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Pike County, Kentucky
Pike county courthouse
Pike County courthouse in Pikeville, Kentucky
Map of Kentucky highlighting Pike County
Location in the state of Kentucky
Map of USA KY
Kentucky's location in the U.S.
Founded 1822
Seat Pikeville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

788.84 sq mi (2,043 km²)
787.69 sq mi (2,040 km²)
1.15 sq mi (3 km²), 0.15%
 - (2010)
 - Density

87/sq mi (34/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of 2010, the population was 65,024. Its county seat is Pikeville.[1] Pike is Kentucky's largest county in terms of land area. Pike County is the 11th largest county in Kentucky in terms of population preceded by Bullitt County and followed by Christian County. Pike County is Kentucky's third largest banking center, with financial institutions and holding companies having more than $1 billion in assets. In the five years spanning 1995-2000, personal income increased by 28%, and the county's per capita income exceeded the national and state average growth rates of the past decade. Also, an estimated 100,000 people per day travel through the city of Pikeville.[2]

With regard to the sale of alcohol, it is classified as a moist county—a county in which alcohol sales are prohibited (a dry county), but containing a "wet" city, (in this case two cities) Pikeville and suburb Coal Run Village, where package alcohol sales are allowed.[3]


Pike County was founded on December 19, 1821. The county was named for General Zebulon Pike, the explorer who discovered Pikes Peak. Between 1860 and 1891 the Hatfield-McCoy feud raged in Pike and in bordering Mingo County, West Virginia. On May 6, 1893, Pikeville officially became a city and the county seat.

Pike County is also home to Paul E. Patton, former governor of Kentucky.

The Appalachian News Express, published in Pikeville, is preserved on microfilm by the University of Kentucky Libraries. The microfilm holdings are listed in a master negative database on the UK Libraries Preservation and Digital Programs website. [1]


According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 788.84 square miles (2,043.1 km2), of which 787.69 square miles (2,040.1 km2) (or 99.85%) is land and 1.15 square miles (3.0 km2) (or 0.15%) is water.[4] The main population areas of the county include the city of Pikeville and surrounding suburbs and the unincorporated town of South Williamson which is located in the Northeast portion of the county.

Major HighwaysEdit

Pike County has a total of 486.285 miles of classified roads.[5]

Adjacent countiesEdit


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 2,677
1840 3,567 33.2%
1850 5,365 50.4%
1860 7,384 37.6%
1870 9,562 29.5%
1880 13,001 36.0%
1890 17,378 33.7%
1900 22,686 30.5%
1910 31,679 39.6%
1920 49,477 56.2%
1930 63,267 27.9%
1940 71,122 12.4%
1950 81,154 14.1%
1960 68,264 −15.9%
1970 61,059 −10.6%
1980 81,123 32.9%
1990 72,583 −10.5%
2000 68,736 −5.3%
Est. 2008 68,331 −0.6%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 68,736 people, 27,612 households, and 20,377 families residing in the county. The population density was 87 per square mile (34 /km2). There were 30,923 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.35% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest self-reported ancestry groups in Pike County, Kentucky are[7]:

There were 27,612 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.20% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.90.

The age distribution was 23.70% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $23,930, and the median income for a family was $29,302. Males had a median income of $32,332 versus $19,229 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,005. About 20.60% of families and 23.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.20% of those under age 18 and 16.10% of those age 65 or over. The zip codes 41502 (Pikeville), 41503 (South Williamson), and 41527 (Forest Hills) are the wealthiest portions of the county. 41502 is the 50th wealthiest zip code in Kentucky, 41503 is the 61st wealthiest, and 41527 is the 63rd wealthiest. South Williamson and Forest Hills are located on the Northeast side of the county. These three areas combine to 2,129 residents and make up around 3% of the county's population. The average income for these areas are $51,962 (41502), $49,345 (41503), and $48,484 (41527).[8]

Pike County, Johnson County , and Greenup County are the only eastern Kentucky counties that are not among the 100 poorest counties by median household income in the United States.[9]

Coal IndustryEdit

Pike County has trademarked itself as America's Energy CapitalTM, because of its vast fossil fuel (coal and natural gas) reserves. Pike County is one of the nation's leading coal and natural gas producers. In April 2007, Pike County announced the first-in-the-nation comprehensive energy strategy which was developed in partnership with the Southern States Energy Board in Atlanta, Georgia. More coal is produced in Pike County than any other county in the state. the county annually produces around 20% of all Kentucky coal. Adding that to the counties of Harlan County, Perry County, and Martin County,eastern Kentucky produces nearly 3/4 of all coal produced in the entire state.[10] Over 150 million tons are produced annually throughout the state.[11]

Recently, the economic status of eastern Kentucky and Appalachia has come to be a prominent discussion in the news. The poverty level of counties in the Appalachian region of Kentucky is 24.4% compared to the United States Poverty Level of 12.4%.[12] Of the top eight coal-producing counties in eastern Kentucky, Pike County is the only county that does not have a higher poverty rate than Appalachian Kentucky as a whole. So while mining employment is extremely important as a source of income for individuals in coal-producing counties, the benefits of these jobs do not translate into prosperity for the region. The growth of Pike County away from the coal industry in the economic perspective has contributed to its lower poverty level.[12]

Pike County has the largest percentage of members of the Clean Government Movement of any county in Kentucky. After the Blue Takeover of 2006, the Clean Government Movement became the chief instrument of change in the coal mining towns of Eastern Kentucky.


Cities, towns and communitiesEdit





Pike County SchoolsEdit

The Pike County School System consists of 25 high, middle, and elementary schools.[13]

High schoolsEdit

Middle and elementary schoolsEdit

The following lists of middle and elementary schools is categorized by the high school they feed:

  • Belfry High School System
    • Belfry Middle School
      • Bevins Elementary
      • Blackberry Elementary
      • Runyon Elementary
      • Southside Elementary
  • East Ridge High School System
    • Elkhorn City Elementary School
    • Feds Creek Elementary School
    • Millard Elementary School
  • Phelps High School System
    • Majestic-Knox Elementary School
    • Phelps Elementary School
  • Pike County Central High School System
    • Johns Creek Elementary School
    • Kimper Elementary School
    • Mullins School
  • Shelby Valley High School System
    • Virgie Middle School
      • Dorton Elementary School
      • G.F. Johnson Elementary School
      • Robinson Creek Elementary School

Shelby Valley Day Treatment Center, Phelps Day Treatment Center, are all discipline facilities. Northpoint Academy is a high school drop out prevention program that focuses on the individual needs of the student. All students at Northpoint are there on a voluntary basis.

Pikeville Independent SchoolsEdit

Private schoolsEdit



Pike County has had several minor league teams based out of Pikeville . From 1982-83, the Pikeville Cubs were located in the city. They were part of the Appalachian League and affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. In 1984, the team changed to become affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers , thus changing its name to the Pikeville Brewers.


In 2007, the East Kentucky Miners came to Pike County after the opening of the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center. the team played in Pikeville from 2007-2010. In 2010, the American Basketball Association opened an expansion franchise in Pikeville called the East Kentucky Energy.


In 2010, the minor league team, the Pike County Crusaders, was announced.

Office of Pike County Judge ExecutiveEdit

The office of Pike County Judge Executive is one of Kentucky's most powerful local offices and served as a launching pad for the governorship of Paul E. Patton (1995–2003).

Pike County Judge/Executives Since 1942Edit

  • 1942-1946 Hi Pauley (R)
  • 1946-1948 J.W. Pruitt (D)
  • 1948-1965 Ervin S. Pruitt (D)
  • 1965-1970 Bill Pauley (R)
  • 1970-1974 Wayne T. Rutherford (D)
  • 1974-1978 Wayne T. Rutherford (D)
  • 1978-1982 Wayne T. Rutherford (D)
  • 1982-1986 Paul E. Patton (D)
  • 1986-1990 Paul E. Patton (D)
  • 1990-1991 Paul E. Patton (D)
  • 1991-1992 Stirl Eddie Harris (D)
  • 1992-1994 Wayne T. Rutherford (D)
  • 1994-1999 Donna Damron (D)
  • 1999-2003 Karen F. Gibson (R)
  • 2003-2007 William M. Deskins (D)
  • 2007-2010 Wayne T. Rutherford (D)
  • 2010- Wayne T. Rutherford (D)*

* Marks a record 6th term for Democrat Wayne T. Rutherford after defeating William M. Deskins & Scott C. Sykes in the Primary Election

Tug Fork

The Tug Fork River at Williamson, West Virginia (right) and Pike County (left).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Pike County, Kentucky". Pike County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Wet & Dry Counties in Kentucky" (PDF). Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Commonwealth of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet". Copyright © 2007 Commonwealth of Kentucky All rights reserved.]]. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Highest Income Zip Codes". IRS. Retrieved June 3, 2010]]. 
  9. ^ |title=H100 poorest counties by median household income |publisher=Wikipedia |accessdate=September, 12 2010]]
  10. ^ "KY Coal Facts". Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing Annual Report, 2006.. Retrieved May 19, 2010]]. 
  11. ^ "About Kentucky Coal". Copyright © 2003 -2008 Roger Philpot All Rights Reserved. Retrieved May 19, 2010]]. 
  12. ^ a b "Economic Status of Coal-Producing Counties". Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. Retrieved May 19, 2010]]. 
  13. ^ "Schools". Pike County Board of Education. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 

External linksEdit

Template:Eastern Mountain Coal Fields (Kentucky)

Coordinates: 37°28′N 82°23′W / 37.47, -82.39

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Pike County, Kentucky. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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