Kentucky by the Numbers:
Key Statistical Data and Facts

Key Details

  • Kentucky has an estimated population of 4.5 million as of 2022. 
  • Approximately 65.8% of the housing units were owner-occupied between 2017 and 2022 
  • Democratic candidate Andy Beshear serves as the 61st Governor. 
  • 88% of residents 25 years and over have a high school graduate diploma or higher. 
  • Marriage rates stood at 6.3 per 1000, while divorce rates were 3.3 per 1000 in 2021. 
  • The life expectancy rate in Kentucky is 73.5 years as of 2022.  
  • Between 2015 and 2019, approximately 46,918 violent crimes were recorded, as well as 480,601 property crimes.  

Kentucky Population Demographics

Set in the Southeastern United States, Kentucky is bordered by multiple states, including West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The Bluegrass has a population of approximately 4.5 million residents, according to 2022 U.S. census estimates.  

The state recorded a 3.8% change in population between 2010 and 2020. A breakdown of population figures reveals that residents aged five years and under constitute 5.9% of the population, while persons 65 years and over account for 17.1%. When divided by gender ratio, Kentucky has slightly more women than men. As of 2013, women account for 50.5% of the state's population.  

Kentucky Housing

2,023,724 housing
As of 2022, Kentucky has approximately 2,023,724 housing units with an average of 2.50 persons per household and a 9.8% vacancy rate.
Per US census data, 65.8% of the units were owner-occupied between 2017 and 2022.
Between 2017 and 2021, the median monthly cost for owners ranged from $1241 (with a mortgage) to $401 (without a mortgage).
The median gross rent for the same period was $826.
Approximately 86.1%% of residents aged one year+ lived in the same house for at least two years between 2017 to 2021.

Kentucky Racial Demographics


Kentucky's racial and ethnic composition comprises different demographics. According to 2022 census estimates, the majority of residents in Kentucky are white (including Hispanics and Latinos), making up 87.1% of the state's population. Blacks or African Americans are the second largest demographic, constituting 8.6% of state residents. Other racial demographics include Asians (1.7%), American Indians and Alaska natives (0.3%), Hispanics or Latinos (4.2%), and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (0.1%)

  • White only
  • Black or African-American alone
  • Asian alone
White alone (not Hispanic) 83.5% 
Black or African American 8.6 % 
Asian  1.7% 
Hispanic or Latino 4.2% 
Two or more races 2.2% 

Elections in Kentucky

Elections in Kentucky typically involve races between Republican and Democrat candidates. Between 2003 and 2020, Kentuckians elected four governors, two from either party.  

As of 2023, Andy Beshear serves as the 61st governor of Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, Governor Beshear was elected into office in 2020. He defeated his Republican opponent by just over 5,000 votes in one of the closest Kentucky Gubernatorial elections (49.20% vs 48.83%). 

Republicans control the Kentucky Senate as of 2023, continuing a consistent run that began in 2000. Robert Stivers (R) is the president of the Senate, while Damon Thayer (R) and Gerald Neal (D) serve as majority and minority leaders, respectively. On the federal level, Kentucky is represented by Senators Mitch McConnel and Rand Paul, both Republicans.  

2020 Presidential Election 

During the 2020 Presidential Elections, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the state of Kentucky, defeating his opponent, Joe Biden, by a margin of almost 26%. Donald Trump secured 62.09% of the popular votes (1,326,646), while Joe Biden won 36% (772,474).  

Donald Trump

62.09% of votes

Joe Biden

36% of votes

Kentucky Voting Statistics

According to the Kentucky State Board of Elections, as of April 2023, Kentucky has 3,468,598 registered voters. A breakdown of the data reveals the state has 1,640,620 registered male voters and 1,825,889 registered female voters. Divided by registered party, the state has 1,534,586 registered Democratic voters, 1,587,549 registered Republican voters, and roughly 400,000 registered as Independent, Libertarian, or other. During the 2020 presidential elections, the state recorded a 59.7% turnout percentage, higher than the 59.1% in 2016. 


General Election 

For the 2020 general elections, the state of Kentucky registered 4,892,871 voters, according to data released by the Kentucky Secretary of State. A total of 4,116,894 ballots were counted. The state saw a voter turnout of 84.14%. Kentucky has seen a relatively high voter turnout since 2008. The state has only recorded a voter turnout lower than 70% just twice since 2008, those years being 2022 (63.82%) and 2014 (54.16%).  

YearTurnout Percentage (Voting Age Population)
2022 59.7% 
2016 59.10% 
2012 59.70% 
2008 64.04% 

How Educated is Kentucky

According to 2021 Census Estimates, approximately 88% of residents in Kentucky 25 years and older have a high school graduate diploma or higher. 27% of residents in the same age bracket have a Bachelor's degree or higher, while 11.1% have a graduate degree. Broken across racial groups, 51.2% of Asians had a bachelor's degree or higher compared to whites, blacks, and Hispanics, with 27.5%, 20.1%, and 20.1%, respectively.  

As of 2023, Kentucky has over 50 colleges and universities. The University of Kentucky has the largest enrollment, with over 30,000 students, while the University of Louisville has the second largest, with 22,000+ enrollments.  

Kentucky Employment Rate

In 2023, Kentucky's unemployment rate stood at 3.7%, an improvement on the rate recorded in Nov 2022 (3.9%). The state's civilian labor force consisted of over 2 million residents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Trade-transportation-and-utilities sector was a major employer, accounting for over 4250,000 jobs. Other top employing sectors include the Government sector (300,000+), manufacturing (256,000+), and Education and Health services (291.8).  

Mining and Logging experienced the biggest 12-month growth (8.8%), followed by construction (5.4%), information (4.7%), and manufacturing (4.5%). In contrast, the financial activities sector dipped by 1.9% within the same period.

Average Income in Kentucky

Per US Census, the estimated median household income in Kentucky between 2017 to 2021 was $55,4534. 8.1% of households earned less than $10,000, while 24.2% earned between $10,000 and $34,999. 7.1% of households earned between $150,000 and $199,999, while 6.9% earned $200,000 and more.  

Viewed across racial groups, white households had a median income of $58.081, while Asians and Blacks (or African Americans) earned $S71,005 and $39.247, respectively. Hispanic or Latinos had a median income of $47.848, while households with two or more races had a median income of $42,288.  

Families in Kentucky

Kentucky Marriage Rates

6.3 per 1000 person

In 2021, Kentucky had a marriage rate of 6.3 per 1000 residents. According to Census ACS estimates, 49% of residents aged 15 years and over were married as of 2021. 29.9 % of residents had never been married, and 6.6% were widowed. Grouped by age, men over the age were most likely to be married, while females between the age of 45 and 54 were most likely to be married. The largest number of married residents was between 20 to 34 years, with roughly 424,400 marriages for females and 445,447 for males. In contrast, marriages were lowest among residents aged 15 to 19.

Kentucky Divorce Rates

As of 2021, Kentucky has a divorce rate of 3.3 divorces per 1000 residents. The divorce percentage was highest for men aged 55 to 64 (20.0%) and between 45 to 54 years for women (20.5%). Roughly 3.6% of the women between the ages of 35 to 54 years were separated compared to 2% of men within the same age bracket. Categorized by racial demographics, 13.6% of black or African Americans were divorced, compared to 12.8% for whites (including Hispanic and Latinos) and 5.5% for Asians.

Life Expectancy in Kentucky

The life expectancy in Kentucky is 73.5 years, according to data published by the National Center for Health Statistics for 2020. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the state ahead of cancer. A breakdown of data reveals that the state recorded 10,250 cancer-related deaths in 2021, compared to 11,697 deaths attributed to heart disease for the same period.  

Kentucky has a fertility rate of 60.8 births per 1000 women and an infant mortality rate of 6.2 deaths per 1000 live births. According to birth data for 2021, 42.7% of births were to unmarried mothers. In addition to 22.2 teenage births per 1,000 females (15 to 19 years), Kentucky also recorded an 11.97 preterm birth rate. 

Kentucky Crime Rates

According to the FBI UCR report, between 2015 and 2019, Kentucky recorded 46,918 reported violent crimes and 51,717 offenses. The state also recorded 480,601 property crimes and 481,814 offenses within the same period. Offenders between 30 and 39 were responsible for the most property crimes (13,463), while offenders between 50 and 59 accounted for the list. 41,486 property incidents occurred at a residence or home, while 4,374 happened at a grocery store. While approximately 6,900 property crime incidents were committed by a friend or acquaintance, 13,900 crimes were committed by a stranger or a person with an unknown relationship. 

Kentucky Incarceration Rate

516 persons per 100,000
According to the National Institute of Corrections, as of 2019, Kentucky had an incarceration rate of 516 persons per 100,000, higher than the national average of 359 per 100,000.
217 per 100,000
The correctional system consists of 8,171 prisoners located in 9 state prisons and 36 local jail facilities.
1,897 per 100,000
Additionally, there are 27,418 probate and 5,967 parolees within the Kentucky corrections population.
23,082 inmates
The state had 23,082 inmates in prison, 27.220 in jail, and 15,050 out on parole.
Kentucky also had 49.857 people on probation.
84 jail
As of 2019, the Bluegrass State had 84 jail facilities, 12 state prison facilities, and a staff of over 4,400 employees.
$620 million
With a prison budget of approximately $620 million, Kentucky spent an average of $27,708 per prison inmate, lower than the national average of $34,540.

Kentucky Bankruptcy Rate

8,726 bankruptcy cases

In 2022, Kentucky recorded 8,726 bankruptcy filings, the lowest number filed in two decades. Chapter 7 filings accounted for more than half, with 4,937 filed cases, compared to 3,767 Chapter 17 filings and 17 filings for Chapter 11. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Bluegrass State also recorded 87 filed business bankruptcy cases, including 57 Chapter filings, 17 Chapter 11, and thirteen filings for Chapter 13.

Weird Laws in Kentucky

Like most states in the US, the Bluegrass state isn't without its share of weird laws. Some of these include:

  • Fishing with a bow and arrow is not permitted in Kentucky
  • Walking around with an ice cream cone in your pocket is illegal.
  • Residents of Kentucky must shower at least once every year.
  • In Owensboro, Kentucky, buying a hat requires a husband's permission
  • Residents may not engage in sexual activity while on a parked motorcycle in London, Kentucky
  • Women may only marry (and remarry) the same man three times.

Cities in Kentucky

Table of contents

Cities in Kentucky