Facts about Kentucky

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  June 1, 1792, the 15th state

Capital:  Frankfort

Total Area:  37th among states, 104,659 sq km (40,409 sq mi)

Water Area:  1,759 sq km (679 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Black Mountain, 1,262 m (4,139 ft)

Total Population:   26th among states
2010 census -  4,339,367

Population Density in 2010:  109.9 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000: 55.8% Urban, 44.2% Rural

Gross State Product - $161.4 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $31,883 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Louisville:  597,337
Lexington-Fayette:  295,803
Bowling Green:  55,067

  • Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the key Civil War political figures of the Union and the Confederacy, were both born in Kentucky less than one hundred miles apart and within nine months of each other.

  • Kentucky's economic growth during the first half of the 19th century was marked by the development of large-scale commercial agriculture, especially the growing of hemp and tobacco.

  • The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

  • Kentucky statesman Henry Clay became known in Congress as the Great Pacificator for his leading role in the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise Measures of 1850.

  • The radio was invented by a Kentuckian named Nathan B. Stubblefield of Murray in 1892.

  • Chevrolet Corvettes are manufactured in Bowling Green.

  • Mammoth Cave is the world's longest cave and was first promoted in 1816, making it the second oldest tourist attraction in the United States.

  • The world's largest free-swinging bell known as the World Peace Bell is on permanent display in Newport.

  • More than $6 billion worth of gold is held in the underground vaults of Fort Knox. This is the largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the world.

  • Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaelin's restaurant in Louisville.

  • The first commercial oil well was on the Cumberland River in McCreary County Kentucky in 1819.