Kentucky, one of the southeastern states of the United States. It is bordered by Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri. Kentucky has an area of 40,411 square miles (104,665 km 2), ranking 37th in size in the nation. Maximum dimensions are about 425 miles (685 km) east-west and 180 miles (290 km) north-south.

Kentucky'sKentucky's state bird is the Kentucky cardinal.
Kentucky in brief
General information
Statehood: June 1, 1792, the 15th state.
State abbreviations: Ky. or Ken. (traditional); KY (postal).
State capital: Frankfort, Kentucky's capital since 1793. Lexington served as the temporary capital in 1792.
State motto: United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
State song: "My Old Kentucky Home." Words and music by Stephen Collins Foster.
Symbols of Kentucky
State bird: Cardinal.
State flower: Goldenrod.
State tree: Tulip-poplar (yellow-poplar).
State flag and seal: Kentucky's state flag, first adopted in 1918, bears the state seal on a blue background. The lower portion of the seal is surrounded by a wreath of goldenrod, the state flower. The goldenrod, gold lettering, and blue background display the state's official colors. On the state seal, first adopted in 1792, a pioneer and a gentleman embrace. The state motto, United We Stand, Divided We Fall, appears above and below them. A wreath of goldenrod decorates the bottom.
Land and climate
Area: 40,411 mi2 (104,665 km2), including 679 mi2 (1,758 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest--Black Mountain, 4,145 ft (1,263 m) above sea level. Lowest--257 ft (78 m) above sea level along the Mississippi River in Fulton County.
Record high temperature: 114 °F (46 °C) at Greensburg on July 28, 1930.
Record low temperature: –37 °F (–38 °C) at Shelbyville on Jan. 19, 1994.
Average July temperature: 77 °F (25 °C).
Average January temperature: 34 °F (1 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 47 in (119 cm).
Population: 4,041,769.
Rank among the states: 25th.
Density: 100 persons per mi2 (39 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 56 percent urban, 44 percent rural.
Largest cities in Kentucky: Lexington (260,512); Louisville (256,231); Owensboro (54,067); Bowling Green (49,296); Covington (43,370); Hopkinsville (30,089).
Chief products
Agriculture: apples, beef cattle, broilers, corn, hay, hogs, horses, milk, soybeans, tobacco, wheat.
Manufacturing: chemicals, primary metal products, processed foods and beverages, transportation equipment.
Mining: coal, crushed stone, limestone, natural gas, petroleum.
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 38; 4-year terms.
State representatives: 100; 2-year terms.
Counties: 120.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 6.
Electoral votes: 8.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: Kentucky Department of Tourism, Capital Plaza Tower, 22nd Floor, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. The Web site at also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. The organization's Web site at also supplies information.
The state's official Web site at provides a gateway to much information on Kentucky's economy, government, and history.