Kentucky Gazetteer

Kentucky - Basic Information

Became a State: June 1, 1792 - 15th State
Population: 4,339,367 (2010 Census) - Ranks 26th
Land Area: 39,486.3 square miles - Ranks 37th
Population Density: 109.9 persons per square mile - Ranks 22nd
Housing Units: 1,927,164 (2010 Census)
Housing Unit Density: 48.8 housing units per square mile
July 1, 2014 Estimates: Kentucky Data and Demographics
State Capital: Frankfort
State Website: Official Commonwealth of Kentucky Website
Kentucky State Flag
Kentucky state flag

Kentucky History

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The area of Kentucky was originally part of Virginia within the original United States. Virginia ceded the district of Kentucky to the United States in 1792, and this area was included briefly in the Southwest Territory ("territory . . . south of the Ohio River"). Upon resolution of a boundary dispute with Tennessee in 1820, Kentucky assumed generally the same boundary as the present state.

Kentucky is one of four states that are legally described as a commonwealth. Although it was still part of Virginia, census data for Kentucky are available separately beginning with the 1790 census. The population shown for Kentucky in the 1790-1820 censuses is based on the present state boundary, not the territory claimed by Kentucky from Tennessee along its southern boundary. The population of the entire legally established state of Virginia (of which the area of Kentucky was a part) in 1790 was 821,287.

Data for the legally established state of Kentucky are available beginning with the 1800 census, minus claimed territory. 

Kentucky Geographical Areas

See: Geographic Terms & Concepts

Counties & County Equivalents

There are 120 counties in Kentucky. Two counties are not considered to be functioning because they have consolidated governmental functions with an incorporated place. Fayette County consolidated with the former Lexington city to form the incorporated place of Lexington-Fayette urban county. Jefferson County consolidated with the former Louisville city to form the consolidated city of Louisville/Jefferson County metro government. The other counties are each governed by a county judge executive and a board of commissioners.

County Subdivisions

There are 493 county subdivisions in Kentucky. They are all census county divisions (CCDs), which are delineated for statistical purposes, have no legal function, and are not governmental units.  CCDs were first established in the 1960 census. Prior to 1960, the minor civil divisions used in the census include magisterial districts, election districts, and voting precincts.

Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))

Kentucky has 524 places; 422 incorporated places and 102 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 420 cities, 1 urban county, and 1 balance of county representing the area of the Louisville/Jefferson consolidated city outside of the incorporated places. Kentucky has one consolidated city — Louisville/Jefferson County consolidated city. Louisville/Jefferson metro government is a consolidated city because it contains 83 separately incorporated places. There are four governmentally inactive cities in Kentucky. The minimum population required for incorporation is 300 people.

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Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z

Kentucky Civil Features

Kentucky Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas

There are 5 Metropolitan and 15 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Kentucky. KY Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas

Kentucky ZIP Code Tabulation Areas

There are 770 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Kentucky. View Kentucky ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.

School Districts

Kentucky has 3 elementary school districts, 3 secondary school districts, and 174 unified school districts.  Two of the unified school districts are run by the Department of Defense. View Kentucky Public and Private Schools.

Congressional Districts

For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Kentucky had six congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Kentucky continues to have six congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census. View Map of Kentucky Congressional Districts.

State Legislative Districts

There are 38 state senate districts and 100 state house districts in Kentucky.

Kentucky Physical, Cultural and Historic Features

  1. Kentucky Physical Features such as lakes, islands, streams, valleys, summits, etc.
  2. Kentucky Cultural Features such as schools, churches, hospitals, parks, dams, reservoirs, etc.
  3. Kentucky Historical Features and Kentucky Historic Landmarks

Kentucky Maps

  • To find a ZIP Code: input the address in the top-left search box of any ZIP Code Map.
  • To find the County: input the address in the top-left search box of the interactive KY map.
  • To find the School Attendance Zone: input the address in the top-left search box of any KY school map

Kentucky Census Data Comparison Tool

Compare Selected Kentucky Census Data Data: Population,   Population Density,   Diversity Index,   Median Household Incomes,   Per Capita Income
Locations: Cites & Towns,   Counties,   ZIP Codes
Highest or Lowest: Show Highest Values,   Show Lowest Values
Results: Show 20 Results,   Show 200 Results
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