Kentucky Population 2016

Previously a part of Virginia, Kentucky became its own territory and became the 15th state in the US Union in 1792. From those early beginnings it has grown to become the 26th largest state in terms of population with numbers of 4,339,367 being recorded in 2010.

As for the Kentucky population in 2013, an estimate suggested that numbers had grown to 4,401,084, which is a modest rise on the official Census figures from three years before. Kentucky currently has a population growth rate of 0.47%, which ranks 34th.

Kentucky Demographics and Distribution

Kentucky's population density is currently 101.7 people per square mile and their total population has grown every decade since records began. Still, most decades during the 20th century have seen a net out-migration from Kentucky, and rural counties have experienced a loss while urban areas have gained in population. Interestingly, the urban versus rural population of Kentucky remains fairly equal, although poverty is far more rampant in the rural areas of the state.

The racial breakdown of the Kentucky population, according to the 2010 Census, was as follows:

  • White, non Hispanic: 86.3%
  • Black or African American: 7.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 3.1%
  • Asian: 1.1%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.2%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%

African Americans previously made up 25% of the population in Kentucky prior to the Civil War, but their numbers declined as many moved to the more industrial North. 44.2% of African-Americans in Kentucky are located in Jefferson County, 52% are in the Louisville Metro Area.

In terms of population density, Kentucky is fairly densely filled and from a total surface area of 40,409 square miles, (104,659 square kilometres), there is an average of 110 people per square mile or if you prefer, 42.5 per square kilometer, and this makes Kentucky the 22nd most densely populated state in the USA.

Kentucky Population History

Although Kentucky was incorporated into the United States in 1792, population figures are available from the 1790 Census and at the time, it was revealed that 73,677 people were living here.

Like most areas of the US, Kentucky was undergoing a population explosion in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and by the time the next Census was undertaken in 1800, those numbers had grown by nearly 200% to 220,955.

That was by far the largest population spike but significant increases carried on throughout the 1800’s and by the time of the 1900 Census, the Kentucky population had grown to 2,147,174.

The twentieth century continued to produce healthy rises right through to the present day where the Kentucky population of 2012 is starting to nudge the 4.5 million mark.

Natural Growth

In 2006, figures were released with regards to natural growth and the impact that it had on the population of Kentucky. These figures showed that in the six years following the 2000 Census there had been an increase in numbers of 77,156 people; a figure that is derived from 287,222 births less 210,066 deaths and an increase following net migration of 59,604.

Kentucky’s future

The population of Kentucky is rising, even if it isn’t at such a spectacular rate as some parts of the country. There is, however, no reason to suggest that this trend won’t continue. While some counties are experiencing a decline in growth, some counties are growing at a rate over 40%, including Spencer, Scott and Boone counties. Since 2000, more than one third of the growth in the state has occurred in the Louisville area, and this is expected to continue.

The Kentucky population is projected to reach 4.6 million by the 2020 Census, and nearly surpass the 5 million mark a decade later. By 2050, it's estimated that Kentucky will have a total population of 5.3 million.

Population Data via US Census