Kentucky

Kentucky (US: /kənˈtʌki/ (listen) kən-TUK-ee, UK: /kɛn-/ ken-),[5] officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky,[note 2] is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South, bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north; West Virginia and Virginia to the east; Tennessee to the south; and Missouri to the west. The Commonwealth's northern border is defined by the Ohio River. Its capital is Frankfort, and its two largest cities are Louisville and Lexington. The state's population in 2020 was approximately 4.5 million.

Kentucky
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Nickname(s): 
The Bluegrass State
Motto(s): 
United we stand, divided we fall
Deo gratiam habeamus
(Let us be grateful to God)
Anthem: My Old Kentucky Home
Map of the United States with Kentucky highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodPart of Virginia (District of Kentucky)
Admitted to the UnionJune 1, 1792 (15th)
CapitalFrankfort
Largest cityLouisville
Largest metro and urban areasLouisville
Government
  GovernorAndy Beshear (D)
  Lieutenant GovernorJacqueline Coleman (D)
LegislatureKentucky General Assembly
  Upper houseSenate
  Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryKentucky Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsMitch McConnell (R)
Rand Paul (R)
U.S. House delegation5 Republicans
1 Democrat (list)
Area
  Total40,408 sq mi (104,656 km2)
  Land39,486 sq mi (102,269 km2)
  Water921 sq mi (2,387 km2)  2.2%
  Rank37th
Dimensions
  Length397 mi (640 km)
  Width187 mi (302 km)
Elevation
750 ft (230 m)
Highest elevation4,145 ft (1,265 m)
Lowest elevation250 ft (78 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total4,509,342[2]
  Rank26th
  Density110/sq mi (42.5/km2)
   Rank23rd
  Median household income
$52,295[3]
  Income rank
44th
Demonym(s)Kentuckian
Language
  Official languageEnglish[4]
Time zones
eastern halfUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
western halfUTC−06:00 (Central)
  Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
USPS abbreviation
KY
ISO 3166 codeUS-KY
Traditional abbreviationKy
Latitude36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ N
Longitude81° 58′ W to 89° 34′ W
Websitekentucky.gov
Kentucky state symbols
Living insignia
BirdCardinal
ButterflyViceroy butterfly
Wildlife animalGray squirrel
FishKentucky spotted bass
FlowerGoldenrod
Horse breedThoroughbred
InsectWestern honeybee
TreeTulip poplar
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
DanceClogging
FoodBlackberry
FossilBrachiopod
GemstoneFreshwater pearl
MineralCoal
RockKentucky agate
SloganKentucky Unbridled Spirit
SoilCrider Soil Series
OtherChevrolet Corvette (state sports car)
State route marker
State quarter
Released in 2001
Lists of United States state symbols

Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state on June 1, 1792, splitting from Virginia in the process.[6] It is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on Kentucky bluegrass, a species of grass found in many of its pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state.[7] Historically, it was known for excellent farming conditions for this reason and the development of large tobacco plantations akin to those in Virginia and North Carolina in the central and western parts of the state with the use of enslaved labor during the Antebellum South and Civil War period. Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle production,[8] and 14th in corn production.[9] Kentucky has also been a long-standing major center of the tobacco industry. Today, Kentucky's economy has expanded to importance in non-agricuIturaI sectors, including auto manufacturing, energy fuel production, and medical facilities.[10] The state ranks 4th among US states in the number of automobiles and trucks assembled.[11]

The state is home to the world's longest cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park, as well as 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 known for its culture, which includes horse racing, bourbon, moonshine, coal, "My Old Kentucky Home" historic state park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky colonel.


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