Laurel County, Kentucky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Laurel County
Laurel County courthouse in London
Laurel County courthouse in London
Map of Kentucky highlighting Laurel County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°06′38″N 84°07′04″W / 37.11067°N 84.1178°W / 37.11067; -84.1178
Country United States
State Kentucky
FoundedDecember 21, 1825
Named forMountain laurel trees
SeatLondon
Largest cityLondon
Area
 • Total444 sq mi (1,150 km2)
 • Land434 sq mi (1,120 km2)
 • Water9.7 sq mi (25 km2)  2.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total62,613
 • Estimate 
(2021)
62,561 Decrease
 • Density140/sq mi (54/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitelondonky.gov

Laurel County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 62,613.[1] Its county seat is London.[2] After a special election in January 2016 alcohol sales are permitted only in the city limits of London. The ordinance went into effect on March 27, 2016, 60 days after results of the election. Laurel County is included in the London, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Laurel County, the 80th county to be organized in Kentucky, was established by an act of the general assembly, December 21, 1825, from parts of Rockcastle, Clay, Knox and Whitley Counties.[3] Laurel County was named from the Laurel River, noted for dense laurel thickets along its banks.[4]

Laurel County was the location of the Battle of Wildcat Mountain, a pivotal yet little known battle during the American Civil War that kept Confederate armies from advancing on Big Hill, a major stronghold during the war.

After a fire damaged the courthouse in 1958, a new structure was completed in 1961.[5]

The first Kentucky Fried Chicken was started in southern Laurel County by Colonel Harland Sanders just north of Corbin. Nowadays, visitors are welcomed to the original cafe and museum where they can eat at, tour, and learn about the start of the worldwide franchise. Due to the history of chicken in the county, The World Chicken Festival is celebrated every year in London, the county seat, drawing crowds of up to 250,000 people over the four-day festival.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 434 square miles (1,120 km2) is land and 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (2.2%) is water.[6] Part of Laurel River Lake is in Laurel County.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18302,206
18403,07939.6%
18504,14534.6%
18605,48832.4%
18706,0169.6%
18809,13151.8%
189013,74750.6%
190017,59228.0%
191019,87213.0%
192019,814−0.3%
193021,1096.5%
194025,64021.5%
195025,7970.6%
196024,901−3.5%
197027,38610.0%
198038,98242.3%
199043,43811.4%
200052,71521.4%
201058,84911.6%
202062,6136.4%
2021 (est.)62,561[7]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census of 2020, there were 62,613 people, 22,573 (2015-2019) households, and families residing in the county. The population density was 121 per square mile (47/km2). There were 22,317 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.66% White, 1.63% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 0.55% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

As of the census of 2010, Laurel County was 97.00% White or European American, 0.3% Native American and 0.7% Black or African American.[12]

There were 20,353 households, out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.60% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.50% were non-families. 21.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.97.

The age distribution was 25.40% under 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,015, and the median income for a family was $31,318. Males had a median income of $27,965 versus $19,757 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,165. About 17.80% of families and 21.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.80% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Like all of the eastern Pennyroyal Plateau and adjacent parts of the Western and Eastern Coalfields, Laurel County was strongly pro-Union during the Civil War. The county – in common with all adjacent areas – has been rock-ribbed Republican ever since. The only Democrats to receive forty percent of the county's vote since then have been Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1932 landslide and Lyndon Johnson during an equally large landslide in 1964, although with the Republican Party mortally divided Woodrow Wilson did obtain a nine-vote plurality in 1912.*

United States presidential election results for Laurel County, Kentucky[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 23,237 82.66% 4,475 15.92% 399 1.42%
2016 20,592 82.92% 3,440 13.85% 801 3.23%
2012 18,151 81.00% 3,905 17.43% 352 1.57%
2008 17,660 78.49% 4,618 20.52% 222 0.99%
2004 16,819 75.54% 5,297 23.79% 148 0.66%
2000 13,029 71.90% 4,856 26.80% 235 1.30%
1996 9,454 62.65% 4,306 28.54% 1,330 8.81%
1992 8,583 57.03% 4,560 30.30% 1,907 12.67%
1988 9,296 71.54% 3,620 27.86% 78 0.60%
1984 9,621 74.41% 3,267 25.27% 41 0.32%
1980 8,868 68.23% 3,969 30.54% 160 1.23%
1976 6,186 61.41% 3,813 37.85% 74 0.73%
1972 7,276 75.63% 2,274 23.64% 70 0.73%
1968 6,251 67.57% 1,756 18.98% 1,244 13.45%
1964 5,008 57.80% 3,633 41.93% 24 0.28%
1960 7,485 76.42% 2,309 23.58% 0 0.00%
1956 6,586 73.87% 2,316 25.98% 14 0.16%
1952 5,776 71.74% 2,263 28.11% 12 0.15%
1948 4,107 64.60% 2,187 34.40% 64 1.01%
1944 5,051 70.54% 2,104 29.39% 5 0.07%
1940 5,180 64.27% 2,860 35.48% 20 0.25%
1936 4,798 64.08% 2,677 35.76% 12 0.16%
1932 4,827 57.26% 3,569 42.34% 34 0.40%
1928 4,906 81.06% 1,141 18.85% 5 0.08%
1924 3,274 66.24% 1,451 29.35% 218 4.41%
1920 4,252 71.96% 1,621 27.43% 36 0.61%
1916 2,383 65.29% 1,171 32.08% 96 2.63%
1912 1,085 32.66% 1,094 32.93% 1,143 34.41%


Education[edit]

Two public school districts serve K-12 students in the county:[14]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

  • Corbin (Mostly in Whitley County; part also in Knox County)
  • London

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Laurel County". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. 2000. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 458. ISBN 9780722249208.
  5. ^ Hogan, Roseann Reinemuth (1992). Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research. Ancestry Publishing. p. 266. ISBN 9780916489496. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Laurel County, Kentucky". QuickFacts. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Laurel County, KY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2022. - Text list - For more detailed boundaries of the independent school districts see: "Appendix B: Maps Of Independent School Districts In Operation In FY 2014-FY 2015 Using 2005 Tax District Boundaries – East Bernstadt 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. 104 (PDF p. 118/174).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°06′38″N 84°07′04″W / 37.11067°N 84.1178°W / 37.11067; -84.1178