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Pippa Passes, Kentucky
Buildings on the Alice Lloyd campus
Buildings on the Alice Lloyd campus
Caney, Caney Creek
Location in Knott County, Kentucky
Location in Knott County, Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Knott
Incorporated 1983
Named for a Robert Browning poem
 • Total 0.45 sq mi (1.15 km2)
 • Land 0.45 sq mi (1.15 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
991 ft (302 m)
 • Total 468
 • Density 1,049.33/sq mi (405.36/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-61374
GNIS feature ID 0500757

Pippa Passes is a home rule-class city located along Caney Fork in Knott County, eastern Kentucky, United States. Its formal name was chosen to honor benefactors of Alice Lloyd College. Residents commonly call the community "Caney" or "Caney Creek". The population was 533 at the 2010 census, up from 297 at the 2000 census. The small city is located in the mountainous Appalachia region, an area of coal mining.


European Americans had long called this settlement "Caney" or "Caney Creek" by 1916, when Alice Lloyd arrived from Boston. She solicited funds for the construction of a local post office and the founding of Caney Creek Junior College, which were opened in 1917 and 1923, respectively. A donation from the Browning Society led to the post office's being named after Robert Browning's Pippa Passes. In this verse drama he coined the phrase "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world." (Given the U.S. Postal Service's preference for monogrammatic names, this location was known as Pippapass until 1955.)

The city of Pippa Passes was incorporated by the state assembly on July 1, 1983.


Pippa Passes is at 37°20′5″N 82°52′32″W / 37.33472°N 82.87556°W / 37.33472; -82.87556 (37.334629, -82.875490). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 195
2000 297 52.3%
2010 533 79.5%
2020 468 −12.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 533 people, 44 households, and 26 families residing in the city. 439 people (82% of the population) lived in group quarters, i.e. college dormitories. The population density was 1,196 per square mile (462/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 1.3% African American, 0.6% Asian, 0.6% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 0.4% from two or more races.

Of the 44 households in the city, 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were headed by married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 11.3% of households were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14, and the average family size was 2.88.

5.1% of the city population were under the age of 18, 74.8% were from 18 to 24, 7.6% were from 25 to 44, 9.6% were from 45 to 64, and 2.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 20.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

For the period 2013–17, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $65,500, and the median income for a family was $76,250. Male full-time workers had a median income of $33,750 versus $21,591 for females. The per capita income for the city, including the non-household population, was $9,432.

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