Breathitt County, Kentucky

Breathitt County, Kentucky

Breathitt County Kentucky Courthouse in Jackson
Map of Kentucky highlighting Breathitt County
Location in the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1839
Named for John Breathitt
Seat Jackson
Largest city Jackson
  Total 495 sq mi (1,282 km2)
  Land 492 sq mi (1,274 km2)
  Water 2.9 sq mi (8 km2), 0.6%
  (2010) 13,878
  Density 28/sq mi (11/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Breathitt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,878.[1] Its county seat is Jackson, Kentucky.[2] The county was formed in 1839 and was named for John Breathitt who was Governor of Kentucky from 1832 to 1834. Breathitt County was a prohibition or dry county, until a public vote on July 12, 2016 allowed the sale of alcohol.[3]


Breathitt County was formed on February 8, 1839 from portions of Clay County, Estill County and Perry County. It was named after Governor John Breathitt.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 495 square miles (1,280 km2), of which 492 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) (0.6%) is water.[5]

The North and Middle Forks of the Kentucky River pass through the county as the main water sources.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201513,484[6]−2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2013[1]

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 16,100 people, 6,170 households, and 4,541 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 per square mile (12/km2). There were 6,812 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.69% White, 0.39% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,170 households, out of which 34.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.00.

Throughout the county the population was spread out, with 25.50% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $19,155, and the median income for a family was $23,721. Males had a median income of $26,208 versus $20,613 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,044. About 28.10% of families and 33.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.90% of those under age 18 and 26.80% of those age 65 or over.


Presidential election results[11]
Year Republican Democrat
2012 66.25% 3,318 31.19% 1,562
2008 53.10% 2,671 43.84% 2,205
2004 42.77% 2,542 55.97% 3,327
2000 41.08% 2,084 57.20% 2,902


Coal companies


Jackson independent schools

Jackson independent schools is a school district that educates students inside and outside the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky.

Breathitt County Schools

Breathitt County Schools is another school district with an array of schools within the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky and throughout the county.

Private schools

Higher education

Breathitt Area Technology Center

The Breathitt Area Technology Center serves both the Jackson Independent and the Breathitt County school districts. The school is located in Jackson, Kentucky on the campus of Breathitt County High School. The school is operated by the state of Kentucky. While most of the funding comes from the state, much of the equipment is purchased with federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act funds, which are aimed at advancing technical education.

The focus of the school is that of technical education. The Breathitt ATC offers the following technical programs:

UK Robinson Station

The community of Quicksand is the location for the University of Kentucky Robinson Station. This agriculture research facility is a pivotal asset in Breathitt County, furthering the scientific studies in the areas of agriculture and forestry.

Health care

Breathitt County health care providers were featured in a November 23, 2013 Washington Post article: "In Rural Kentucky, Health-Care Takes Back Seat as the Long-Uninsured Line Up".[14]


  • Altro
  • Bays
  • Caney
  • Canoe
  • Chenowee
  • Clayhole
  • Crockettsville
  • Elkatawa
  • Evanston
  • Flintville
  • Frozen/Frozen Creek
  • Fugates Fork
  • Hardshell
  • Hayes Branch
  • Jackson (county seat)
  • Lost Creek
  • Morris Fork
  • Ned
  • Nix Branch
  • Noble
  • Noctor
  • Oakdale
  • Quicksand
  • Riverside
  • Rose Branch
  • Rousseau
  • Saldee
  • Sebastians Branch
  • Shoulder Blade/Shoulderblade
  • Smith Branch
  • South Fork
  • Turners Creek
  • Vancleve
  • War Creek
  • Watts
  • Whick
  • Wilstacy

Notable people

Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk known for her refusal to comply with a federal court order directing her to issue marriage licenses, was born in Breathitt County.[15]

See also


  1. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "Breathitt County voters choose to allow alcohol sales". WYMT-TV. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  4. The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. p. 34.
  5. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  6. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  9. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  11. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  12. Arch Coal – Hazard Complex
  13. US Coal Corporation :: Operations
  14. McCrummen, Stephanie (November 23, 2013). "In Rural Kentucky Health-Care Debate Takes Back Seat as the Long-Uninsured Line Up". Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
  15. "Kentucky clerk who refused same-sex marriage licenses starts new appeal". Reuters. September 6, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2016.

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 37°31′N 83°19′W / 37.52°N 83.32°W / 37.52; -83.32

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