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Boone County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Boone County
The old Boone County courthouse in Burlington
The old Boone County courthouse in Burlington
Map of Kentucky highlighting Boone 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 1798
Named for Daniel Boone
Seat Burlington
Largest city Florence
 • Total 256 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Land 246 sq mi (640 km2)
 • Water 10 sq mi (30 km2)  3.9%%
 • Total 135,968 Increase
 • Density 349/sq mi (135/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 4th

Boone County is a county located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 135,968, making it the fourth-most populous county in Kentucky. Its county seat is Burlington. The county was formed in 1798 from a portion of Campbell County. and was named for frontiersman Daniel Boone. Boone County, with Kenton and Campbell Counties, is of the Northern Kentucky metro area, and the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the location of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which serves Cincinnati and the tri-state area and was the former headquarters of Comair.


Native Americans left a large late historic village in Petersburg that contained "at least two periods of habitation dating to 1150 A.D. and 1400 A.D."

An unnamed Frenchman in 1729 drew an area on his chart where Big Bone Lick State Park in modern-day Boone County exists with a French inscription that translates to "where they found the bones of an elephant." Later on, another Frenchman, Charles le Moyne de Longueuil (1687–1755) would be credited with investigating the Big Bone Lick area.

In 1789, 10-year-old John Tanner was captured by Shawnee Indians in Boone County, across from the mouth of the Great Miami River, while his Presbyterian minister father, brother, and their slaves were planting corn.

Boone County was founded in 1798, and named after Daniel Boone.

Margaret Garner

On January 28, 1856, Robert and a pregnant Margaret "Peggy" Garner, together with family members, escaped and fled to Cincinnati, Ohio, along with several other slave families. Seventeen people were reported to have been in their party. In the coldest winter in 60 years, the Ohio River had frozen. The group crossed the ice just west of Covington, Kentucky at daybreak, and escaped to Cincinnati, then divided to avoid detection. They set out for Joseph Kite's house in Cincinnati.

Margaret Garner would become famous for slitting her own daughter's throat (Mary) to prevent her from going back into slavery when Archibald K. Gaines and his posse, along with Federal Marshals, caught up to the fleeing slaves at Joseph Kite's house.

Margaret Garner was first owned by, and may have been the daughter of, the plantation owner John Pollard Gaines himself. In December 1849, the plantation was sold along with all the slaves to John P. Gaines' younger brother, Archibald K. Gaines. The Gaines family lived on a farm called Maplewood in Boone County, Kentucky, just west of Richwood Presbyterian Church, of which Archibald K. Gaines was a member. 3 of Margaret Garner's children, including Mary, the daughter whose throat Margaret Garner slashed, were likely the children of Archibald K. Gaines, the only adult white male at Maplewood. The timing suggests they were each conceived after his wife had become pregnant and was unavailable to him.

Margaret Garner's story was the inspiration for the novel Beloved (1987) by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison (that later was adapted into a film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey), as well as for her libretto for the early 21st century opera Margaret Garner (2005), composed by Richard Danielpour.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 256 square miles (660 km2), of which 246 square miles (640 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (3.9%) is water. Its location along the Ohio River was key to its early development, as the river was the major transportation route.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 1,534
1810 3,608 135.2%
1820 6,542 81.3%
1830 9,075 38.7%
1840 10,034 10.6%
1850 11,185 11.5%
1860 11,196 0.1%
1870 10,696 −4.5%
1880 11,996 12.2%
1890 12,246 2.1%
1900 11,170 −8.8%
1910 9,420 −15.7%
1920 9,572 1.6%
1930 9,595 0.2%
1940 10,820 12.8%
1950 13,015 20.3%
1960 21,940 68.6%
1970 32,812 49.6%
1980 45,842 39.7%
1990 57,589 25.6%
2000 85,991 49.3%
2010 118,811 38.2%
2020 135,968 14.4%
2021 (est.) 137,412 15.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2021

As of the census of 2000, there were 85,991 people, 31,258 households, and 23,443 families residing in the county. The population density was 349 per square mile (135/km2). There were 33,351 housing units at an average density of 135 per square mile (52/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.15% White, 1.52% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. 1.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 31,258 households, out of which 39.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.60% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.00% were non-families. 20.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.70% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 33.50% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 8.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $53,593, and the median income for a family was $61,114. Males had a median income of $42,105 versus $27,414 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,535. About 4.40% of families and 5.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.40% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.

Major attractions

The Creation Museum (Petersburg), operated by the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, as well as Big Bone Lick State Park, "birthplace of American paleontology," are located in Boone County.



Census-designated places

Burlington from the air, looking east

Other unincorporated communities


Boone County is the location of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which includes the headquarters of DHL Express and Southern Air.

See also

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