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Wayne County, Kentucky facts for kids

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Wayne County
Wayne County courthouse in Monticello
Wayne County courthouse in Monticello
Map of Kentucky highlighting Wayne 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 13, 1800
Named for Anthony Wayne
Seat Monticello
Largest city Monticello
 • Total 484 sq mi (1,250 km2)
 • Land 458 sq mi (1,190 km2)
 • Water 26 sq mi (70 km2)  5.4%
 • Total 19,555 Decrease
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th

Wayne County is a county in the U.S. state of Kentucky along the southern border with Tennessee. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 20,813. Its county seat is Monticello. The county, on the south-central border with Tennessee, was named for Gen. Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero. As of November 3, 2020, Wayne County is a wet county—a measure allowing the sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks passed by a margin of 4,901 for and 3,966 against.


Wayne County was formed December 13, 1800 from Pulaski and Cumberland Counties. It was the 43rd county and is named for General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, a hero of the American Revolution and the Northwest Indian War. Wayne's victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers virtually ended the Indian threat against Kentucky settlers.

During the winter of 1861, an act was passed by the Confederate government of Kentucky to rename Wayne County to Zollicoffer County in honor of Felix Zollicoffer, who died at the Battle of Mill Springs.


Wayne county ky farmland
Farmland in Wayne County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 484 square miles (1,250 km2), of which 458 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 26 square miles (67 km2) (5.4%) is water.

The county's elevation ranges from 723 feet (220 m) to 1,788 feet (545 m), at the Monticello/Wayne County Airport the elevation is 963 feet (294 m). Wayne County is located in the Pennyrile Plateau (image) and Eastern Coal Field (image) regions of Kentucky.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Time zone boundary

Wayne Co KY
Along KY 90

Wayne County is on Eastern Time; however, its western border, shared with Clinton and Russell Counties, is part of the Eastern/Central time zone boundary, as is its southern border with Pickett County, TN. Wayne County was on Central time until October 2000; an account of this change is documented in an article by Dr. Stanley Brunn of the University of Kentucky.

It has the tz database zone identifier America/Kentucky/Monticello.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 5,430
1820 7,951 46.4%
1830 8,685 9.2%
1840 7,399 −14.8%
1850 8,692 17.5%
1860 10,259 18.0%
1870 10,602 3.3%
1880 12,512 18.0%
1890 12,852 2.7%
1900 14,892 15.9%
1910 17,518 17.6%
1920 16,208 −7.5%
1930 15,848 −2.2%
1940 17,204 8.6%
1950 16,475 −4.2%
1960 14,700 −10.8%
1970 14,268 −2.9%
1980 17,022 19.3%
1990 17,468 2.6%
2000 19,923 14.1%
2010 20,813 4.5%
2020 19,555 −6.0%
2021 (est.) 19,540 −6.1%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2021

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 19,923 people, 7,913 households, and 5,808 families in the county. The population density was 43 per square mile (17/km2). There were 9,789 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile (8.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.98% White, 1.49% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.46% of the population were Hispanic or Latino any race.

There were 7,913 households, out of which 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 10.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 23.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.94.

The county population contained 25.30% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $20,863, and the median income for a family was $24,869. Males had a median income of $24,021 versus $18,102 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,601. About 24.60% of families and 29.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.90% of those under age 18 and 31.50% of those over age 64.



Wayne County Schools operates the county's public schools.

On June 30, 2013 Monticello Independent Schools merged into Wayne County schools.

Vocational education in the county has been provided by Wayne County Vocational School from 1971 to the present. Its name has changed several times during that period; it is presently knows as Wayne County Area Technology Center (ATC). It is managed by The Office Of Career And Technical Education. The school serves secondary students enrolled in Wayne County High School. Programs include Health Science, Welding, Carpentry, Machine Tool, Automotive, Industrial Maintenance, and Business.

Notable people

  • Polly Berry, an enslaved woman in St. Louis, Missouri, who gained freedom for both herself and her daughter through two freedom suits in court. She had lived as a child in Wayne County before her master took her to Illinois (a free state) and Missouri.
  • Lettice Bryan, author of The Kentucky Housewife (1839), a popular cookbook, lived in Wayne County in the 1830s and 1840s when her cookbook was published.
  • Shelby M. Cullom (1829-1914), Governor of Illinois (1877-1883); U. S. Senator (1883-1913)
  • Preston H. Leslie (1819-1907) - Governor of Kentucky (1871-1875); Governor of Montana (1887-1889)
  • Hal Rogers, US Congressman (1981-present)
  • Kenny Davis, US Olympic basketball player (1972)
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