Interesting Facts About Kentucky

Author: Jason Coles

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Kentucky is a completely landlocked state, situated in the east south-central region of the US. Kentucky is bordered by several states, seven in total! They are Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. Kentucky is home to some of the most stunning landscapes, beautiful forests, and state parks, and with breathtaking waterfalls and countryside hikes, Kentucky has so much to offer.

Interesting facts about Kentucky

Facts For Kentucky

With a population of over 4.4 million, Kentucky is the 26th most populous state in the US. Kentucky is home to 120 counties and the state’s capital city is Frankfort. All of these, and more have played massive parts in the adoption of so many interesting facts about Kentucky, let’s check them out!

Louisville and Lexington Kentucky Facts

1. There really is no better place to look when considering facts for Kentucky than the famous city of Louisville. This iconic city has the largest population out of all cities in Kentucky, boasting a population of over 600,000e. Louisville has a deep history, dating back to the inception of the state. The city was originally formed due to a stretch of rapids along the Ohio River, commonly known as the Falls of Ohio.

2. These rapids are located just outside of the city, to the North. The rapids acted as a barrier to boat transportation in the late 1700s, forcing travelers to stop and move on further downriver. This resulted in several communities residing along with this stopping point, including Louisville, which became an official town in 1780.

Facts about Kentucky

3. Lexington is home to the Jif peanut butter production plant which produces 15 different variations of peanut butter. Not only this, but they are also the largest peanut butter plant in the entire world. They are famous for going one step beyond with their peanut butter production, they create the famous original flavors better than any other, but not only this, they also create unique flavors of peanut butter too, for example, cinnamon and maple peanut butter.

Quickfire Facts For Kentucky

Kentucky has always been one of the more popular states in the US. Many believe this is due to the opportunities presented to business owners (large, small, and everything in between), with the amount of tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and even mining opportunities.

This has generated an abundance of facts for Kentucky all stemming from the beauty and natural resources Kentucky has to offer, with stunning mountain ranges, national parks, and beautiful landscapes to name just a few.

  • People from Kentucky are called Kentuckians.
  • Kentuckians have always been known for their laid-back attitudes towards life as well as being friendly and hospitable.
  • Kentucky is home to the world’s largest cave system, Mammoth Cave.
  • Remember Cumberland Falls? Well, this famous landmark can create something truly spectacular, a moonbow. A moonbow is a rainbow formed by moonlight rather than the sun!
  • Mother’s day originated from Kentucky.
  • Unfortunately, over 24,000 Kentuckians lost their lives as a result of the war in 1812.
  • Kentucky borders a whopping 7 other states.
  • Over 70% of Kentuckians are of Christian faith.
  • Kentucky is known for having 4 distinct seasons. With, sunny, hot summers, and blistering cold winters, it’s fair to say, Kentucky has proper seasons!
  • The temperature in Kentucky can reach as high as 30°C and dip as low as -5°C.
  • The state bird is the Kentucky cardinal.
  • Kentucky’s state tree is the Tulip Tree.
  • The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the state animal for Kentucky.
  • Kentucky was once a county, before becoming a state.
  • The extremely popular and world-renowned fast food restaurant KFC originated from Kentucky!
  • Louisville was named after King Louis XVI.
  • Kentucky’s highest point is 4,145 feet above sea level.
  • Kentuck is the 37th largest state in terms of area (landmass).
  • Many well-known NBA players originate from Kentucky.
  • Forest land occupies over 48% of Kentucky’s landmass.
  • There are approximately 7.5 million barrels of bourbon in Kentucky – that is almost double the state’s population!
  • Kentucky is known by many as the horse capital of the world, being the birthplace of horse racing in the US.
  • The two commanders of the civil war, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were both born in Kentucky.
  • There are 120 counties in Kentucky.
  • Post-it notes originated from Kentucky!
  • Kentucky is the 37th largest US state by area.
  • Kentucky’s landmass is 39,486 square miles.
  • The water area of Kentucky is 921 square miles.
  • Frankfort is the capital city of Kentucky.
  • The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse racing event in the US.
  • The famous song “Happy Birthday” originates from Kentucky.
  • The maximum speed limit in Kentucky is 70 mph.

Kentucky History Facts

When considering interesting facts about Kentucky and its history, a great place to begin would be how it was founded, and how we know it as the state it is today.

1. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky was admitted to the union, becoming the 15th state to join the US.

2. Over the years, Kentucky has been inhabited by many different people from very contrasting locations and ethnicities. One of the earliest cultures to develop in the state of Kentucky was the Native Indian American tribes. The tribes listed below are from Hodge’s, ‘Handbook of American Indians’ and from Swanton’s, ‘The Indian Tribes of North America’.

  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Delaware
  • Mosopelea
  • Shawnee
  • Wyandot
  • Yuchi

3. The most notorious early Indian American tribes originating from Kentucky were the Cherokee, Chickasaws, and Shawnee tribes. In the early 1800s, most of Kentucky’s Native American tribes were eliminated from Kentucky including these three, through either warfare or resettlement.

4. In the 1700s British settlers were seeking new land to inhabit in the west, however, not many had ventured into Kentucky due to the treacherous cross through the Appalachian Mountains. In 1750, a British explorer named Dr. Thomas Walker discovered a safe passage through the mountains, he named this the Cumberland Gap.

5. After the French and Indian War came to an end in 1763, the British made a promise to the Native American Indians that they would not settle beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, the colonists didn’t hold on to this promise and started settling in Kentucky regardless. The first permanent European settlement was Harrodsburg, which was discovered and established by James Harrod in 1774. After this, an influx of settlers began moving into the newly founded area.

6. The last set of interesting facts about Kentucky’s rich history relates to the notorious Native American tribe mentioned previously, the Shawnee. The Shawnee tribe, in particular, was unhappy with the Europeans building homes on their hunting grounds after making a promise they wouldn’t. This resulted in the Shawnee tribe attacking the European settlers and soon enough a war broke out between both parties.

Economic Facts About Kentucky

Kentucky has always had an extremely healthy business climate, and with the direction the state’s economy is heading, this could be a trend for the foreseeable future. Beautiful mountain ranges, attractive landscapes, and undeniably unique culture make Kentucky the perfect and one of the most popular places to live. The economy remains one of the strongest in the US with an excelling workforce, pro-business environment, great infrastructure, access to capital, and many booming industries. People that move to Kentucky do so because it is affordable when compared with other states – the cost of living in such a beautiful place is too difficult to turn down for many!

Facts about Kentucky - economy and business

If you would like to learn how to register a business in Kentucky so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process. With all the opportunities this presents to businesses and those looking to start a business or franchise (including those who simply want to move to Kentucky for work), the state’s economy has been steadily and consistently growing. Here are some economic facts about Kentucky that demonstrate it has one of the leading economies in the United States and may just be the place you start your new business or franchise.

  • Over 32% of Kentucky’s population is college-educated.
  • There are over 355,000 small businesses operating in Kentucky.
  • There are over 1.1 million small business workers in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky’s GDP reached $189 billion in 2019.
  • Kentucky does not require a statewide business license to do business in the state; however, there may be certain licenses you must get depending on the business type and location.
  • The base sales tax rate in Kentucky is 6%.
  • The income tax rate in Kentucky is fixed at 5% – meaning, if you earn $25,000 or $500,000 in annual income, you will still pay the same state income tax rate.
  • Over half of Kentucky’s land is farms, which helps greatly with the production of crops and livestock, resulting in agriculture being one of the leading industries within the state.
  • Kentucky’s corporate income tax rate is 5% (flat).

A snapshot of the facts about Kentucky above illustrates why it is considered a popular state to move to.

Interesting US State Facts


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.