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Lawrence County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Lawrence County
Lawrence County Courthouse in Louisa
Lawrence County Courthouse in Louisa
Map of Kentucky highlighting Lawrence 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 December 14, 1821
Named for James Lawrence
Seat Louisa
Largest city Louisa
 • Total 420 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 416 sq mi (1,080 km2)
 • Water 4.5 sq mi (12 km2)  1.1%
 • Total 16,293 Increase
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th

Lawrence County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. Its county seat is Louisa. The county is named for James Lawrence, and co-founded by Isaac Bolt, who served as a Lawrence County Commissioner and Justice of the Peace.

Lawrence County is the home of bluegrass music and country music star Tyler Childers. It is the birthplace of the late Chief Justice of the United States Frederick Moore Vinson and former Kentucky Governor Paul E. Patton. In regard to alcoholic beverage sales, Lawrence County is considered a "moist" county, meaning alcohol sales are only allowed within the city limits of Louisa. There are no alcohol sales within the rest of the county. Only two stores sell liquor (to prevent a monopoly), and most convenience stores sell beer and malted beverages.


Lawrence County was established in 1821 from land given by Floyd and Greenup Counties. Four courthouses have served Lawrence County; the first was completed in 1823.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 420 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 416 square miles (1,080 km2) is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km2) (1.1%) is water.

The bridge from Louisa, in eastern Lawrence County, to Fort Gay, West Virginia is something of a geographic and architectural oddity. The quarter-mile concrete span spans across the Levisa Fork and the Tug River that come together and form the Big Sandy River, connects two states and has a right turn at its halfway point, which connects traffic to the Point Section neighborhood of Louisa.

Yatesville Lake State Park

Yatesville Lake was opened in 1992 and is a 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) reservoir managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Yatesville Lake provides flood control for the region as well as recreational opportunities. The Corps manages a boat ramp at the Rich Creek area.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 3,900
1840 4,730 21.3%
1850 6,281 32.8%
1860 7,601 21.0%
1870 8,497 11.8%
1880 13,262 56.1%
1890 17,702 33.5%
1900 19,612 10.8%
1910 20,067 2.3%
1920 17,643 −12.1%
1930 16,713 −5.3%
1940 17,275 3.4%
1950 14,418 −16.5%
1960 12,134 −15.8%
1970 10,726 −11.6%
1980 14,121 31.7%
1990 13,998 −0.9%
2000 15,569 11.2%
2010 15,860 1.9%
2020 16,293 2.7%
2021 (est.) 16,290 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2021

At the 2000 census there were 15,569 people, 5,954 households, and 4,477 families in the county. The population density was 37 per square mile (14/km2). There were 7,040 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.93% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.05% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 0.41%. were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 5,954 households 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.30% were married couples living together, 10.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were non-families. 22.40% of households were one person and 10.00% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.02.

The age distribution was 25.30% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% 65 or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median household income was $21,610 and the median family income was $26,113. Males had a median income of $30,735 versus $19,174 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,008. About 25.30% of families and 30.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.00% of those under age 18 and 27.30% of those age 65 or over.


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