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Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being VirginiaPennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

Kentucky is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of the Mississippi River, and the nation's most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for horse racingbourbon distilleries,automobile manufacturingtobaccobluegrass musiccollege basketball, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.


Mammoth Cave, a World Heritage Site

The famous Louisville Slugger Museum

A horse farm in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region


Population Statistics

Census Counts (April 1)
20104,339,367261.41 %308,745,538
20004,041,769251.44 %281,421,906
19903,686,892231.48 %248,790,925
19803,660,777231.62 %226,545,805
2000 to 2010 % change7.4 %289.7 %
1990 to 2010 % change17.7 %2824.1 %
1980 to 2010 % change18.5 %3336.3 %

Components of Population Change in 2014NumberRankPercent of U.S.U.S.
Net Domestic Migration-3,78529
Net International Migration5,979290.60 %995,944
Natural Increase (births minus deaths)12,574290.92 %1,363,581
Births55,221261.40 %3,957,577
Deaths42,647241.64 %2,593,996

Economy Statistics

Real Gross Domestic Product by State over Time (millions of chained 2009 dollars)Adj. Amount
RankChange Index
(YR 2009=100)
Change 2010 to 20148,274295.287

Per Capita Personal IncomeNumberRankPercent of U.S.
Per Capita Income - 2014$37,6544581.6 %
Per Capita Income - 2004 (adj. for inflation)$35,2124481.9 %
Per Capita Income - 1994 (adj. for inflation)$29,2454582.1 %
Per Capita Income - 1984 (adj. for inflation)$25,1434579.9 %
10-Year % Change6.9 %27
20-Year % Change28.8 %34
30-Year % Change49.8 %29