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Cumberland, Kentucky
Main Street downtown
Main Street downtown
Location of Cumberland in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Location of Cumberland in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Harlan
 • Total 3.15 sq mi (8.15 km2)
 • Land 3.12 sq mi (8.07 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
1,444 ft (440 m)
 • Total 1,947
 • Density 625.04/sq mi (241.34/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-19108
GNIS feature ID 0511673

Cumberland is a home rule-class city in Harlan County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population according to the 2010 Census was 2,237, down from 2,611 at the 2000 census.


Cumberland was settled in 1837 and named Poor Fork, for its location on a fork of the Cumberland River with relatively poor soil. It remained isolated until the coal mining boom of the 1900s when railroads connected it with surrounding towns. It was renamed Cumberland in 1926.


Cumberland is located at 36°58′37″N 82°59′15″W / 36.97694°N 82.98750°W / 36.97694; -82.98750 (36.977016, -82.987434).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (12 km2) is land and 0.22% is water.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cumberland has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 300
1930 2,639 779.7%
1940 4,149 57.2%
1950 4,249 2.4%
1960 4,271 0.5%
1970 3,380 −20.9%
1980 3,712 9.8%
1990 3,112 −16.2%
2000 2,611 −16.1%
2010 2,237 −14.3%
2020 1,947 −13.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,611 people, 1,076 households, and 723 families residing in the city. The population density was 570.5 people per square mile (220.1/km2). There were 1,288 housing units at an average density of 281.4 per square mile (108.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.60% White, 5.09% African American, 0.50% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.84% of the population.

There were 1,076 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.5% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $15,929, and the median income for a family was $22,365. Males had a median income of $34,327 versus $13,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,835. About 31.5% of families and 38.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 56.3% of those under age 18 and 19.5% of those age 65 or over.


Cumberland is home to Kingdom Come State Park, which features a lake, gift shop, camp sites miniature golf, paddleboating, picnic facilities, primitive camping, hiking trails, and an amphitheatre. The park is also home to natural rock formations including Raven Rock and Log Rock. The park also is home to two overlooks that provide scenic views of the Appalachian Mountains.

Cumberland is home to the annual Kingdom Come Swappin' Meetin', a festival honoring Appalachian history, folklore, and products. The festival is held on the campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland. The festival includes live demonstrations of Appalachian methods and traditions. The most recent festival is the annual Black Bear Festival, is in honor of the popular black bears at Kingdom Come State Park.


Cumberland is home to the main campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Cumberland has a lending library, a branch of the Harlan County Public Library.

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