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Perry County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Perry County
County courthouse in Hazard
County courthouse in Hazard
Map of Kentucky highlighting Perry 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 November 2, 1820
Named for Oliver Hazard Perry
Seat Hazard
Largest city Hazard
Area
 • Total 343 sq mi (890 km2)
 • Land 340 sq mi (900 km2)
 • Water 2.9 sq mi (8 km2)  0.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 28,473 Decrease
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th

Perry County is a county in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 28,473. Its county seat is Hazard. The county was founded in 1820. Both the county and county seat are named for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval hero in the War of 1812.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 343 square miles (890 km2), of which 340 square miles (880 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) (0.9%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 3,330
1840 3,089 −7.2%
1850 3,092 0.1%
1860 3,950 27.7%
1870 4,274 8.2%
1880 5,607 31.2%
1890 6,331 12.9%
1900 8,276 30.7%
1910 11,255 36.0%
1920 26,042 131.4%
1930 42,186 62.0%
1940 47,828 13.4%
1950 46,566 −2.6%
1960 34,961 −24.9%
1970 26,259 −24.9%
1980 33,763 28.6%
1990 30,283 −10.3%
2000 29,390 −2.9%
2010 28,712 −2.3%
2020 28,473 −0.8%
2021 (est.) 27,929 −2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2021

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,390 people, 11,460 households, and 8,491 families residing in the county. The population density was 86 per square mile (33/km2). There were 12,741 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.34% White, 1.64% Black or African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 11,460 households, out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.90% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.40% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $22,089, and the median income for a family was $26,718. Males had a median income of $31,702 versus $20,502 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,224. About 26.10% of families and 29.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.00% of those under age 18 and 20.60% of those age 65 or over.

Life expectancy

Of 3,142 counties in the United States in 2013, Perry County ranked 3,140 in the life expectancy of both male and female residents. Males in Perry County lived an average of 66.5 years and females lived an average of 73.1 years compared to the national average for longevity of 76.5 for males and 81.2 for females. Moreover, the average longevity in Perry County declined by 0.1 years for males and 2.4 years for females between 1985 and 2013 compared to a national average for the same period of an increased life span of 5.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women. High rates of smoking and obesity and a low level of physical activity appear to be contributing factors to the lowered longevity for both sexes.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

Economy

Coal companies in Perry County

  • Arch Coal
  • James River Coal Company
  • TECO Coal

Education

Public

The county has two school districts:

Perry County Schools

This district covers the entire county except for the city of Hazard.

  • Buckhorn Elementary School
  • Buckhorn High School
  • East Perry Elementary School
  • Leatherwood Elementary School
  • Perry County Central High School
  • Robinson Elementary School
  • R.W. Combs Elementary School
  • West Perry Elementary School
  • Viper Elementary School

Hazard Independent Schools

This district essentially encompasses the city of Hazard. See this link for a more accurate map of the Hazard district boundary.

  • Hazard High School
  • Hazard Middle School
  • Roy G. Eversole Elementary School

Private

  • Hazard Christian Academy
  • Camden Baker Memorial Schools

Infrastructure

Transportation

Public transportation is provided by LKLP Community Action Partnership with demand-response service and scheduled service in Hazard, and connecting to Hindman, Hyden, and Whitesburg.

Notable residents

  • Shelby Lee Adams - American photographer
  • Jean Ritchie - Folk singer
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