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Madison County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Madison County
Madison County courthouse in Richmond
Madison County courthouse in Richmond
Map of Kentucky highlighting Madison 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 15, 1785
Named for James Madison
Seat Richmond
Largest city Richmond
 • Total 443 sq mi (1,150 km2)
 • Land 437 sq mi (1,130 km2)
 • Water 6.0 sq mi (16 km2)  1.3%%
 • Total 82,916
 • Density 190/sq mi (70/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 6th

Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 82,916. Its county seat is Richmond. The county is named for Virginia statesman James Madison, who later became the fourth President of the United States.

Madison County is part of the Richmond-Berea, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Lexington-Fayette-Richmond-Frankfort, KY Combined Statistical Area.

It is considered a moist county, meaning that although the county prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages (and is thus a dry county), it contains a city where retail alcohol sales are allowed. Nevertheless, two of Richmond's 19 precincts are dry. Alcohol can also be sold by the drink in Berea and at Arlington and The Bull golf clubs.

Madison County is home to Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College, Boone Tavern, and Bybee Pottery,(closed February 2011) one of the oldest pottery operations in the United States. This is also where famous pioneer Daniel Boone lived and built Fort Boonesborough, now a state historic site.


Indian trader John Findley, Daniel Boone, and four others first came into the area that is now Madison County in 1769 on a hunting and exploring expedition. In 1774, the Transylvania Company, led by Judge Richard Henderson of North Carolina, purchased 20,000,000 acres of land west of the Appalachians (including present-day Madison County) from the Cherokee Nation. Daniel Boone was hired to cut a trail through the Cumberland Gap and establish a settlement on the Kentucky River. The settlement at Fort Boonesborough began in April 1775.

In 1785, Madison County was established from land taken from Lincoln County, Virginia.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 443 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 437 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 5,772
1800 10,490 81.7%
1810 15,540 48.1%
1820 15,954 2.7%
1830 18,751 17.5%
1840 16,355 −12.8%
1850 15,727 −3.8%
1860 17,207 9.4%
1870 19,543 13.6%
1880 22,052 12.8%
1890 24,348 10.4%
1900 25,607 5.2%
1910 26,951 5.2%
1920 26,284 −2.5%
1930 27,621 5.1%
1940 28,541 3.3%
1950 31,179 9.2%
1960 33,482 7.4%
1970 42,730 27.6%
1980 53,352 24.9%
1990 57,508 7.8%
2000 70,872 23.2%
2010 82,916 17.0%
Est. 2015 87,824 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 70,872 people, 27,152 households, and 18,218 families residing in the county. The population density was 161 per square mile (62/km2). There were 29,595 housing units at an average density of 67 per square mile (26/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.01% White, 4.44% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 27,152 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.90% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.90.

By age, 21.90% were under 18, 18.80% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 20.10% from 45 to 64, and 9.80% 65 or older. The median age was 31 years. Both the relatively large 18-to-24 population and the relatively low median age can be explained by the presence of Eastern Kentucky University, and to a considerably lesser extent Berea College. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,861, and the median income for a family was $41,383. Males had a median income of $31,974 versus $22,487 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,790. About 12.00% of families and 16.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 17.10% of those age 65 or over.


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