Kentucky is located in the southeastern central United States and is made up of the seven states of Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois. Kentucky is the only state in the entire state to be bounded on three sides by the Mississippi, Ohio, Tug Fork and Sandy Rivers. The landscape is shaped accordingly by the huge river network. Kentucky was named after the river of the same name, the Kentucky River, which rises and flows here. The name of the state comes from the Iroquois language and means “meadow” or “meadow” when translated. It owes its nickname as “Bluegrass State” to the blue-green shimmering grassland. This phenomenon can be experienced every year when the bluegrass is in full bloom from April to the end of May.

With the breakaway of Virginia and the appointment as the 15th state of the United States in 1792, Kentucky was exactly between the southern and northern states. One can therefore say that the state was caught between two stools, both geographically and historically. This “tricky” situation became particularly evident during the civil war, when some residents of Kentucky, which actually belonged to the Union and thus to the northern states, fought for the confederate states. The fact that Kentucky can look back on an eventful and rich history is undisputed. Starting with the Native American Indians and the resulting struggles for domination, to the time as a British colony, the War of Independence and the Civil Rights Movement that followed decades later.

Old traditions and the idyll of rural life shape the culture of Kentucky. Unique attractions make the “Bluegrass State” a great destination. Kentucky is world-famous for breeding thoroughbreds, its first-class whiskey distilling, and yes, also for the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was founded here. Every horse lover should visit Kentucky at least once in their life. The world famous “Kentucky Derby”, which takes place every year in May, should not be missed. In Kentucky, horses are not just bred – no, winners are born here. The Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey produced here, such as Jim Beam, has achieved international status and has long since ousted Tennessee’s Jack Daniels.

Like many other southern states, Kentucky has a great passion for music. Country music in particular is of great importance, even if Kentucky’s neighbor Tennessee is regarded as the “cradle of country music”. The state has produced famous country greats like Bill Ray Cyrus and Loretta Lynn. Well-known representatives of jazz, such as Lionel Hampton and Al Casey, also come from Kentucky. Here in Kentucky, Earl Scruggs created “Bluegrass Jazz”, based on the state’s nickname.

For nature lovers, Kentucky stands for one thing above all else: fantastic landscapes with lush pastureland, lush green forests and sparkling lakes and the impressive rugged mountains of the Appalachians. Here you will also find the world’s largest cave system, the “Mammoth Caves”, which inspire with their impressive stalactite formations and the “Crystal Lake”, an underground lake of fascinating beauty.

Kentucky is one of the weaker states economically, but has a rich cultural heritage and is known for horse breeding, music, and bourbon.

Kentucky is a US state. Its official name is “The Commonwealth of Kentucky”. The capital is Frankfort.

Kentucky’s name, geographic location and population

It is unclear where exactly the name “Kentucky” comes from, as three Indian languages are possible. What is certain, however, is that the term means “meadow” or “field” and that it refers to the dark green flowering grass pastures. You gave Kentucky the nickname “Bluegrass State”. Kentucky marks the border between the South and the Midwest of the United States. Its neighboring states are Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois. In the north, the Ohio River forms the border with the state of Ohio. Over 4.4 million people live in an area of 104,659 kmĀ² (as of 2019). Around 14% of them state that they have German ancestors.

Brief History of the State of Kentucky

Before the arrival of the first settlers, various Indian tribes fought for supremacy in what is now Kentucky. The state’s American history begins in June 1792 when Kentucky became the 15th state in the United States. During the Civil War, Kentucky was split between north and south because of its geographic location. The population fought partly on the side of the Union, partly on the side of the Confederate, and Kentucky became the scene of losing battles and skirmishes. In the reconstruction phase following the Civil War, the residents sided with the southern states.

Kentucky today

In terms of gross domestic product per capita, which provides information on prosperity, Kentucky ranks 42nd out of 50 in the lower range of states (as of 2018). The source of national pride are the thoroughbred horses bred here, which are among the best in the world. The annual Kentucky Derby is a major cultural and sporting event. Perhaps the most famous product in the region is whiskey and 90% of the bourbon drunk worldwide comes from Kentucky. Music also plays an important role in cultural life and one genre of country music is given the nickname of the state in which it was created: bluegrass.

Kentucky State Bird and Flower

Largest Counties in Kentucky by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Kentucky are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Pike County 2,041 km2
2 Christian County 1,867 km2
3 Pulaski County 1,715 km2
4 Hardin County 1,627 km2
5 Ohio County 1,538 km2
6 Breckinridge County 1,481 km2
7 Graves County 1,440 km2
8 Logan County 1,440 km2
9 Hopkins County 1,427 km2
10 Warren County 1,412 km2
11 Grayson County 1,305 km2
12 Breathitt County 1,282 km2
13 Barren County 1,272 km2
14 Lewis County 1,254 km2
15 Muhlenberg County 1,230 km2
16 Clay County 1,220 km2
17 Harlan County 1,210 km2
18 Daviess County 1,197 km2
19 Wayne County 1,189 km2
20 Casey County 1,155 km2
21 Trigg County 1,147 km2
22 Madison County 1,142 km2
23 Henderson County 1,140 km2
24 Whitley County 1,140 km2
25 Laurel County 1,129 km2
26 Butler County 1,109 km2
27 McCreary County 1,109 km2
28 Nelson County 1,096 km2
29 Lawrence County 1,085 km2
30 Hart County 1,077 km2
31 Carter County 1,064 km2
32 Adair County 1,054 km2
33 Leslie County 1,046 km2
34 Floyd County 1,020 km2
35 Knox County 1,005 km2
36 Calloway County 1,000 km2
37 Jefferson County 997 km2
38 Shelby County 995 km2
39 Morgan County 987 km2
40 Todd County 974 km2
41 Crittenden County 938 km2
42 Bell County 935 km2
43 Knott County 912 km2
44 Owen County 912 km2
45 Fleming County 909 km2
46 Caldwell County 899 km2
47 Marion County 899 km2
48 Allen County 896 km2
49 Greenup County 896 km2
50 Jackson County 896 km2
51 Union County 894 km2
52 Perry County 886 km2
53 Letcher County 878 km2
54 Lincoln County 873 km2
55 Webster County 868 km2
56 Monroe County 857 km2
57 Rockcastle County 824 km2
58 Livingston County 818 km2
59 Harrison County 803 km2
60 Magoffin County 803 km2
61 Meade County 798 km2
62 Cumberland County 793 km2
63 Marshall County 790 km2
64 Edmonson County 785 km2
65 Washington County 780 km2
66 Bullitt County 774 km2
67 Bourbon County 754 km2
68 Metcalfe County 754 km2
69 Green County 749 km2
70 Henry County 749 km2
71 Scott County 738 km2
72 Fayette County 736 km2
73 Rowan County 728 km2
74 Pendleton County 725 km2
75 Bath County 723 km2
76 Taylor County 699 km2
77 LaRue County 681 km2
78 Johnson County 679 km2
79 Grant County 673 km2
80 Clark County 658 km2
81 Estill County 658 km2
82 McLean County 658 km2
83 Russell County 658 km2
84 Ballard County 650 km2
85 McCracken County 650 km2
86 Mercer County 650 km2
87 Boone County 637 km2
88 Hickman County 632 km2
89 Mason County 624 km2
90 Simpson County 611 km2
91 Elliott County 606 km2
92 Garrard County 598 km2
93 Martin County 598 km2
94 Wolfe County 578 km2
95 Lyon County 559 km2
96 Franklin County 544 km2
97 Lee County 544 km2
98 Fulton County 541 km2
99 Menifee County 528 km2
100 Anderson County 526 km2
101 Bracken County 526 km2
102 Montgomery County 515 km2
103 Clinton County 513 km2
104 Owsley County 513 km2
105 Nicholas County 510 km2
106 Carlisle County 497 km2
107 Woodford County 495 km2
108 Hancock County 490 km2
109 Oldham County 490 km2
110 Spencer County 482 km2
111 Boyle County 471 km2
112 Powell County 466 km2
113 Jessamine County 448 km2
114 Kenton County 422 km2
115 Boyd County 414 km2
116 Campbell County 394 km2
117 Trimble County 386 km2
118 Carroll County 337 km2
119 Robertson County 259 km2
120 Gallatin County 256 km2