Wolfe County, Kentucky

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Wolfe County
Wolfe County courthouse in Campton
Wolfe County courthouse in Campton
Map of Kentucky highlighting Wolfe 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°44′N 83°29′W / 37.74°N 83.49°W / 37.74; -83.49
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1860
Named forThe Wolfe family out of Western North Carolina
SeatCampton
Largest cityCampton
Area
 • Total223 sq mi (580 km2)
 • Land222 sq mi (570 km2)
 • Water0.6 sq mi (2 km2)  0.3%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total6,562 Decrease
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district6th

Wolfe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,355.[1] Its county seat is Campton.[2] The county is named for Nathaniel Wolfe.

History[edit]

Wolfe County was formed on March 5, 1860, from portions of Breathitt County, Morgan County, Owsley County and Powell County. It was named for Nathaneal Wolfe, a member of the legislative assembly.[3]

Campton, the county's seat was reportedly formed from camp town in Wolfe County. A small creek winding through Campton, Swift Creek, is named after Jonathan Swift of the legend of Swift's silver mine. Swift supposedly buried treasure in the area which has never been recovered.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 223 square miles (580 km2), of which 222 square miles (570 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (0.3%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

State protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18703,603
18805,63856.5%
18907,18027.4%
19008,76422.1%
19109,86412.6%
19208,783−11.0%
19308,425−4.1%
19409,99718.7%
19507,615−23.8%
19606,534−14.2%
19705,669−13.2%
19806,69818.2%
19906,503−2.9%
20007,0658.6%
20107,3554.1%
20206,562−10.8%
2021 (est.)6,507−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2021[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 7,065 people, 2,816 households, and 1,976 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 per square mile (12/km2). There were 3,264 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (5.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 99.24% White, 0.24% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.33% from two or more races. 0.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,816 households, out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.30% were married couples living together, 12.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.90% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $19,310, and the median income for a family was $23,333. Males had a median income of $23,859 versus $18,952 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,321. About 29.90% of families and 35.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.20% of those under age 18 and 26.70% of those age 65 or over.

Wolfe County is the poorest county in the United States, by median household income.[10]

Politics[edit]

Wolfe County, like most of Eastern Kentucky is historically Democratic. In 2000, George W. Bush narrowly won the county and became the first Republican to do so, but the county still proved its Democratic loyalty by supporting John Kerry by a comfortable margin in the next election. However, the county has indeed drifted away from the Democrats at the presidential level as Mitt Romney won the county 60% to 30% in 2012, and Donald Trump with an even wider margin of 68% to 28%.

Wolfe remained reliably Democratic at the state level for some time after ceasing to favor the Democratic Party at the presidential level; it voted against Matt Bevin in both of his gubernatorial elections, and, along with nearby Elliott County, it was, until 2020, one of only two counties in Kentucky to have voted against Senator Mitch McConnell in each of his elections. In 2020, however, both counties voted for McConnell over his Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath.[11]

United States presidential election results for Wolfe County, Kentucky[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,097 70.39% 839 28.16% 43 1.44%
2016 1,804 68.46% 753 28.58% 78 2.96%
2012 1,542 60.26% 976 38.14% 41 1.60%
2008 1,408 47.44% 1,493 50.30% 67 2.26%
2004 1,385 43.90% 1,744 55.28% 26 0.82%
2000 1,267 52.25% 1,136 46.85% 22 0.91%
1996 772 33.61% 1,297 56.46% 228 9.93%
1992 697 25.97% 1,674 62.37% 313 11.66%
1988 916 36.94% 1,516 61.13% 48 1.94%
1984 1,257 46.68% 1,394 51.76% 42 1.56%
1980 951 33.90% 1,814 64.67% 40 1.43%
1976 659 26.81% 1,777 72.29% 22 0.90%
1972 936 48.83% 957 49.92% 24 1.25%
1968 758 34.35% 1,162 52.65% 287 13.00%
1964 562 21.64% 2,018 77.71% 17 0.65%
1960 1,259 44.76% 1,554 55.24% 0 0.00%
1956 1,059 38.62% 1,683 61.38% 0 0.00%
1952 876 35.98% 1,557 63.94% 2 0.08%
1948 813 29.73% 1,918 70.13% 4 0.15%
1944 889 37.98% 1,450 61.94% 2 0.09%
1940 1,032 31.88% 2,205 68.12% 0 0.00%
1936 972 38.13% 1,577 61.87% 0 0.00%
1932 909 28.13% 2,321 71.81% 2 0.06%
1928 1,270 48.36% 1,356 51.64% 0 0.00%
1924 821 33.72% 1,597 65.59% 17 0.70%
1920 939 38.61% 1,476 60.69% 17 0.70%
1916 645 36.67% 1,108 62.99% 6 0.34%
1912 395 25.92% 873 57.28% 256 16.80%


Events[edit]

The annual Swift Silver Mine Festival is held on Labor Day weekend each year. It includes a parade and vendors in the downtown Campton area.

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 37.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data".
  11. ^ "2020 Kentucky Senate Results". Politico. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  12. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 6, 2018.

Coordinates: 37°44′N 83°29′W / 37.74°N 83.49°W / 37.74; -83.49