Perry County, Kentucky
|Founded||November 2, 1820|
|Named for||Oliver Hazard Perry|
|• Total||343 sq mi (890 km2)|
|• Land||340 sq mi (900 km2)|
|• Water||2.9 sq mi (8 km2) 0.9%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||83/sq mi (32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 28,473. Its county seat is Hazard. The county was founded in 1820. Both the county and county seat are named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval hero in the War of 1812.
The area presently bounded by Kentucky state lines was a part of the U.S. State of Virginia, known as Kentucky County when the British colonies separated themselves in the American Revolutionary War. In 1780, Kentucky County was divided into three counties: Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln. In 1791, this area was separated into the State of Kentucky; it became effective on June 1, 1792. From that time, the original three counties were divided several times. By 1820, the present Perry County was formed from portions of Floyd and Clay counties. In 1824 the first post office was built on the north fork of the Kentucky River, and was called the Perry Post Office. The first settlers around this area were Elijah Combs, his seven brothers and daughter Jade miller.
The county's economy has long been based on logging and mining coal.
Perry County is home to Hazard Community and Technical College. It is also home to the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, a not-for-profit health system operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies. It is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.
- Breathitt County (north)
- Knott County (northeast)
- Letcher County (southeast)
- Harlan County (south)
- Leslie County (west)
- Clay County (northwest)
- Owsley County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 29,390 people, 11,460 households, and 8,491 families residing in the county. The population density was 86 per square mile (33/km2). There were 12,741 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.34% White, 1.64% Black or African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,460 households, out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.90% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.40% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $22,089, and the median income for a family was $26,718. Males had a median income of $31,702 versus $20,502 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,224. About 26.10% of families and 29.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.00% of those under age 18 and 20.60% of those age 65 or over.
Of 3,142 counties in the United States in 2013, Perry County ranked 3,140 in the life expectancy of both male and female residents. Males in Perry County lived an average of 66.5 years and females lived an average of 73.1 years compared to the national average for longevity of 76.5 for males and 81.2 for females. Moreover, the average longevity in Perry County declined by 0.1 years for males and 2.4 years for females between 1985 and 2013 compared to a national average for the same period of an increased life span of 5.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women. High rates of smoking and obesity and a low level of physical activity appear to be contributing factors to the lowered longevity for both sexes.
The county has two school districts:
Perry County Schools
This district covers the entire county except for the city of Hazard.
Hazard Independent Schools
This district essentially encompasses the city of Hazard. See this link for a more accurate map of the Hazard district boundary.
- Hazard High School
- Hazard Middle School
- Roy G. Eversole Elementary School
- Hazard Christian Academy
- Camden Baker Memorial Schools
Coal companies in Perry County
Other unincorporated places
- Blue Diamond
- Curly Fork
- Gays Creek
- Happy Valley
- Lead Branch
- Little Beech
- Middle Fork
- Otter Creek
- Red Hill
- Rock Fork
- Upper Pidgeonroost
- Woodland Park
- "State & County QuickFacts".
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Perry County". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. 2000. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Bergstrom, Bill (December 11, 1984). "Origins of place names are traced". Kentucky New Era. p. 2B. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
- About Perry County
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Perry County, Kentucky"  Archived April 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine accessed October 12, 2016
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
- Arch Coal - Hazard Complex Archived September 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- James River Coal Company – Leeco complex
- James River Coal Company – Blue Diamond complex
- Perry - TECO Coal Archived January 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- "LKLP Community Action Council, Inc. > Programs > Public Transportation". Retrieved May 19, 2015.
- "Jean Ritchie Pickow". Hall of Distinguished Alumni. UK Alumni Association. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Hazard/Perry County Tourism
- Hazard Kentucky and Perry County: A Photographic History
- Hazard Kentucky and Perry County History & Ancestry