What is the size of Kentucky?

The size of Kentucky is 40,409 sq miles (or 104,659 sq km). It is 140 Kentuckymiles (225 km) wide and 379 miles (610 km) long. In terms of size, it is the 37th biggest in the US.

Geographical Information

1.7% of the area is water. The latitude is 36 degrees, 30’ N to 39 degrees, 09’ N. The longitude is 81 degrees, 58’ W to 89 degrees, 34’ W. The highest elevation point is Black Mountain at 4,145 ft (1,263 m).

The lowest is the Mississippi River (257 ft (78 m). The mean is 755 ft (230 m). Kentucky’s population (as of 2008) is estimated to be 4,269,245. The density is 101.7 sq mi (that’s 39.28 sq km).
Kentucky has over 90,000 miles (140,000 km) of rivers and lakes.

The size of Kentucky’s artificial lake is the biggest east of Mississippi. Except for Alaska, the state has more navigable kilometers of water than any state in the US. The state forest encompasses 153 sq km (37,896 acres). The world’s biggest cave system is in Mammoth Cave National Park.

Population Size through the Years

In 1790, Kentucky’s population was 73,677. In ten years the figure jumped to 220,955. In 1810 the figure rose again sharply to 406,511. By 1830 the population had reached 687,917. By 1860, Kentucky’s population had exceeded 1 million (1, 155,684).

The figure rose to 1,648,690 in 1880 and to 2,289,905 in 1910. The size of Kentucky’s population reached 2,614,589 in 1930. By 1960 it had gone passed the three million mark (3,038,156). A 1980 census showed the figure was 3,660,777. By the year 2000 its residents numbered 4,041,769.

Counties and Cities

There are 120 counties in Kentucky. The largest is Pike County (787 sq mi). The most heavily populated is Jefferson County with 693,604 (as of 2000). In terms of population, the biggest city is Louisville with a population of 557,224 (all city population estimates are as of 2008).

Next is Lexington at 282,114. Owensboro has a population of 55,516. This is followed by Bowling Green with 55,097 residents. Rounding up the top five is Covington with 42,235.

The population size of Kentucky’s other cities are as follows: Richmond has 32,895 inhabitants; Hopkinsville is next with 32,076 followed by Henderson with 27,933. Florence is 9th with a 2008 population of 27,745.

At number ten is Frankfurt (the capital) with 27,322. At number 11 is Nicholasville with 26,444 and at 12 is Jeffersontown with 26,226.


For the year 2000, white Americans comprised 91.53% of the entire population. African Americans made up 7.76%, followed by Asians at 0.92%. American Indians make up 0.61% and Native Hawaiians the remaining 0.8%. 33.88% of the population belongs to evangelical Protestant churches.

The next largest groups are the Southern Baptist Convention at 24%, Roman Catholics at 10%, 8% to other mainline Protestant churches. The rest are made up of other religious groups and denominations.

The size of Kentucky’s land area may only put it in the middle among the states, but its natural attractions and wildlife rank among the highest in America.

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