Nelson County, Kentucky

Nelson County, Kentucky
Nelson County, Kentucky
New Nelson County KY Courthouse.JPG
Nelson County Judicial Center in Bardstown, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Nelson County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of the U.S. highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1785
Named for Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738–1789), signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Seat Bardstown
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

424.08 sq mi (1,098 km²)
417.51 sq mi (1,081 km²)
6.56 sq mi (17 km²), 0.34%
 - (2010)
 - Density

102.4/sq mi (40/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Nelson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 43,437. Its county seat is Bardstown[1]. The county is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.



The fourth county created in what is now Kentucky, it was formed from Jefferson County, Virginia in 1784 shortly after the Revolutionary War. The county is named for Thomas Nelson, Jr., a Virginia Governor who signed the Declaration of Independence. In 1808, another new Virginia county was named for Governor Nelson. (see Nelson County, Virginia).


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 424.08 square miles (1,098.35 km2), of which 417.51 square miles (1,081.35 km2) (or 99.66%) is land and 6.56 square miles (17.00 km2) (or 0.34%) is water.[2]

Adjacent counties


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 11,315
1800 9,866 −12.8%
1810 14,078 42.7%
1820 16,273 15.6%
1830 14,932 −8.2%
1840 13,637 −8.7%
1850 14,789 8.4%
1860 15,799 6.8%
1870 14,804 −6.3%
1880 16,609 12.2%
1890 16,417 −1.2%
1900 16,587 1.0%
1910 16,830 1.5%
1920 16,137 −4.1%
1930 16,551 2.6%
1940 18,004 8.8%
1950 19,521 8.4%
1960 22,168 13.6%
1970 23,477 5.9%
1980 27,584 17.5%
1990 29,710 7.7%
2000 37,477 26.1%
2010 43,437 15.9%
Nelson County, Kentucky census figures

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 43,437 people and 18,075 housing units in the county.[4] The population density was 102.4 per square mile (39.5 /km2). There were 18,075 housing units at an average density of 42.6 per square mile (16.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.48% White (90.93% non-Hispanic), 5.03% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. 2.04% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

There were 16,826 households out of which 36.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.09% were married couples living together, 13.19% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.35% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.37% were non-families. 24.41% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.09% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.01.

The age distribution was 25.98% under 18, 7.98% from 18 to 24, 26.47% from 25 to 44, 27.84% from 45 to 64, and 11.73% who were 65 or older. The median age was 37.7 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

Income data for Kentucky locations from the 2010 Census has not yet been released. As of the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the county was $39,010, and the median income for a family was $44,600. Males had a median income of $32,015 versus $21,838 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,120. About 10.00% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.70% of those under age 18 and 17.40% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns and census-designated places

  • Deatsville
  • Fairfield
  • Highgrove
  • Howardstown
  • Lenore


Two public school districts operate in the county:

  • The Nelson County School District serves K-12 students throughout the county, with the exception of most of the city of Bardstown. The district operates two K-8 schools, two elementary schools, two middle schools, an alternative school, a vocational-technical school, and one high school. The district is building a second high school that is scheduled to open in 2012.
  • The Bardstown City Schools serve students in most of the city of Bardstown. However, some areas of the city are instead served by the Nelson County district, and some of the Nelson County schools are physically within the Bardstown district. The district operates a preschool, an ungraded primary school (K-2), one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. The preschool and primary school occupy separate buildings on adjacent plots of land in the north of the city, and the other schools are adjacent to one another near downtown.

Several private schools also operate in the county. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville operates five schools in all—three K-8 schools, a fourth that educates grades 1 through 8, and one high school. Several Protestant-affiliated schools also exist.

See also

External links


Coordinates: 37°48′N 85°28′W / 37.80°N 85.47°W / 37.80; -85.47

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