Expand your knowledge of the Bluegrass State with these Kentucky facts
There’s a lot more to Kentucky than most people know. These interesting facts about
Kentucky provide insight into the history, traditions and charm of the Bluegrass State.
State Capital of Kentucky
the state capital of Kentucky in 1792 after pledging more manpower toward the construction
of a statehouse than any other city. During the Civil War, Frankfort was the only
Union capital occupied by Confederate troops.
Frankfort is located astride a double curve in the Kentucky River in the central
portion of the state and the Kentucky
capital city is known for having one of the most beautiful capital buildings
in the country. Frankfort’s population is slightly less than 30,000.
Symbols & Traditions
facts about Kentucky
songs, animals, flowers and the flag.
Kentucky's Gross State Product (GSP) during the latest reporting cycle was $156
billion. The largest industry groups, based on their contribution to the total state
gross product are: manufacturing, services, government, insurance and real estate,
retail trade, transportation and public utilities, wholesale trade, construction,
mining, farming and agricultural services, forestry, and fisheries.
The agricultural community is strong in the Bluegrass State–Kentucky had 85,000 farms in 2011, according to the Kentucky field office of the
National Agricultural Statistics Service. Kentucky farm size averaged 164 acres.
Horses were the leading source of farm income for Kentucky farmers, followed by
broilers(chickens), cattle, tobacco, soybeans and corn. Kentucky is home to some
of the world's leading thoroughbred farms and thoroughbred auctions as well as prestigious
events such as the Kentucky State Fair World Championship Horse Show and the Kentucky Horse Park.
Kentucky still leads the nation in burley tobacco production, even though the federal
tobacco price support program was discontinued in 2005. The state is second in the
U.S. in total tobacco production and is in the top 20 in corn, soybeans, winter
wheat, hay, barley and sorghum.
Kentucky is the leading beef cattle state east of the Mississippi River and is eighth
in the nation overall. Kentucky is seventh in broilers and in the top 20 in goats,
dairy cows, swine and chickens other than commercial broilers. For more information
about Kentucky agriculture, visit the
Kentucky Department of Agriculture web site.
Located in the south central United States along the west side of the Appalachian
Mountains, Kentucky ranks 37th in land size, with 39,732 square miles (102,907 square
kilometers). The Commonwealth is bordered by seven states: Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia,
Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois. The Ohio River flows 664 miles (1,068
kilometers) along the northern and western borders of the state. Kentucky's highest
point is Black Mountain in Harlan County, 4,145 feet (1,264 meters) above sea level;
its lowest point, the Mississippi River in Fulton County, 257 feet (78 meters) above
sea level. View a map of the regions of Kentucky to see the state’s distinct areas and attractions.
Kentucky has more miles of running water than any other state except Alaska. The
numerous rivers and water impoundments provide 1,100 commercially navigable miles
Kentucky has 12.7 million acres of commercial forest land - 50% of the state's land
area. The main species of trees are white oak, red oak, walnut, yellow poplar, beech,
sugar maple, white ash and hickory. Kentucky ranks third among hardwood producing
The total value of Kentucky's mineral production in 1999 was $3.8 billion. Principal
minerals and by-products produced in order of value are coal, crushed stone, natural
gas and petroleum. Kentucky is the nation's third largest coal producer - 152.4
million tons in 1996. For more information, please visit the
Energy and Environment Protection Cabinet web site.
In 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Kentucky's population was 4,269,245.
The largest cities are listed below:
- Louisville-Jefferson County Metro 1,556,429
- Owensboro 55,459
- Covington 42,235
- Frankfort 27,322
- Richmond 32,895
- Paducah 25,521
- Lexington-Fayette County 557,224
- Bowling Green 55,097
- Hopkinsville 32,076
- Henderson 27,933
- Jeffersontown 26,226
Want more Kentucky facts? Visit our Famous Kentuckians page to learn about well-known Kentucky natives and residents.