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Ballard County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Ballard County
Ballard County Courthouse in Wickliffe
Ballard County Courthouse in Wickliffe
Map of Kentucky highlighting Ballard County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Kentucky
Founded 1842
Named for Bland Ballard
Seat Wickliffe
Largest city LaCenter
 • Total 274 sq mi (710 km2)
 • Land 247 sq mi (640 km2)
 • Water 27 sq mi (70 km2)  9.9%%
 • Total 7,728 Decrease
 • Density 33/sq mi (13/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Ballard County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 7,728. Its county seat is Wickliffe. The county was created by the Kentucky State Legislature in 1842 and is named for Captain Bland Ballard, a soldier, statesman, and member of the Kentucky General Assembly. Ballard County is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Ballard County was formed from portions of Hickman County and McCracken County. It was named for Bland Ballard (1761–1853), a Kentucky pioneer and soldier who served as a scout for General George Rogers Clark during the American Revolutionary War, and later commanded a company during the War of 1812. On February 17, 1880, the courthouse was destroyed by a fire, which also destroyed most of the county's early records. The county seat was transferred from Blandville to Wickliffe in 1882.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 274 square miles (710 km2), of which 247 square miles (640 km2) is land and 27 square miles (70 km2) (9.9%) is water.

State protected area

Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve is a 458 acres (1.85 km2) nature preserve located in Ballard County, in the Barlow Bottoms. The preserve is part of the 3,000-acre (12 km2) Axe Lake Swamp wetlands complex which supports at least eight rare plant and animal species. The site has been recognized as a priority wetland in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 5,496
1860 8,692 58.2%
1870 12,576 44.7%
1880 14,378 14.3%
1890 8,390 −41.6%
1900 10,761 28.3%
1910 12,690 17.9%
1920 12,045 −5.1%
1930 9,910 −17.7%
1940 9,480 −4.3%
1950 8,545 −9.9%
1960 8,291 −3.0%
1970 8,276 −0.2%
1980 8,798 6.3%
1990 7,902 −10.2%
2000 8,286 4.9%
2010 8,249 −0.4%
2020 7,728 −6.3%
2021 (est.) 7,695 −6.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2021

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,286 people, 3,395 households, and 2,413 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 per square mile (13/km2). There were 3,837 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (5.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.32% White, 2.87% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 0.63% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 3,395 households, out of which 30.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.60% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.85.

The age distribution was 23.10% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,130, and the median income for a family was $41,386. Males had a median income of $32,345 versus $20,902 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,035. About 10.70% of families and 13.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.30% of those under age 18 and 15.40% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

  • Morris E. Crain, Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II
  • Kenny Rollins, an American basketball player who was a member of the University of Kentucky's "Fab Five" who won the 1948 NCAA Championship, the 1948 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team, and the NBA's Chicago Stags and Boston Celtics
  • Oscar Turner (1825–1896), state senator, U. S. representative and namesake of Oscar, Kentucky
  • Earl Grace, Major League Baseball catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago Cubs

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Ballard para niños

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