures that support the breeding of horses all through the map and each county. 

Most people here work in industries such as horse racing or coal, though making bourbon is also popular. Those who have children or like nature will be happy to know they can visit many Kentucky state parks. The most famous of them is called My Old Kentucky Home and has a great air quality even for the elders and people with asthma.

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States to Live In

To figure out the best states to live in, we needed to gauge many data and metrics. For example, it’s not enough to know how much a person earns per salary, but other things should also be considered. For example, sales and income tax are crucial. Other items also include education, population density, crime, air and water quality, and so on. 

To understand those numbers and information, we used official documents such as the latest census, the National Center for Health Statistics report, and the FBI report, for example.

Kentucky Rankings

  • Population
    Data: 4,467,673

    The population density is unequal in the territory of this American state. There are only 107 people per square mile, but the number is much higher in other places. For example, the biggest cities include Louisville, Lexington, and Frankfort. The towns that have the lowest population are Westport and Wayland.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $48,375

    The median income per home is quite decent when compared to other southern provinces like Louisiana or Mississippi. Of course, some other factors influence this metric in addition to one’s salary. For instance, the sales tax is around 6%, while the property tax is 0.82%.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $160,589

    Houses and apartments here are not too expensive, with the value of 4 median wages alone. Nicholasville, Lexington, and Union are some of the most expensive cities to buy a house, with apartments that double the median price. The cheapest, instead, are Princeton and Central City.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 5.6%

    In terms of the Kentucky unemployment rate, it’s not that bad. Given the situation of the coronavirus crisis, only 5.6% of the working population has no job. On the good side, those without a job can access bi-weekly benefits to get some help from the government.

  • Poverty
    Data: 16,7%

    KY is far down the scale when talking about poverty. More than 16% of the people living here are poor. Even though they may have a job, this is not enough to make ends meet. The poorest city is Glasgow, with 14,000 inhabitants and a median salary of less than $30,000 annually.

  • Education
    Data: 23.2%

    The education rate can also improve, as only 23.2% of adults hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The most reputable higher education institutions include the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, several miles away. Yet, none of them are in the Ivy League, so most young adults emigrate to attend places that will give them more opportunities.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 46

    The medicine rate is among the lowest in the country. Plus, many people don’t have access to high-complexity medical treatments or medication. The best clinics around the area are Best Care Medical Clinic, White House Clinics, and United Clinics KY Beattyville, though public hospitals in the west are not so well funded by the government.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 9,701

    With over 210 cases of violent crime , certain KY places are a bit dangerous. Plus, other common criminal actions include rape, with 35 occurrences every 100,000 people or aggravated assault. But this doesn’t happen everywhere. Some of the most dangerous places include Mayfield and Louisville.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 11

    One of the best things this Bluegrass state has is the quality of air. Only 11 violations render the environment healthy even for those with respiratory problems. The water is a bit more complicated, but it’s still good enough to be drunk from the tap in most regions.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 2.3%

    The state does fairly well in this respect. Their miles of roads are in a nice condition, and only 2% of them need repairs in each county. The interstate bridges and highways can be in a much better state. Some examples include the Colville Covered and the Walcott Covered bridges.

Kentucky Facts

  • The state motto is “United we stand, divided we fall,” showing how nationalist they are. 
  • It became the 15th state of the Union back in 1792, making the place one of the oldest in national history. 
  • Native Americans have inhabited this land on the map for more than 14,000 years, so they have a rich history. Some of the most important tribes include the Yuchi and the Chickasaw
  • The flag has a deep blue color with a white coat of arms right in the middle.
  • Most of the population lives in big cities like Louisville or to the west in the capital, Frankfort, Franklin County. 
  • The Kentucky abbreviation is KY for practical and mail purposes. 
  • There are 120 Kentucky counties, quite a large number. 
  • People who love animals can enjoy a great variety of fauna in this place. These include bears, minks, foxes, bald eagles, bobcats, and more. 
  • Almost half of the province is covered in forests, so this national land has a lot of natural resources such as wood, coal, and sugar. 
  • The state flower is the goldenrod, while the state bird is the cardinal.
  • Many famous people were born in KY, such as the former president Abraham Lincoln.

Kentucky in Photos

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Kentucky Map
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Kentucky Barrel Room
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Kentucky Black Fence Leads
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Kentucky Capitol Building
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Kentucky Cumberland Falls
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Kentucky Frankfort
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Kentucky Frazier Museum
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Kentucky Louisville Downtown
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Kentucky Louisville Fourth Street
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Kentucky Louisville

FAQ Section

  • Where Is Kentucky?

    It is located in the Southern region, the largest of the United States. It has borders with many other states, such as Illinois, Wyoming, Ohio, Virginia, and others. Yet, it is not as south as Louisiana or Mississippi, so the climate is not so hot and humid here.

  • What Time Zone Is Kentucky in?

    The United States is quite a big country, so every American region has its own time zone. The South, for example, usually has GMT-5 or GMT-4. Such is the case of KY. Keep in mind that the time will change during summer due to daylight savings.

  • How to File for Unemployment in KY?

    People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic or any other issues can file for unemployment. This gives them bi-weekly benefits amounting to the minimum salary.

    The steps to take are:

    1. Enter the site for social security in the district people live in.
    2. Create an account using personal details and ask for the benefits.
    3. Waiting for a week to see if they have been allocated. Contact the authorities if this is not the case.

  • What to Do in Kentucky?

    This province is not as touristy as California or Massachusetts, but it still has many wonders to experience, such as:

    • This is the home of the longest cave system on the whole planet. The name is Mammoth Cave National Park.
    • It’s also known for being the home of the two biggest lakes made by man.
    • The Red River Gorge Geological area is another landmark the visitors should not miss if they ever go to KY.

  • What Is the Minimum Wage in KY?

    The United States as a country has established a national minimum wage to ensure their people will not starve. This money should be enough for them to house, feed, and pay their bills. In the case of KY, the minimum wage per hour is $7.25.

  • What Is the Bluegrass State Known for?

    This state is known as the Bluegrass State because of the characteristic pastures that grow here.

    • Many Americans claim the best bourbon is made here, so it’s a nice beverage to taste.
    • There’s a rich tradition regarding horses and racing. Those who like these animals will find the finest specimens here.
    • Another feature is that most people use hats for good luck.
    • The Derby Museum is also famous in the whole American country.