Bell County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Bell County, Kentucky
Map
Map of Kentucky highlighting Bell County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the USA highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1867
Seat Pineville
Largest City Middlesboro
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

361 sq mi (935 km²)
359 sq mi (930 km²)
2.1 sq mi (5 km²), 0.6%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

28,691
80/sq mi (31/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website: http://bellcounty.ky.gov/default.htm
Named for: Joshua Fry Bell

Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,691. Its county seat is Pineville. The county was formed August 1, 1867, from parts of Knox and Harlan Counties and augmented from Knox County in 1872. The county is named for Joshua Fry Bell, and was originally called "Josh Bell" but shortened to "Bell" by 1880.

Bell County is considered a "Moist" county, a special type of county between dry and wet. The County recently changed to moist by a vote in September, 2015 allowing alcohol-by-the-drink sales in Middlesboro, Kentucky. In a standard dry county, all sales of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Under ABC terminology, a limited county is an otherwise dry county in which at least one city has approved the sale of alcohol by the drink at restaurants that both seat a state-mandated number of diners and derive no more than 30% of their revenue from alcoholic beverages. In the case of Bell County, Pineville had voted to allow alcohol by the drink in restaurants that seat at least 100 diners. This was the terminology to describe the area until the Middlesboro Vote allowing the retail of alcohol.

The Middlesborough, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Bell County.

History

The Wilderness Road was constructed in the 1790s through what is now Bell County.

Bell County was formed on February 28, 1867, from portions of Harlan and Knox counties. It was named for Joshua Fry Bell, an attorney and member of Congress. The courthouse has been thrice destroyed. In 1914 and 1918 it was destroyed by fire and in 1976 through flood. The documents stored there were destroyed as well.

The Community of "South America" (known as Frakes since the 1930s) in Bell County appears to have been established in the Spanish Era. Spain did grant land grants in Old Kentucky prior to English settlement. The Community of South America links southeast Kentucky to an era of Indian herbal harvest and sales much like the Daniel Boone era in the state .

Bell County has one of the highest ratios of local peace officer deaths of any KY or US county per capita, with 21 deputy sheriffs and a sheriff's K-9 having been killed in the county's history (www.odmp.org [Kentucky page])

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 361 square miles (930 km2), of which 359 square miles (930 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,731
1880 6,055 62.3%
1890 10,312 70.3%
1900 15,701 52.3%
1910 28,447 81.2%
1920 33,988 19.5%
1930 38,747 14.0%
1940 43,812 13.1%
1950 47,602 8.7%
1960 35,336 −25.8%
1970 31,121 −11.9%
1980 34,330 10.3%
1990 31,506 −8.2%
2000 30,060 −4.6%
2010 28,691 −4.6%
Est. 2015 27,337 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,060 people, 12,004 households, and 8,522 families residing in the county. The population density was 83 per square mile (32/km2). There were 13,341 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.02% White, 2.40% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,004 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.00% were married couples living together, 15.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 26.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.95.

The age distribution was 24.40% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% 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 88.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $19,057, and the median income for a family was $23,818. Males had a median income of $24,521 versus $19,975 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,526. About 26.70% of families and 31.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.00% of those under age 18 and 21.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities


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