In 1775, famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone, established nearby Boonesborough, one of the first settlements in Kentucky. This paved the way for others to follow and settle at McConnell Springs, Lexington's birthplace.  The colonists subsequently named the area after Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1780, Fayette County was named in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, France's leading supporter of the American Revolution.

Summer in the Bluegrass Today, Lexington is the second largest city in Kentucky, and is known as the Horse Capital of the World.  Race tracks Keeneland and The Red Mile are here. Although Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) is located in Louisville, a drive through the Central Kentucky area -- with its picturesque horse farms, bluegrass and limestone fences -- reveals where the champions are truly created.

Which brings us to a frequently asked question,"Is the grass really blue?" No, bluegrass is actually GREEN, but in the spring the grass produces bluish-purple buds. During this time, when one views whole fields of the grass at a distance, it will appear to have a blue tint.

C entral Kentucky is known for more than than just horses and bluegrass, however. Bourbon, burley tobacco, peanut butter, Toyota Camrys, Lexmark printers -- these are all produced in this region. Kiplingers named Kentucky 13th on their list of the "50 Smart Places to Live!" Esquire recently named Kentucky the "most stylish state in the Union." In 2003, Entrepreneur Magazine named Lexington as one of the top 10 midsize cities in the Southeast for small business start ups. Forbes Magazine ranked Lexington 9th in its 2004 list of "Best Places for Business And Careers." In its 2005 Best Places Study, Forbes ranked Lexington the second best place in the country to locate a business, in terms of business costs (Lexington has held this ranking for the past two years).The following is a list of Lexington's main employers and income growth statistics:

Major Employers (November 2005)

University of Kentucky10,668Education
Toyota Motor Manufacturing7,400Manufacturing
Fayette County Public Schools4,651Education
Lex-Fayette Urban County Gov't3,936Government
Lexmark International3,500Manufacturing
Central Baptist Hospital 2,400Health Care
St. Joseph Hospital2,236Health Care
Eastern Kentucky University1,750Education
Veteran's Medical Center1,570Health Care
The Trane Company1,200Manufacturing
ALLTEL1,200Communications
Osram Sylvania, Inc.1,176Manufacturing
Amazon.com1100Distributor
Lexington Clinic1096Health Care
U.S. Postal Service1033Mail Delivery
Kentucky Utilities1009Electric Utilities
L-3 Coummunications Integrated Systems943Support Services
St. Joseph East925Health Care
IBM Global Services900Sales/Service
Quebecor World883Maps
Wal-Mart869Retail
Ashland Inc.810Transportation
Tokiko (USA) Inc.779Manufacturing
The Kroger Co.712Grocers/Retail
Johnson Controls702Manufacturing
McLane Cumberland700Distributor
Square D Company666Manufacturing
Meijer Inc.650Grocers/Retail
Lexington Community College600Education
Link-Belt Construction Equip.600Manufacturing

Per Capita Income Growth

Area20021998 % Change
Lexington-Fayette Co.$32,932$28,58215.2%
Lexington MSA$31,136$27,40813.6%
Kentucky$25,494$22,043 15.6%
United States$30,906$26,88314.9%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,
http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/regional/reis/

Central Kentucky is blessed with terrific, albeit everchanging, weather. We experience 4 distinct seasons, though our central location protects us from most of the freezing wintry blizzards of the Northern U.S. and oppressive 100°F+ summer heat of the Southern U.S. The extreme weather we do encounter is generally short-lived. The mean annual temperature is 54.9°F. Annual precipitation is 44.55 inches. On the right is a chart of our average monthly temperatures.KY Weather
Jan. 30.8°July 75.8°
Feb. 34.5°Aug. 74.7°
Mar. 45.3°Sept. 68.2°
Apr. 54.8°Oct. 56.7°
May 64.0°Nov. 46.0°
June 72.2°Dec. 35.9°

Lexington has experienced tremendous growth in population over the past fifteen years. Current figures from the U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000) indicate that the population in Lexington/Fayette County is approx. 260,512. The median age is 33.9. The median household income is $39,295.

The Bluegrass area has a wealth of resources to meet the educational needs of the area's residents.  With 10 universities and colleges within 30 miles of Lexington, including the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University, the region boasts an extremely well-educated workforce. Lexington's highly-educated workforce has grown at twice the rate as the rest of the state, and is sixth in the nation for cities of its size.

Fayette County Public Schools are among the finest in the state. The Fayette County Public School System has produced 32 National Merit Semifinalists and 61 Governor's Scholars. Among local private schools, Lexington Catholic High School has had 8 National Merit Semifinalists, 12 National Merit Commended Scholars and 8 Governor's Scholars. Sayre School has produced 4 National Merit Semifinalists and 2 Governor's Scholars. Lexington Christian Academy has had 4 National Merit Semifinalists.

According to the 2000 census, 35.6% of Lexington's population aged 25 or older had obtained at least a bachelor's degree. Thus, Lexington ranks as the eighth most highly educated city in the nation. (Source: The Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce)

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Raleigh, NC
  4. Austin, TX
  5. Washington, DC
  6. Minneapolis, MN
  7. Charlotte, NC
  8. LEXINGTON, KY
  9. Boston, MA
  10. San Diego, CA

Health care is also important in Central Kentucky. In 2000, Places Rated Almanac ranked the Lexington metro area as the 8th best community in North America for access to health care. Lexington has 632 physicians per 100,000 people (national average=230), 5 general hospitals and 5 specialty hospitals. UK Chandler Medical Center is found regularly in listings of the top 100 hospitals in America. Markey Cancer Center is a world leader in cancer treatment and research.Other well-publicized research in Central Kentucky includes the "Nun Study," at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, which is presently unlocking the causes of Alzheimer's Disease.

Courthouse Square Overall, Lexington is a pleasant place to live, raise children and to grow old. The information provided on this page is intended to give you a brief overview of the Lexington area; obviously it won't answer every question you may have. To learn more about Central Kentucky please refer to the links listed below, and to the plethora of links found on my "Links" page. To see where the Bluegrass stands in National rankings, click here to view a .pdf file from the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce (must have Adobe Acrobat installed to view). If there's anything you need that you are unable to find, feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

Central Kentucky Websites

Insider's Guide to Lexington

Lexington Herald-Leader

Lexington Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Lexington Information

Commerce Lexington

Lexington Crime Statistics

Additional Links