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U.S. state / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Kentucky (US: /kənˈtʌki/ kən-TUK-ee, UK: /kɛn-/ ken-),[5] officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky,[lower-alpha 3] is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of several states considered a part of the Upland South. Kentucky borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north, West Virginia to the northeast, Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, and Missouri to the west. Its northern border is defined by the Ohio River. Its capital is Frankfort and its largest city is Louisville. Its population was approximately 4.5 million in 2020.[2]

Quick facts: Kentucky, Country, Before statehood, Admitted...
Commonwealth of Kentucky
The Bluegrass State
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
Map of the United States with Kentucky highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodPart of Virginia (District of Kentucky)
Admitted to the UnionJune 1, 1792 (15th)
Largest cityLouisville
Largest county or equivalentJefferson
Largest metro and urban areasLouisville[lower-alpha 1]
  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)
  Total40,408 sq mi (104,656 km2)
  Land39,486 sq mi (102,269 km2)
  Water921 sq mi (2,387 km2)  2.2%
  Length397 mi (640 km)
  Width187 mi (302 km)
750 ft (230 m)
Highest elevation4,145 ft (1,265 m)
Lowest elevation250 ft (78 m)
  TotalNeutral increase 4,509,342[2]
  Density114/sq mi (44/km2)
  Median household income
  Income rank
  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
ISO 3166 codeUS-KY
Traditional abbreviationKy
Latitude36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ N
Longitude81° 58′ W to 89° 34′ W
Quick facts: List of state symbols, Slogan, Living insigni...
State symbols of Kentucky
List of state symbols
SloganKentucky Unbridled Spirit
Living insignia
ButterflyViceroy butterfly
FishKentucky spotted bass
Horse breedThoroughbred
InsectWestern honeybee
TreeTulip poplar
Wildlife animalGray squirrel
Inanimate insignia
GemstoneFreshwater pearl
RockKentucky agate
SoilCrider Soil Series
OtherChevrolet Corvette (state sports car)
State route marker
Route marker
State quarter
Kentucky quarter dollar coin
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 green grass introduced by European settlers for the purpose of grazing in pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state.[7]

Historically, Kentucky had excellent farming conditions, which led to the development of large tobacco plantations similar to those in Virginia and North Carolina in the central and western parts of the state that utilized enslaved labor during the Antebellum South and Civil War periods. Kentucky ranks fifth nationally in goat farming, eight in beef cattle production,[8] and 14th in corn production.[9] While Kentucky has been a long-standing major center for the tobacco industry, the state's economy has diversified in multiple non-agricultural 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, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest artificial lakes east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky is known for its distinct and notable culture, which features horse racing, bourbon, moonshine, coal, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, southern cuisine, barbecue, bluegrass music, college basketball, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky Colonel.

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