Kentucky Facts


Kentucky Location In The US Kentucky State Map

Kentucky is known for:

  • Horse racing
  • Famous bourbon distilleries
  • Coal mining industry
  • College basketball
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Bluegrass

Geography & Demographics

State Abbreviation KY
State Capital Frankfort
State Size Total (Land + Water): 40,409 sq miles; Land Only: 39,728 sq miles
Number of Counties 120
Time Zone Eastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone
Bordering States Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Highest PointBlack Mountain, 4,145 feet
Tallest Building 400 West Market in Louisville, 549 feet
Largest StadiumKroger Field in Lexington, capacity 61,000
National ParksMammoth Cave National Park
State Population (2020)4,505,836
State Population Density113.4 people / square mile
Area Codes 270, 364, 502, 606, 859
Top 5 Cities (2020 population) Louisville (767,452)
Lexington (324,735)
Bowling Green (70,631)
Owensboro (60,344)
Covington (40,314)

Government & Legislature

Statehood June 1, 1792
Electoral Votes8
State Flag Kentucky State Flag
GovernorOfficial Kentucky Governor Website
U. S. SenatorsList of U. S. Senators From Kentucky
U. S. RepresentativesList of U. S. Representatives From Kentucky
State SenatorsList of Kentucky State Senators
State RepresentativesList of Kentucky State Representatives
State GovernmentOfficial Site
State ConstitutionKentucky State Constitution
Same-Sex Marriage Legalization DateJune 26, 2015
Road ConditionsKentucky Road Conditions
State Quarter Issue Date October 15, 2001

State Symbols

State Bird Cardinal
State ButterflyViceroy butterfly
State DanceClogging
State DrinkMilk
State FishKentucky spotted bass
State Flower Goldenrod
State FossilBrachiopod
State FruitBlackberry
State GemstoneFreshwater pearl
State HorseThoroughbred horse
State MineralCoal
State Motto United we stand, divided we fall
State MusicBluegrass music
State Musical InstrumentAppalachian dulcimer
State Nickname Bluegrass State
State RockKentucky agate
State Silverware PatternOld Kentucky Blue Grass, The Georgetown Pattern
State SoilCrider soil series
State Tree Tulip tree
State Wild Animal Game SpeciesGray squirrel

Sports Teams

Major Sports Teams None
NCAA Division I Schools Eastern Kentucky University (Ohio Valley)
University of Kentucky (SEC)
University of Louisville (ACC)
Morehead State University (Ohio Valley)
Murray State University (Ohio Valley)
Northern Kentucky University (Horizon)
Western Kentucky University (Conference USA)

Table Tennis Clubs in Kentucky

City Table Tennis Club
LexingtonLexington Table Tennis Club

Popular Tourist Attractions

UNESCO Heritage Sites

Festivals and Events

Top festivals and events in Kentucky. They are listed in approximate order of when they take place during the year.

Festival / Event When Location
Kentucky Derby Festival April Louisville
Great Balloonfest April Louisville
Owensboro International Bar-B-Q Festival May Owensboro
The Great American Brass Band Festival June Centre College, Danville
Berea Craft Festival July Indian Fort Theatre, Berea
Bourbon & Beyond September Highland Festival Grounds, Louisville
Festival of the Red September Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
Festival of the Horse September Georgetown
Gaslight Festival Balloon Glow September Jeffersontown
Kentucky Bourbon Festival September Bardstown
World Chicken Festival September London
Kentucky Apple Festival First Saturday In October Paintsville

Popular Iconic Kentucky Foods

Kentucky is famous for the following foods:

  • Burgoo
  • Hot Brown
  • Derby Pie
  • Bourbon Balls
  • Fried Chicken
  • Barbecue
  • Benedictine
  • Henry Bain Sauce
  • Spoonbread
  • Ale-8-One Soda
  • Beer Cheese

Famous People Born In Kentucky

Nobel Prize Winners

United States Presidents

  • Abraham Lincoln (16th President)

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members

  • George McAfee (Halfback. Inducted in 1966)
  • Paul Hornung (Halfback, Kicker. Inducted in 1986)
  • Dermontti Dawson (Center. Inducted in 2012)
  • Champ Bailey (Cornerback. Inducted in 2019)

Baseball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Earle Combs (Center Fielder. Inducted in 1970)
  • Pee Wee Reese (Shortstop. Inducted in 1984)
  • Jim Bunning (Pitcher. Inducted in 1996)

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Joe Fulks (Forward. Inducted in 1978)
  • Cliff Hagan (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1978)
  • Frank Ramsey (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1982)
  • Wes Unseld (Center-Forward. Inducted in 1988)
  • Dave Cowens (Center-Forward. Inducted in 1991)
  • Arnie Risen (Center. Inducted in 1998)

Famous Actors And Actresses

  • George Clooney
  • Johnny Depp
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Patricia Neal

Famous Singers

  • Naomi Judd
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Joan Osborne

Kentucky Fun Facts

  • The name "Kentucky" has an Indian origin. There are several sources:
    - The Wyandots called it "Kah-ten-tah-teh," meaning "Fair Land of Tomorrow."
    - The Shawnee name is "Kain-tuck-ee," meaning "At the Head Of The River."
    - The Mohawks called it "Kentucke," meaning "Among the Meadows."
    - The Delawares also called it "Kentucke," which means "Place of the Meadows."
    - The Catawbas called it "Kentucke" as well, meaning, "The Prairie, or Barrens."
  • Held every year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country.
  • In 1774, Ford Harrod (now Harrodsburg) was established as the first permanent settlement in the Kentucky region. It was named after James Harrod, who led the construction efforts.
  • Cumberland Falls in Kentucky is only place in Western Hemisphere to spot a moonbow on a regular basis (a moonbow is a rainbow made from light reflected off of the moon at night).
  • Kentucky's officeholders and judges must swear an oath before taking office that they have neither fought a duel with deadly weapons nor aided or assisted any person fighting one.
  • Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a continuous border of rivers running along three of its sides-the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east.
  • On January 30, 1900, Kentucky Governor William Goebel was assassinated in downtown Frankfort. Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office.
  • The song "Happy Birthday to You" was the creation of two Louisville sisters, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, in 1893.
  • Middlesboro is the only city in the United States built within a meteor crater.
  • In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker may result in one year in prison.

This page was last updated on July 10, 2023.


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