According to the 2000 census, Kentucky ranked 25th among the states, with a population of 4,041,769. This figure represents an increase of 9.7 percent over the 1990 census figure of 3,685,296. Kentucky’s average population density in 2006 was 41 persons per sq km (106 per sq mi); considerably higher densities occurred in the north central and western parts of the state.
Whites comprised the largest share of the population in 2000, with 90.1 percent of the people. Blacks were 7.3 percent of the population; Asians were 0.7 percent, Native Americans were 0.2 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race were 1.6 percent. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 1,460. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 1.5 percent of the people.
In the 1960s Kentucky’s population became predominantly urban for the first time. By 2000 some 56 percent of the population lived in urban areas, compared with 45 percent in 1960. The decline in rural population and growth of urban areas have been constant since the 1940s. These shifts in population have been largely a result of people moving from rural to urban areas in search of better employment. In addition, there has been an outflow of people, especially from eastern Kentucky, to urban and industrial centers in other states.
Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby horse race and many of Kentucky’s industries, is the center of a metropolitan region that extends into Indiana. The city itself had a population of 248,762 in 2003. The Louisville metropolitan area, which comprised Jefferson, Bullitt, and Oldham counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, Harrison, and Scott counties in Indiana, had 1,222,216 inhabitants in 2006.
In the heart of the Bluegrass region, Lexington-Fayette had 268,080 inhabitants in 2005. The metropolitan area had a population of 436,684. It extends over Fayette, Bourbon, Clark, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford counties. Owensboro had 55,459 residents. Covington, with a population of 42,811, and the adjoining city of Newport, which had a population of 15,911, formed part of the metropolitan area of Cincinnati, Ohio. Other major cities in Kentucky are Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, Paducah, Henderson, and Ashland. Frankfort, the state capital, had a population of 27,210 in 2005. "Kentucky" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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