Kentucky flag

Kentucky State Information

Official Name: The Commonwealth of Kentucky

Capital: Frankfort

Organized as a territory: January 1, 1777

Entered Union: June 1, 1792 (15th State)

Present constitution adopted: 1891

State abbreviation/Postal code: KY/K.Y.

State Area Code: 270, 502, 606, 859

Nicknames: Bluegrass State

Origin of name: From an Iroquoian word "Ken-tah-ten" meaning "land of tomorrow"

Motto: ”United we stand, divided we fall”

State symbols:

Bird: Cardinal (1926)

Butterfly: Viceroy (1990)

Fish: Kentucky spotted bass (2005)

Game Species: Eastern gray squirrel (1968)

Horse: Thoroughbred (1996)

Insect: Honeybee (2010)

Flower: Goldenrod (1926)

Fruit: Blackberry (2004)

Tree: Tulip poplar (1994)

Fossil: Brachiopod (1986)

Gem: Freshwater pearl (1986)

Mineral: Coal (1998)

Rock: Kentucky agate (2000)

Soil: Crider soil series (1990)

Drink: Milk (2005)

Dance: Clogging (1990)

Language: English (1984)

Silverware Pattern: Old Kentucky bluegrass (1996)

Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette  (2010)

Song: "My Old Kentucky Home" (1928)

Bluegrass Song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe (1988)

Music: Bluegrass music (2007)

Musical Instrument: Appalachian dulcimer (2001)


Governor: Andy Beshear, D (Since Dec. 2019)

Lieut. Governor: Jacqueline Coleman, D (Since Dec. 2019)

Secy. of State: Michael G. Adams, R (Since Jan. 2020)

Treasurer: Allison Ball, D (Since Jan,2016)

Atty. General: Daniel Cameron, R (Since Dec. 2019)

Senators: Rand Paul, R (to Jan. 2023); Mitch McConnell, R (to Jan. 2021)

U.S. Representatives: 6

Historical biographies of Congressional members


Residents: Kentuckian

Resident population: 4,555,000 (26th Largest State, 2022)

10 largest cities (2023): Lexington-Fayette, 330,601; Louisville, 323,749; Bowling Green, 76,563; Owensboro, 61,059; Covington, 41,057; Georgetown, 39,483; Richmond, 39,483; Florence, 32,546; Elizabethtown, 32,252; Nicholasville, 32,017

Race/Ethnicity: White (86.25%); Black (8.1%); American Indian (0.2%); Asian (1.5%); Other race (1.1%); Two or more races (2.8%); Hispanic/Latino: (3.0%).

Religion: Unaffiliated (22%); Evangelical Protestant (49%); Mainline Protestant (11%); Historically Black Protestant (5%); Catholic (10%); Mormon (0.7%); Other (2%)

Sex: Male (49.2%); Female (50.8%).

Age: Under 19 (25.2%); 18-64 (58.5%); 65 and over (16.4%). Median Age: 39.0


Resident population: 4,555,000 (26th Largest State, 2022)

10 largest cities (2023): Lexington-Fayette, 330,601; Louisville, 323,749; Bowling Green, 76,563; Owensboro, 61,059; Covington, 41,057; Georgetown, 39,483; Richmond, 39,483; Florence, 32,546; Elizabethtown, 32,252; Nicholasville, 32,017

Race/Ethnicity: White (86.25%); Black (8.1%); American Indian (0.2%); Asian (1.5%); Other race (1.1%); Two or more races (2.8%); Hispanic/Latino: (3.0%)

Religion: Unaffiliated (22%); Evangelical Protestant (49%); Mainline Protestant (11%); Historically Black Protestant (5%); Catholic (10%); Mormon (0.7%); Other (2%)

Sex: Male (49.2%); Female (50.8%).

Age: Under 19 (25.2%); 18-64 (58.5%); 65 and over (16.4%). Median Age: 39.0


GDP: 234 billion dollars (28th in U.S., 2021)

Unemployment: 3.8% (2022)


Land area: 40,411 sq mi (104,659 km2)

Number of counties: 120

Largest county by population and area: Jefferson, 777,874 (2021); Pike, 788 sq mi.

State forests: 10 (48,829 ac.)

State parks: 45

Tourism office



See more on Kentucky:
Encyclopedia: Kentucky
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

Printable Outline Maps


Kentucky is famous for a whole host of cultural, sporting, and industrial achievements, as well as legendary American figures. The state has brought U.S. Bluegrass music, rich bourbon whiskey, the Kentucky Derby, and Muhammad Ali. In this piece, we celebrate the Bluegrass State and provide all you need to know about this most celebrated state.

Kentucky is the 37th largest state, covering 40,411 square miles. It has a population of 4.55 million, making it the 26th most populous state, and its biggest cities are Lexington (330,000), Louisville (323,000), and Bowling Green (72,200). There are 120 Kentucky counties.

Northern Kentucky is bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio and by Tennessee to the south. To the east are West Virginia and Virginia and, finally, to the west, Missouri. The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort.

The state of Kentucky entered the Union on June 1, 1792, and was the 15th state to do so. The name Kentucky is thought to have derived from the Iroquoian word for “meadowland” or “land of tomorrow.”

Kentucky State Geography

Kentucky is covered by around 670 square miles of water. Along with the Kentucky River itself, the Ohio River runs along the northern border of the state (near Cincinnati) while the Mississippi River runs along the western border. Other rivers in the state include the Cumberland and the Green. Its lakes include Green River Lake, Rough River Lakes, Barkley Lake, and Dewey Lake.

The average elevation is 750ft while Kentucky’s highest point is 4,139 ft above sea level. It is approximately 380 miles across and 140 miles from north to south. Annual temperatures in Kentucky range from 52 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 14 degrees Celsius). However, weather can vary from freezing in winter to warm and humid in summer. Average precipitation is around 45 inches (114 cm), and snow can range from 10 inches to 25 inches (25 cm to 63 cm) depending on the area and elevation.

Geographically varied, Kentucky consists of five regions: the Bluegrass Region, the Western Coal Field, the Cumberland Plateau, the Jackson Purchase Region, and the Pennyroyal Region. The Bluegrass Region consists of low hills known as knobs and the Knobs Region covers a large part of the area. The Cumberland Plateau is part of the Appalachian Plateau, which stretches from New York to Alabama. Around 40% of Kentucky’s land is forest, and the state tree is the coffee tree.

Kentucky has 59 state parks and four state forests.  

Kentucky State People & Population

According to the 2020 Census, the population of Kentucky is 4.55 million. Its population growth rate of 0.47% is the 34th highest of the U.S. states. It has a population density of 110 people per square mile. There is a fairly even mix between rural and urban dwellers, although urban areas are far more affluent.

The population grew exponentially in the 18th and 19th centuries and there was a 200% increase between the Censuses in 1790 and 1800, continuing to grow into the 20th and 21st centuries. It is estimated that the population will grow to 5.3 million by 2050. 

Gender is split between 50.8% female and 49.2% male. The median age is 38 years. 76% of the population are Christian, 2% are non-Christian with the remainder of no religious affiliation. In terms of ethnic groups, 82.4% of the population are White, 8% are Black or African American, 3% are of two or more races and 1.5% are Asian.

Prior to the Civil War, African Americans made up 25% of Kentucky’s population; however, there was significant migration to the north after the War. Just over half of the African American population (52%) live in the Louisville Metro Area, with around 44% in Jefferson County. Despite a relatively low Hispanic population in Kentucky compared to the rest of the United States, the population grew by 121% between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses. Native Americans nowadays only account for 1% of the population.

Kentucky State Government

The Kentucky state government consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. It has had four constitutions which were written between 1792 and 1891. Similar to the U.S. President, the state governor is allowed to serve two terms of office lasting four years. In addition, they may run once more for office after four years have elapsed. There are gubernatorial elections held annually. 

The general assembly is bicameral with a senate of 38 members serving four years (with half elected every two years) and a house of representatives of 100 members also serving four years.

The Governor of Kentucky (at the time of writing in 2023) is Andy Beshear (Democrat), who was elected in 2019. Secretary of State is Michael G Adams. Both the state and federal government in Kentucky has traditionally been Democrat. However, the Senators for Kentucky are currently both Republican: namely Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. In addition, the majority of the current members of the House of Representatives for the six districts of Kentucky are Republican, including:

  • James Comer (Republican — R).
  • Brett Guthrie (R).
  • Morgan McGarvey (Democrat — D).
  • Thomas Massie (R).
  • Hal Rogers (R).
  • Andy Barr (R).

The current Attorney General for Kentucky is Daniel Cameron (R) who has been in place since 2020.

Kentucky was considered a bellwether state for the presidential election from 1964 through to 2004. However, this ended in 2008 when the state voted for John McCain, who lost the presidency to Barack Obama.

Despite the mixture of Republicans and Democrats, the two parties often work together on public policy and on initiatives for the good of the state. In 2022, Republicans signed off on an affordable healthcare program that originated during Barack Obama's presidency.

Kentucky State Economy

Kentucky’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was worth $234 billion in 2021. It accounts for around 1% of the U.S. GDP with 18% coming from Manufacturing. Its economy is noted for two key products: the distilling of Bourbon whiskey and the breeding of thoroughbred racehorses. Tobacco, produced in towns such as Owensboro, is second only to North Carolina among U.S. producers and has long been the state's chief cash crop.

The state's chief manufactures include electrical equipment, food products, automobiles, nonelectrical machinery, chemicals, and apparel. Printing and publishing as well as tourism have become important industries. Kentucky is also one of the major U.S. producers of coal, the state's most valuable mineral; stone, petroleum, and natural gas are also extracted.

Agriculture is another important facet of the Kentucky economy. Horses, cattle, and livestock make up around two-thirds of the agricultural economy. In addition, corn, dairy goods, hay (to which the largest share of the state's acreage is devoted), and soybeans are also economically important. However, despite the importance of the agricultural economy to the state of Kentucky, since the 1950s, two-thirds of the state’s farms have shut down.

In 2021, the median household income in Kentucky was $55,573 per annum, which was over $14,000 lower than the median U.S. household income. The economy varies by region, with the Bluegrass and Pennyroyal regions being more affluent and having a wider range of manufacturers and industries. The Western Coalfield region is more reliant on demand for coal and Eastern Kentucky is mostly agricultural and affected by weather and crop prices. Indeed, Eastern Kentucky contains some of the poorest parts of America.

According to the Cabinet for Economic Development, the unemployment rate in Kentucky in 2017 was 5.5%.

Kentucky State Interesting Facts

When people think of Kentucky, quite often a bucket of fried chicken springs to mind! However, that would be to underestimate Kentucky’s contribution to the American way of life.

Here we highlight the state’s most famous cultural icons.

Kentucky Derby

Held every year since 1875 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously held sport in the United States. It is often referred to as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sport” as well as “The Run for The Roses”, as 554 red roses are given to the winner.

The Derby was originally run across 1½ miles to match the Epsom Derby in the UK. However, the distance was reduced to 1.25 miles in 1896. The fastest-ever time was run by the horse Secretariat in 1973, clocked in at 1 minute and 59.4 seconds. The youngest jockey to win the Derby (at just 15) was  Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton in 1892, and the oldest, at 54, was Bill Shoemaker. Shoemaker has also ridden the most Kentucky Derby horses (26 horses).

Only 3-year-old horses are allowed to compete, and the cost of entering a horse in the Derby is a cool $25,000 (as well as a $25,000 starting fee). However, the prize for winning is $1.86 million. It perhaps comes as no surprise that more Kentucky horses have won the Derby than any other state, given the contribution of the thoroughbred industry to the Kentucky economy.  

Huge crowds visit the event each year with the largest crowd coming in at 175,000 in 2015. The mint julep is a popular drink at the event and over 120,000 are consumed at the event each year. In addition, 142,000 hot dogs are eaten, along with 13,800 pounds of beef, 30,000 cookies, and 300,000 strawberries.

Bourbon Whiskey

No piece on Kentucky would be complete without mention of the state’s signature beverage. Bourbon is synonymous with the Bluegrass state and Kentucky distilleries produce 95% of all bourbon made.

The name comes from Bourbon County in Kentucky and was originally the name of a powerful 16th-century French dynasty. Settlers came to Bourbon County when then-President George Washington incentivized settlers to the south of Kentucky by promising 60 acres of land in Pennsylvania if farmers planted American whiskey on their farms. However, it was the third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson who named the county in honor of France’s participation in the American War of Revolution.

The stamp on the barrels containing the corn-based liquor bore the name of Bourbon County, and the name of the whiskey was born.

Despite bourbon being synonymous with whiskey, not all bourbon is whiskey. This is dependent on the ingredients and the type of barrel used. So, what constitutes bourbon?

  • All bourbon must be made in the USA.
  • It must contain at least 51% corn (but other grains can be mixed into the blend).
  • It must be distilled at a maximum of 160 proof.
  • It must be aged for at least two years.
  • It must be aged at a maximum of 125 proof in charred oak barrels.
  • Barrels cannot be reused and must be a new brand new for every new batch.
  • It must be bottled with a minimum of 80 proof.
  • The only additive allowed is water – anything other than water means the drink can only be classed as a "whiskey liqueur".

So, next time you order a bourbon, make sure what you are drinking meets these conditions and ask how old it is. Anything less just isn’t bourbon!

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most popular natural tourist destinations in the U.S. Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world, with more than 400 miles of winding caves and tunnels (and more being discovered each year). Aside from its size, the cave has many distinctive features.

The composition of the rock mostly prevents the formation of stalagmites and stalactites, except in some areas where faults in the rock allow for unique formations. Mammoth Cave is also home to an indigenous species of blind shrimp, the Kentucky cave shrimp. 

Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass music is a popular and respected form of American roots music, or traditional U.S. folk music. Bluegrass gets its name from Bill Monroe's band the Blue Grass Boys.

The genre incorporates elements of British traditional songs, Appalachian folk music, and African-American music traditions like blues and jazz. Bluegrass is characterized by its use of acoustic string instruments — especially the fiddle and banjo — and its multi-layered vocals, which give it a distinctive sound. Like jazz, bluegrass can be highly improvisational. 

Muhammad Ali

Of all the famous Kentuckians mentioned here, the most famous of recent times is undoubtedly Muhammad Ali. He is perhaps the most famous sportsperson of all time and is still the only boxer to win the World Heavyweight Championship three times. Ali became an inspiration to many for his willingness to forego personal and sporting gain for his personal beliefs, his stand against racial prejudice, and the way he dealt with his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease with much dignity and stoicism.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville in January 1942, Cassius took up boxing in high school aged 12 (after having personal property stolen), and won the Olympic Gold medal in Rome in 1960 for the light heavyweight division; although he later threw the medal in the Kentucky River after being refused service in a Louisville restaurant because of his color.

His bravado and confidence in interviews (often naming the round in which he would stop his opponent) led to his nickname of "the Louisville Lip". However, he was able to back his words with actions and Cassius Clay won his first World Heavyweight Championship in February 1964.

Shortly after, he became influenced by the teachings of the Nation of Islam, and his conversion to Islam led him to change his name to the one he became most famous for — Muhammad Ali. Although he continued to fight, he also became more passionate about political causes. His refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War, led to him having his titles stripped, his boxing license revoked, and being given a five-year prison sentence (although he was released on appeal). Ali's words at the time summed up his beliefs and became an inspiration for many: "I'm giving up my title, my wealth, maybe my future. Many great men have been tested for their religious beliefs. If I pass this test, I'll come out stronger than ever."

His later diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease did nothing to stop his resolve or his beliefs, and he viewed his condition as a blessing. He never stopped campaigning for justice and equality and became an icon to people of all colors, nationalities, and religions. His death in June 2016 saddened the whole world and ended the life of a true hero.

Kentucky State History

We have learned about modern Kentucky, but we have not yet delved into its past. How did it come into being and become one of America’s pivotal states, described as "the place where the North meets the South"?

Pre-Colonial History

For many years, a myth was perpetrated that Kentucky was uninhabited prior to the settlers from Europe. However, this was disproved by various archaeological findings many years later. Kentucky’s prehistoric cultures, according to modern archaeologists, spanned six cultures from 13,000 BC to 1,650 AD. These were:

  • Paleo-Indian culture.
  • Archaic culture.
  • Woodland culture.
  • Adena culture.
  • Mississippian culture.
  • Fort Ancient culture.

Kentucky has a very long archaeological record of human habitation. Records of different native groups in Kentucky date back over 15,000 years and cover many different cultural eras. Among the many tools and sites that remain, some of the most interesting are sites where people buried their dogs. The evidence suggests that the local peoples domesticated and made companions of dogs quite early (something many Kentuckians today will undoubtedly relate to). In the 1000s CE, Kentucky was home to Mississippian and Fort Ancient cultures. The most famous nations present in Kentucky were the Chickasaw, Lenape, Wyandot, Cherokee, and Shawnee. 

From 1650 until the settlers arrived, there were numerous wars among Native American tribes over control of the Great Meadow region. These wars took place between the Shawnee tribes from the north of the Ohio River and the Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes from the south of the Cumberland River. However, before White settlers arrived, no one tribe held control over what would become Kentucky.

Kentucky was thoroughly explored by the French in the 1600 and 1700s, where they established a military and economic presence. The fertile lands of Kentucky and the trading prospects made the area attractive to the colonial powers. Kentucky was the first region west of the Allegheny Mountains to be settled by American colonists.

It is believed that the Cherokees were the first to come into contact with Spanish explorers in the mid-1500s. The British also developed a trading relationship with the Cherokees on their arrival and, indeed, the Cherokees fought with the British against the French in the Seven Years' War. However, their population was halved by the smallpox epidemics of the 1700s.

Colonial History

The area now known as Kentucky was first explored in 1750-1751 by Dr. Thomas Walker and a surveyor by the name of Christopher Gist. There was no further exploration for many years due to the Seven Years' War; however, frontiersman Daniel Boone visited in 1769 and saw the area’s rich resources and potential.

Harrodsburg became Kentucky’s first settlement in 1774. In 1775, the Transylvania Company was set up specifically to settle land between Kentucky, Cumberland, and Ohio Rivers. The Wilderness Road was subsequently developed over Kentucky’s Cumberland Gap which brought over 200,000 settlers.

These developments were opposed by the people living in the region, and a military alliance of Shawnee, Miami, and several smaller First Nations groups fought against the U.S. Army under General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. However, Kentucky was annexed by Virginia in 1776, and the agreement with the Cherokee was nullified.

The U.S. victory in 1794 at Fallen Timbers in Ohio marked the end of Native American resistance in the area, with one notable exception: twenty years after the battle, Fallen Timbers veteran Tecumseh would lead troops against the U.S., culminating in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Kentucky joined as a slave state, although large immigrant populations (especially Germans) were a major abolitionist bloc in the state (as elsewhere in the South). The tensions between pro- and anti-slavery groups in Kentucky resulted in the fighting on Bloody Monday in 1850, when Anglo-American Protestants rioted and attacked many Irish and German immigrants. 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.

After the Revolutionary War, the Cherokee ceded some land to the colonists. However, colonists overstepped their boundaries, and this led to several battles between a confederacy of Native American tribes (aided by the British) and colonists over land. Despite numerous treaties being signed to end the battles and protect indigenous land, new settlers in the 1800s began demanding new land in Kentucky.

By the early 1800s, the Cherokee and Chickamauga had ceded land to the U.S. Government, and the Jackson Purchase of 1818 saw the Chickasaw hand over their Kentucky territory west of the Tennessee River

Like many states, Kentucky was fiercely divided during the Civil War of Independence. Situated between three free states and three slave states, it was seen as where the North and the South converged. Although slavery was common (Kentucky had the third highest number of slaveowners in the country), it was historically loyal to the Union, and state guard companies were formed to keep the state neutral during the war. Kentucky was considered so important to the Union that even President Abraham Lincoln was moved to write: "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game."

Although Lincoln was a Kentuckian, the state voted for John Bell from Tennessee in the presidential election of 1860, which Lincoln won thus sparking the civil war. In August 1861, state elections saw the Unionist candidates win by a large margin and ended the state’s neutrality. Kentucky entered the civil war which saw 75,000 Kentuckians fight for the Federal army (around 20,000 of which were African-American) with around 25,000 fighting for the Confederacy. Around a third of this total died either through battle or disease.

As it did not leave the Union, the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to Kentucky and it did not ratify the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. In fact, slaveowners were forced by federal law to emancipate those enslaved. However, in 1976, in a symbolic act, it finally ratified the Amendment and brought this dark part of its history to an end.

Pre-Civil War History

The Antebellum Period in America spans from 1812 to the start of the Civil War in 1861. Kentucky during this period saw a huge cultural, technological, and social change. The burgeoning cotton trade in the South brought the expansion of slavery which exploited cheap labor and land availability.

During this period, there was a huge influx of immigrants into Kentucky due to the development of roads and rivers. There became an increasing number of religious and cultural groups (such as the Shakers) that funded and influenced education. Libraries and newspapers were set up and music and theater became popular pastimes.

However, this influx, particularly of Irish and German immigrants, led to violence by English Protestants against these groups. In 1855, the Louisville riots took place, led by members of the Know-Nothing movement, in which houses and neighborhoods were burned and looted. Many people were killed and injured.

There also took place a mass escape of slaves in 1848, orchestrated by one Edward James “Patrick” Doyle, who, in return for payment, offered to free slaves from their owners. The armed slaves were eventually confronted by an army general and his followers, with many escaping, others being sent back to their owners, and Doyle being jailed and given 20 years of hard labor.

In the same year as the Civil War ended, the University of Kentucky was established, which gave birth to such higher education sporting institutions as the Kentucky Wildcats.

Post-Civil War History 

The fighting between Kentucky citizens would continue for decades after the Civil War. On top of the general violence against Black people by groups like the KKK, many families carried grudges from before and during the war. The violence continued in the booming coal towns, and the violent climate contributed to the assassination of the state governor in 1900. By contrast, although the state was a focal point of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, it didn't see violence comparable to Alabama or Mississippi. 

From 1870 to 1900, Kentucky entered what became known as the Gilded Age. This marked the development of America into a more innovative and industrial country. The Transcontinental Railroad led to the movement of goods and people across the country. However, the owners of the railroads were often ruthless men who brokered deals with the government while contravening labor laws and exploiting workers.

After the Civil War, Kentucky saw big changes economically. It had traditionally been a producer of hemp; however, tobacco production became a major driver of its economy.

Although the war had ended, violent feuds took place, particularly in the mountains among clans and Kentucky developed a reputation for bloodshed.  In addition, there was still a lot of lingering resentment between Unionists and Confederates after the war.

The Gilded Age also saw the rise of the women’s Suffrage movement. In Kentucky, this was led by Laura Clay, daughter of Cassius Clay, a leading abolitionist (not to be confused with the boxer who later became Muhammad Ali).

As the 19th century turned into the 20th century, industrialization continued apace in America, and many rural communities declined as people moved to more urban industrialized areas. The coal industry in particular flourished and the invention of the automobile led to greater mobility among residents.

However, despite The Great Depression affecting every facet of American life, the New Deal provided many benefits to Kentucky in the building of roads, schools, and the Kentucky Dam; which provided lower-cost electricity to locals.

Modern History

The onset of World War Two saw a mobilization of over 300,000 Kentuckians into the Army. In addition, people flocked to the larger urban centers to work in the war effort. This transformed Kentucky from a rural to a more industrialized economy and improved the economic and social fortunes of both African Americans and women in general. The Ford Motor Company had a plant in Louisville that produced as many as 93,000 Jeeps by the end of the war.

After the World Wars, Kentucky began to rapidly industrialize. The manufacturing investments of the wartime years continued, and the state soon became on the nation's leading automotive manufacturers. Part of the state's later modernizing efforts included early adoption of Common Core, and early adoption of the Affordable Care Act. 

With regard to Civil Rights, in 1966, the state passed the Kentucky Civil Rights Act which banished segregation in employment and public accommodations, as well as ended housing discrimination. This was praised by Martin Luther King, Jr. as “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a Southern state.”

By 1970, the population of Kentucky was more urban than rural. However, the production of tobacco remained a staple of the state’s economy. In addition, the traditional coal mining industry remained; however, many left the state, moving north to the automotive centers of production such as Detroit.

In 2009, Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core set of educational standards from kindergarten upwards. More recently, in 2015, Jenean Hampton became the first African American to hold statewide office in Kentucky.

Kentucky: An Overview

We hope you come away from this article with a bit more knowledge about the Bluegrass State of Kentucky and can impress friends and family with your newfound knowledge. If you are unable to visit it in person, you can read more about the state by visiting the state governor’s website at Additionally, test your knowledge of the entire world by guessing How Small Are These Microstates?

Famous Kentucky Natives and Residents

U.S. State Comparisons

All U.S. States: Geography & Climate
Record Highest Temperatures
Record Lowest Temperatures
Highest, Lowest, and Mean Elevations
Land and Water Area

All U.S. States: Population & Economy
Historical Population Statistics, 1790–Present
Per Capita Personal Income
Minimum Wage Rates
State Taxes
Federal Government Expenditure
Percent of People in Poverty
Births and Birth Rates
Percentage of Uninsured by State

All U.S. States: Society & Culture:
Most Livable States
Healthiest States
Most Dangerous States
Smartest States
Crime Index
Residency Requirements for Voting
Compulsory School Attendance Laws
Driving Laws
National Public Radio Stations

See also: