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Vanceburg, Kentucky
Lewis County courthouse in Vanceburg
Lewis County courthouse in Vanceburg
Location in Lewis County, Kentucky
Location in Lewis County, Kentucky
Country United States
State Kentucky
County Lewis
 • Total 1.50 sq mi (3.88 km2)
 • Land 1.45 sq mi (3.75 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
538 ft (164 m)
 • Total 1,428
 • Density 985.51/sq mi (380.62/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 606
FIPS code 21-79068
GNIS feature ID 0505972

Vanceburg is a home rule-class city in Lewis County, Kentucky, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 1,518 at the 2010 census and estimated in 2018 to be 1,395. It is the county seat of Lewis County.

Vanceburg is part of the Maysville Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Vanceburg is located at 38°35′45″N 83°19′11″W / 38.59583°N 83.31972°W / 38.59583; -83.31972 (38.595802, -83.319725).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 513
1880 1,095 113.5%
1890 1,110 1.4%
1900 1,161 4.6%
1910 1,145 −1.4%
1920 1,353 18.2%
1930 1,388 2.6%
1940 1,184 −14.7%
1950 1,528 29.1%
1960 1,881 23.1%
1970 1,773 −5.7%
1980 1,939 9.4%
1990 1,713 −11.7%
2000 1,731 1.1%
2010 1,518 −12.3%
2020 1,428 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,731 people, 672 households, and 411 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,502.4 people per square mile (581.2/km2). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 652.7 per square mile (252.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.38% White, 0.64% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.06% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.17% of the population.

There were 672 households, out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $15,938, and the median income for a family was $20,000. Males had a median income of $18,409 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,275. About 32.9% of families and 37.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.4% of those under age 18 and 27.8% of those age 65 or over.

In 2010, Vanceburg had the 23rd-lowest median household income of all places in the United States with a population over 1,000.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Vanceburg has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


A view of the Lewis County Middle School near Vanceburg from KY 10

The residents of Lewis County are served by the Lewis County Schools. The main complex is located west of Vanceburg on KY 10. There are four elementary schools still in operation within the county. They are Lewis County Central Elementary, located in Vanceburg, Garrison Elementary, located east of Vanceburg in the town of Garrison, Tollesboro Elementary, located west of Vanceburg in the town of Tollesboro, and Laurel Elementary, located south east of Vanceburg in the Laurel area of Lewis County. Upon entering 7th grade all 7th grade students attend Lewis County Middle School located west of Vanceburg on KY 10. LCMS hosts two grade levels, 7th and 8th. Up until the 2019 school year the school also hosted 6th grade from students in Vanceburg. However, 6th grade will be moving to the newly completed Lewis County Central Elementary building on the same grounds as the original building. Upon completing 8th grade students attend Lewis County High School, which sets adjacent to the middle school. LCHS hosts grades 9-12 and was a nationally distinguished school in 2015, 2016, and 2018.

Vanceburg has a lending library, the Lewis County Public Library.

Notable people

  • Ralph Davis, basketball player
  • Faith Esham, performer (opera) and recitalist
  • Thomas Massie, congressman
  • Thomas H. Paynter, U.S. senator, 1907–1913
  • James Baird, University of Michigan Quarterback 1892–1895. Captain of two Western conference championship teams. Later prominent engineer whose construction company carried out the building of buildings and monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

See also

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