Jefferson County, Kentucky

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Jefferson County
Jefferson County Courthouse (now Louisville Metro Hall) in downtown Louisville
Jefferson County Courthouse (now Louisville Metro Hall) in downtown Louisville
Official seal of Jefferson County
Map of Kentucky highlighting Jefferson County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°11′N 85°40′W / 38.19°N 85.66°W / 38.19; -85.66
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1780
Named forThomas Jefferson
SeatLouisville
Largest cityLouisville
Area
 • Total398 sq mi (1,030 km2)
 • Land380 sq mi (1,000 km2)
 • Water17 sq mi (40 km2)  4.3%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total782,969
 • Estimate 
(2021)
777,874 Decrease
 • Density2,011/sq mi (776/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts3rd, 4th
Websitewww.louisvilleky.gov

Jefferson County is located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 782,969.[1] It is the most populous county in the commonwealth (with more than twice the population of second ranked Fayette County).

Since a city-county merger in 2003, the county's territory, population and government have been coextensive with the city of Louisville, which also serves as county seat. The administrative entity created by this merger is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government,[2] abbreviated to Louisville Metro.[3]

Jefferson County is the anchor of the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, locally referred to as Kentuckiana.

History[edit]

Jefferson County—originally Jefferson County, Virginia—was established by the Virginia General Assembly in June 1780, when it abolished and partitioned Kentucky County into three counties: Fayette, Jefferson and Lincoln. Named for Thomas Jefferson, who was governor of Virginia at the time,[4] it was one of Kentucky's nine original counties on June 1, 1792.

Jefferson County in 1780, as established by the Virginia General Assembly

In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark's militia and 60 civilian settlers, established the first American settlement in the county on Corn Island in the Ohio River, at head of the Falls of the Ohio. They moved to the mainland the following year, establishing Louisville.

Richard Mentor Johnson, the 9th Vice President of the United States, was born in Jefferson County in 1780, while the family was living in a settlement along the Beargrass Creek.[5]

The last major American Indian raid in present-day Jefferson County was the Chenoweth Massacre on July 17, 1789.

Government[edit]

Whenever possible, the metro government generally avoids any self-reference including the name "Jefferson County" and has even renamed the Jefferson County Courthouse as Metro Hall.

Prior to the 2003 merger, the head of local government was the County Judge/Executive, a post that still exists but now has few powers. The office is currently held by Queenie Averette.[6]

Local government is effectively now led by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, Greg Fischer.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 398 square miles (1,030 km2), of which 380 square miles (980 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (4.3%) is water.[7] The Ohio River forms its northern boundary with the state of Indiana.

The highest point is South Park Hill, elevation 902 feet (275 m), located in the southern part of the county.[8] The lowest point is 383 feet (117 m) along the Ohio River just north of West Point.[9]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17904,765
18008,75483.7%
181013,39953.1%
182020,76855.0%
183023,97915.5%
184036,34651.6%
185059,83164.6%
186089,40449.4%
1870118,95333.1%
1880146,01022.7%
1890188,59829.2%
1900232,54923.3%
1910262,92013.1%
1920286,3698.9%
1930355,35024.1%
1940385,3928.5%
1950484,61525.7%
1960610,94726.1%
1970695,05513.8%
1980685,004−1.4%
1990664,937−2.9%
2000693,6044.3%
2010741,0966.8%
2020782,9695.7%
2021 (est.)777,874[10]−0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790–1960[12] 1900–1990[13]
1990–2000[14] 2010–2020[1]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, and 183,113 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,801 per square mile (695/km2). There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of 794 per square mile (307/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.38% White, 18.88% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. 1.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 287,012 households, out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.20% were married couples living together, 14.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.20% were non-families. 30.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $54,357 (2018), and the median income for a family was $49,161 (2005). Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females (2005). The per capita income for the county was $31,980 (2018). About 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.1% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over (2018).

Communities[edit]

Jefferson County KY places.svg

Since the formation of Louisville Metro on January 6, 2003, residents of the cities below also became citizens of the newly expanded Metro, but none of the incorporated places dissolved in the process. The functions formerly served by the county government for the towns were assumed by Louisville Metro. However, the former City of Louisville was effectively absorbed into the new city-county government.

† Formerly a census-designated place in the county, but, in 2003, these places became neighborhoods within the city limits of Louisville Metro.

Politics[edit]

Jefferson County has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1992. In the 2019 gubernatorial election, it voted for Democrat Andy Beshear by a higher percentage than any other county in Kentucky, giving him 67% of the vote.

United States presidential election results for Jefferson County, Kentucky[16][17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 150,646 38.96% 228,358 59.06% 7,625 1.97%
2016 143,768 40.72% 190,836 54.05% 18,496 5.24%
2012 148,423 43.60% 186,181 54.69% 5,808 1.71%
2008 153,957 43.38% 196,435 55.34% 4,544 1.28%
2004 164,566 48.75% 170,158 50.41% 2,845 0.84%
2000 145,052 47.97% 149,901 49.58% 7,409 2.45%
1996 114,860 41.03% 144,207 51.52% 20,846 7.45%
1992 116,566 37.63% 152,728 49.30% 40,499 13.07%
1988 139,711 52.01% 127,936 47.63% 982 0.37%
1984 167,640 57.66% 122,133 42.01% 977 0.34%
1980 127,254 47.97% 125,844 47.44% 12,188 4.59%
1976 130,262 50.21% 122,731 47.31% 6,452 2.49%
1972 142,436 60.41% 88,143 37.39% 5,185 2.20%
1968 95,942 43.09% 90,242 40.53% 36,473 16.38%
1964 80,951 35.53% 146,023 64.09% 849 0.37%
1960 118,575 50.30% 117,180 49.70% 0 0.00%
1956 119,262 58.49% 83,483 40.94% 1,172 0.57%
1952 99,069 54.60% 81,642 44.99% 736 0.41%
1948 69,645 47.42% 70,756 48.18% 6,456 4.40%
1944 60,905 43.01% 80,236 56.66% 480 0.34%
1940 66,052 40.97% 94,710 58.75% 456 0.28%
1936 53,043 37.26% 85,748 60.23% 3,583 2.52%
1932 67,137 47.58% 72,402 51.31% 1,557 1.10%
1928 97,803 60.14% 64,472 39.65% 338 0.21%
1924 61,768 52.53% 50,409 42.87% 5,409 4.60%
1920 68,202 54.32% 56,046 44.64% 1,301 1.04%
1916 28,386 48.68% 28,840 49.46% 1,088 1.87%
1912 3,519 6.73% 24,100 46.08% 24,686 47.20%
1908 27,180 49.69% 26,186 47.87% 1,334 2.44%
1904 21,664 47.14% 22,781 49.57% 1,514 3.29%
1900 24,906 53.52% 21,107 45.36% 523 1.12%
1896 29,107 61.57% 16,707 35.34% 1,458 3.08%
1892 13,454 38.13% 20,919 59.29% 909 2.58%
1888 12,863 42.05% 17,535 57.32% 193 0.63%
1884 8,709 42.69% 11,266 55.23% 424 2.08%
1880 8,746 37.61% 13,970 60.08% 536 2.31%


Education[edit]

The public school districts for the county are: Jefferson County School District (JCPS) and Anchorage Independent School District.[18] The Anchorage district only covers grades K-8; Anchorage district residents may attend JCPS or Oldham County Schools.[19]

Kentucky School for the Blind, a state-operated school, is in Louisville.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  2. ^ "Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Code of Ordinances". American Legal Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government Code of Ordinances § 10.06 DEFINITIONS". American Legal Publishing Corporation. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  4. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 35.
  5. ^ "Richard M. Johnson, 9th Vice Pres. of the USA". geni_family_tree. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  6. ^ Shafer, Sheldon (September 14, 2014). "Beshear appoints Averette as judge-exec". The Courier-Journal.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  8. ^ "Groundwater Resources of Jefferson County, Kentucky – Topography". Groundwater Resources in Kentucky. Kentucky Geological Survey. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Kleber, John (2001). The Encyclopedia of Louisville. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 888–889. ISBN 9780813121000.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  13. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 24, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 23,516 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 1,170 votes.
  18. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Jefferson County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 23, 2022. - Text list
    The specific Anchorage school boundary is here: "Appendix B: Maps Of Independent School Districts In Operation In FY 2014-FY 2015 Using 2005 Tax District Boundaries – Anchorage ISD" (PDF). Research Report No. 415 – Kentucky's Independent School Districts: A Primer. Frankfort, KY: Office of Education Accountability, Legislative Research Commission. September 15, 2015. p. 86 (PDF p. 100/174). Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  19. ^ "Chapter 3, Exchange of Nonresident Students with Other Districts: Districts Without High Schools" (PDF). Research Report No. 415 – Kentucky's Independent School Districts: A Primer. Frankfort, KY: Office of Education Accountability, Legislative Research Commission. September 15, 2015. pp. 49–50 (PDF p. 63-64/17). Retrieved April 26, 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°11′N 85°40′W / 38.19°N 85.66°W / 38.19; -85.66