Demographics of Kentucky
|Source: 1790-2000 1910-2010|
As of July 1, 2006, the United States Commonwealth of Kentucky had an estimated population of 4,206,074, which is an increase of 33,466, or 0.8%, from the prior year and an increase of 164,586, or 4.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 77,156 people (that is 287,222 births minus 210,066 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 59,604 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 27,435 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 32,169 people. As of 2004, Kentucky's population included about 95,000 foreign-born (2.3%). The population density of the state is 101.7 people per square mile.
Kentucky's total population has grown during every decade since records began. However, during most decades of the 20th century there was also net out-migration from Kentucky. Since 1900, rural Kentucky counties have experienced a net loss of over 1 million people from migration, while urban areas have experienced a slight net gain.
Race and ancestry
The five largest ancestries in the commonwealth are: American (20.9%), German (12.7%), Irish (10.5%), English (9.7%), African American (7.8%). Only eight Kentucky counties list an ancestry other than American as the county's largest, those being Christian and Fulton, where African American is the largest reported ancestry, and the state's most urban counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Fayette, Boone, Kenton, and Campbell, where German is the largest reported ancestry. Southeastern Kentucky was populated by a large group of Native Americans of mixed heritage, also known as Melungeons, in the early 19th century.
In 1790, historians estimate Kentucky's population was English (52%), Scots-Irish or Scots (25%), Irish (9%), Welsh, (7%), German (5%), French (2%), Dutch (1%), and Swedish (0.2%) in ethnicity.
African Americans, who made up one-fourth of Kentucky's population prior to the Civil War, declined in number as many moved to the industrial North in the Great Migration. Today 44.2% of Kentucky's African American population is in Jefferson County and 52% are in the Louisville Metro Area. Other areas with high concentrations, besides Christian and Fulton Counties, are the city of Paducah, the Bluegrass, and the city of Lexington.
In 2000, The Association of Religion Data Archives reported that of Kentucky's 4,041,769 residents:
- 33.68% were members of evangelical Protestant churches
- Southern Baptist Convention (979,994 members, 24.25%)
- 10.05% were Roman Catholics
- 8.77% belonged to mainline Protestant churches
- 0.05% were members of orthodox churches
- 0.88% were affiliated with other theologies
- 46.57% were not affiliated with any church.
Today Kentucky is home to several seminaries. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville is the principal seminary for the Southern Baptist Convention. Louisville is also the home of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Lexington has two seminaries, Lexington Theological Seminary, and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. Asbury Theological Seminary is located in nearby Wilmore. In addition to seminaries, there are several colleges affiliated with denominations. Transylvania in Lexington is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. In Louisville, Bellarmine and Spalding are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. In Owensboro, Kentucky, Kentucky Wesleyan College is associated with the Methodist Church and Brescia University is associated with the Roman Catholic Church. Louisville is also home to the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and their printing press. Louisville is also home to a sizable Muslim and Jewish population.
Religious movements were important in the early history of Kentucky. Perhaps the most famous event was the interdenominational revival in August 1801 at the Cane Ridge Meeting House in Bourbon County. As part of what is now known as the "Western Revival", thousands began meeting around a Presbyterian communion service on August 6, 1801, and ended six days later on August 12, 1801 when both humans and horses ran out of food. Some claim that the Cane Ridge Revival was propagated from an earlier camp meeting at Red River Meeting House in Logan County.
Today, there is a burgeoning population of adherents of Germanic Neopaganism, with several operating kindreds and study groups across the state. A group of followers from the Hazard area formed a regional organization, the Kentucky Asatru Alliance.
- "Kentucky population". Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Resident Population Data. "Resident Population Data - 2010 Census". 2010.census.gov. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- John W. Wright, ed. (2007). The New York Times 2008 Almanac. p. 178.
- Price, Michael. "Migration in Kentucky: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?". Exploring the Frontier of the Future: How Kentucky Will Live, Learn and Work. University of Louisville. pp. 5–10. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000" (TXT). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- Census 2000 Map - Top U.S. Ancestries by County
- "State Membership Report". The Assocpoopiation of Religion Data Archives. 2000. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- Muslims in Louisville
- See E. Michael Rusten, The One Year Book of Christian History, Tyndale House, 2003, pp. 438–439. ISBN 0-8423-5507-3.
- "Kentucky Revival - Red River to Cane Ridge". Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- The Kentucky Asatru Alliance, inc.