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Grand Rivers, Kentucky
Downtown Grand Rivers, Kentucky
Downtown Grand Rivers, Kentucky
Location of Grand Rivers in Livingston County, Kentucky.
Location of Grand Rivers in Livingston County, Kentucky.
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Livingston
Named for the nearby Cumberland, Tennessee, and Ohio rivers
 • Total 1.97 sq mi (5.10 km2)
 • Land 1.85 sq mi (4.80 km2)
 • Water 0.12 sq mi (0.30 km2)
387 ft (118 m)
 • Total 345
 • Density 186.18/sq mi (71.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 270 & 364
FIPS code 21-32212
GNIS feature ID 0493092
Boston financier Thomas Lawson's residence in Grand Rivers, when he was promoting the town as the next great steel-making center, to rival Pittsburgh and Birmingham.

Grand Rivers is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 382 at the 2010 census, up from 343 in 2000. It is part of the Paducah micropolitan area.


Grand Rivers is located at 37°0′17″N 88°13′54″W / 37.00472°N 88.23167°W / 37.00472; -88.23167 (37.004732, -88.231773). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), of which 1.8 square miles (4.8 km²) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.13%) is water.

The town was formerly located at the narrowest point between the Cumberland River and the Tennessee. Both were dammed and artificial lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the early 20th century; the town now lies on an isthmus of land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.


Grand Rivers may have originally been known as Narrows from its position between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. The local post office was established in 1879 as Otisville; changed its name in 1882 to Bernard; and was then changed again to Nickells the next year after the name of a new Illinois Central station.

The settlement was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1890 as Grand Rivers. This newly expanded community was part of local businessman Thomas W. Lawson's attempt to develop local iron deposits into a major steel industry. (The enterprise failed within a few years.) The name refers the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers which previously met near the site, prior to the TVA's creation of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. The Tennessee's confluence with the Ohio is located within 40 miles of the town as well.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 478
1930 452 −5.4%
1940 499 10.4%
1950 234 −53.1%
1960 378 61.5%
1970 438 15.9%
1980 428 −2.3%
1990 351 −18.0%
2000 343 −2.3%
2010 382 11.4%
2020 345 −9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 343 people, 165 households, and 103 families residing in the city. The population density was 186.1 people per square mile (72.0/km2). There were 201 housing units at an average density of 109.1 per square mile (42.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.08% White, 0.29% Native American, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.

There were 165 households, out of which 17.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 16.6% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 35.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,250, and the median income for a family was $42,917. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $15,521 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,642. About 8.7% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

See also

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