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Commonwealth of Kentucky
(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Bluegrass State

Other U.S. States
Capital Frankfort
Largest City Louisville
Governor Ernie Fletcher
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 37th
104,749 km˛
102,989 km˛
1,760 km˛
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 25th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

June 1, 1792
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Central: UTC-6/-5
eastern counties in Eastern Timezone,
western counties in Central Timezone
36°30'N to 39°9'N
81°58'W to 89°34'W
 - Highest
 - Mean
 - Lowest
225 km
610 km
1,262 meters
230 meters
78 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-KY

Kentucky is a southern state of the United States of America and was the 15th state admitted to the Union.

Kentucky and its residents are probably most well known for thoroughbred horses and racing, local whiskey distilleries and unbridled fanaticism for basketball. The two principal rivals in the state are the University of Kentucky (blue, Wildcats) and the University of Louisville (red, Cardinals).

Several US Navy ships have been named USS Kentucky in honor of the state. The USS Paducah also served as a naval vessel.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and Government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Important cities and towns
7 Education
8 Professional sports teams
9 Miscellaneous information
10 See also
11 External links


Kentucky is one of four states to call itself a commonwealth. At one point in time, Kentucky was a county of Virginia. Ten constitutional conventions took place at the courthouse of Constitution Square in Danville, Kentucky between 1784 and1792. In 1790, Kentucky delegates accepted Virginia's terms for separation, and the state constitution was drafted at the final convention in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state in the union and Isaac Shelby, a Revolutionary War hero, was named the first Governor of the Commonwealth Of Kentucky.

On May 20, 1861 during the American Civil War, Kentucky proclaimed its neutrality in the conflict but was forced to take the side of the Union on September 3 when Confederate forces under General Leonidas Polk invaded.

Kentucky’s name is derived from the Cherokee word for "meadowland" after the bluegrass pastures that lured early pioneers to the state.

Law and Government

The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort and its governor is Ernie Fletcher (Republican). Kentucky's two U.S. senators are Jim Bunning (Republican) and Mitch McConnell (Republican). The Kentucky Constitution provides for three branches of government: the legislative, the judicial, and the executive. Kentucky's General Assembly has two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives.See List of Kentucky Governors.


See: List of Kentucky counties

Kentucky, also known as The Bluegrass State, borders the Midwest and Deep South. It touches West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and is bordered on the north by the Ohio River. There are five main regions, the Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Plateau in the southeast, the north-central Bluegrass Region, the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau, also sometimes termed "Pennyrile", the western coal-fields area, and the far-west Jackson Purchase.

The largest cities in Kentucky in terms of geographic area are the two metro city/counties of Lexington and Louisville, although Louisville has a much larger metropolitan population. Northern Kentucky, an assemblage of smaller cities across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, also has a large metropolitan population.

Significant natural attractions


The total gross state product for 1999 was $113 billion, placing Kentucky 26th in the nation. Its Per Capita Personal Income is $24,294, 40th in the nation. Kentucky's agricultural outputs are horses, cattle, tobacco,dairy products, hogs, soybeans, and corn. Its industrial outputs are transportation equipment, chemical products, electric equipment, machinery, food processing, tobacco products, coal, and tourism.


According to the national census, there were 4,041,769 people living in Kentucky in 2000. The population was 89.3% white, 7.3% African American, 1.5% Hispanic, 0.7% Asian, and 0.2% Native American.

Important cities and towns

Population > 100,000 (urbanized areas) Population > 10,000 (urbanized areas) Important suburbs and small towns


Colleges and universities



Community colleges

Professional sports teams

Minor League baseball teams are: The Minor League hockey teams are: The National Indoor Football League teams are:

Miscellaneous information

See also

External links

[ Edit {}] Political divisions of the United States
States Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district; District of Columbia
Insular areas; American Samoa | Baker Island | Guam | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Northern Mariana Islands | Palmyra Atoll | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Wake Island

"Kentucky" is also a common Caribbean nickname for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).