Lexington is the second largest city In Kentucky. It is known worldwide for its Bluegrass horse farms and Keeneland Race Track, and proudly boasts of itself as "The Horse Capital of the World." It is also known far and wide as the home to the Kentucky Wildcats, the basketball team of the University of Kentucky. Located in the heart of Lexington, UK has won many NCAA championships over the years.
In recent years, Lexington has become a regional center for health care that includes the University of Kentucky Medical Center, which aims to become one of the top 20 hospitals in the nation. There are three other major hospitals in the city, which also provide health care to Central and Eastern Kentucky: Central Baptist, Saint Joseph and Samaritan.
Lexington's major employers include The University of Kentucky, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Fayette County Public Schools, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and Lexmark International. However, citizens also enjoy strong employment opportunities in equine related businesses, health care, retail and the services industry. Principal manufactured products include automobiles, automobile parts, peanut butter, cutting tools, heating and air conditioning equipment, and paper cups and poducts. In 2008, Lexington was ranked fifth among the "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes Magazine.
Lexington is the financial, educational, retail, healthcare, service and cultural center of the Bluegrass region in Kentucky and most of eastern Kentucky.
Lexington is also a major regional shopping center, boasting a greatly-expanded Fayette Mall and a booming Hamburg Pavilion, built on land formerly belonging to a horse farm. A thriving downtown offers many historical sites to tourists and houses a healthy arts and cultural district. The city is truly growing in all directions and there have been many recent efforts including the purchase of development rights aimed at preserving the natural beauty of the horse farms around the city. Lexington takes the lead in implementing a vast array of programs and initiatives for sustainability and keeping the city green.
The current housing market shows that while the demand has diminished, average home prices and overall home values have remained very stable. Sales statistics show that the median and mean price of housing has remained virtually unchanged over the past few years. The housing market in Lexington offers buyers a variety of options. In the Downtown core, there has been a recent revitalization offering up many new housing options including town homes and condo properties. The area has also seen the rehabilitation of several residential properties in and around the downtown area. The older well-established neighborhoods in this area continue to be some of the most desirable places to live in Lexington. Lexington also has many suburban developments that are very well established and desirable places to live throughout the community.
Lexington has smart people. In fact, in 2008, Business Facilities ranked Lexington as the 2nd most educated city in the U.S. just behind Seattle, WA. The ranking looks at the percentage of our workforce who have graduated high school or earned a bachelor's or more advanced degree. Also, the 2007 American Communities Survey (U.S. Census Bureau) ranked Lexington #11 among cities with a population over 250,000 with the highest percentage of residents over age 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher.
Speaking of post-secondary education, one will find that opportunities abound for higher education, whether for newly-graduating high school seniors or the professional returning for advanced degrees. And, it is close at hand or just a click away, as Lexington and central Kentucky is home to 18 colleges, universities and proprietary institutions of higher learning. Additionally, the Bluegrass Community and Technical College district operates six campuses; three in Lexington and one each in Winchester, Lawrenceburg and Danville. Estimated enrollment for the Bluegrass region is nearly 65,000 students. The University of Kentucky's main campus is adjacent to the south of downtown Lexington. This flagship land grant institution with more than 26,000 students is one of 59 public universities nationwide ranked as a Research I University. Downtown is home to Transylvania University, the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains (and 16th oldest in the U.S.), averages 1,100 students. This campus has been consistently recognized in the top five of its category by U.S. News and World Report.
As for K-12 public education, the Fayette County Public Schools are consistently listed among the nation?s best for cities of Lexington's size. Lexington also offers many quality private and parochial schools, many of which have found success in sports with state championships and academics with high test scores. Most recently among private schools, Lexington Catholic High School produced eight National Merit Semifinalists, while Lexington Christian Academy and Sayre School each had four.
Lexington is smart. To say that Lexington values education at all levels is not only a given but a way of life. Lexington is the brains of Kentucky. If you're smart, you'll be in good company here.
Lexington residents possess a special pride in their homeland. No matter what your pleasure or work, it is here in Lexington's Bluegrass country. From sampling blue-ribbon pies at the county fair to sipping mint juleps on the veranda, from the excitement of unsurpassed collegiate athletics to the tranquility of your favorite fishing hole, Lexington offers all the amenities of a major city with the allure of nearby countryside.
Currently, there are more than 100 parks consisting of more than 4,000 acres in Lexington. The parks system includes athletics, after school programs, aquatics, community centers, cultural arts, day camps, dog runs, equestrian, fitness trails, golf, gymnasium, natural areas, playgrounds, rental facilities, senior adult programs, special events, therapeutic recreation and open spaces for passive recreation. Central Kentucky is one of the most beautiful areas in the country with it manicured horse farms. The terrain is rolling and very green. The roads are lined with picturesque stone fences with a canopy of trees overhead. The fields are full of plank fencing and thoroughbreds. Lexington offers every advantage that one could want.
Where safety is concerned, violent crime in Lexington is 22 percent below the national average. In specific areas like personal assaults, the city is nearly 40 percent less than the national average. Statistics are great, but they don't tell the whole story. Any person driving through downtown at night or Lexington's many neighborhoods can see individuals walking. There are parks where people of all ages play tennis and basketball in the evening. You see many outdoor cafes where people feel comfortable, safe and secure reading books, sipping coffee or other chosen beverages in groups, or as individuals enjoying downtime from the day's activities. These are just a few of the inviting characteristics that make Lexington attractive, and truly one of the Top 100 cities to live.
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