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Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentuckymarker. It is the most populous county in Kentucky and is more than twice as populous as the second most populous, Fayettemarker. It was formed in 1780. As of 2008, the population estimate recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 713,887. In November 2008 the city of Louisville challenged the U.S. census stating that they had miscounted Jefferson County population figures. If this ends up being correct Jefferson County could actually be well over 750,000 people.

Jefferson County is the most populous county in the Louisville/Jefferson Countymarker, KY–INmarker Metropolitan Statistical Areamarker.


Historic marker at the Jefferson County Courthouse
Jefferson County was organized in 1780 and one of the first three counties formed out of the original Kentucky County, which was still part of Virginiamarker at the time (the other two being Fayettemarker and Lincolnmarker). The county is named for Thomas Jefferson, who was governor of Virginiamarker at the time.

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

In 2003, its government merged with that of its largest city and county seat, Louisvillemarker, forming a new entity, the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government (the official long form) or simply Louisville Metro (the official short form).

Prior to this merger, the head of local government was the County Judge/Executive, a post that still exists but now has few powers. The current incumbent is Ken Herndon. Local government is effectively now led by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, Jerry Abramson.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and is water. The Ohio River forms its northern boundary with the state of Indianamarker.

The highest point is South Park Hill, elevation , located in the southern part of the county. The lowest point is along the Ohio River just north of West Point, Kentuckymarker.

Adjacent counties


As of the census of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, and 183,113 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of . 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 $43,789 (2005), and the median income for a family was $49,161. Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,352. About 9.50% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.10% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns and census-designated places

NOTE: 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 have dissolved in the process. The functions formerly served by the county government for the town 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, however, in 2003, these places became neighborhoods within the city limits of Louisville Metro.
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See also


  1. Census Population Estimates for 2005 line 25202

External links

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