New census data shows Kentucky’s population saw nearly 4% growth

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - New data is in from the census bureau, and it shows some changes for Kentucky.

The state’s population averaged a nearly 4% growth. More people moved to more urban areas and left rural areas. Scott County grew by more than 21%, the largest growth in the state. However, eastern Kentucky saw significant drops-- Owsley County went down by nearly 15%.

Leaders in Scott County say it’s pretty easy to figure out why their population grew more than 20% in the past 10 years.

“Location, location, location, jobs, jobs, jobs. We’re blessed and challenged that you have interstate 75, and then 64, that both run through Scott County,” said Joe Covington, Scott County’s judge executive.

“We are delighted to have a distinction of being the fastest-growing community in Kentucky but we are also keenly aware of the responsibilities that brings,” Mayor Tom Prather said.

Responsibilities like affordable housing and making sure there are enough jobs for the growth to continue.

Overall, counties near urban areas, like Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati, all saw growth. While much of eastern Kentucky saw numbers continue to go down.

“It was total frustration. We done everything humanly possible to try and get the count right. Because it’s really going to hurt the school system,” said Cale Turner, Owsley County’s Judge Executive. “It’s going to hurt county government. But the school system is going to be hurt worse than anybody.”

Turner said he doesn’t think those numbers are accurate. The census showed they lost more than 700 people, 14.8% of the population, the second-most in the state.

“It was out of our hands, we done everything that we could do and we did it right,” Turner said.

Other counties in our area that saw double-digit growth include Madison, with 11.8% and Anderson at 11.3%.

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