Knott County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
|Named for||James Proctor Knott|
|o Total||353 sq mi (910 km2)|
|o Land||352 sq mi (910 km2)|
|o Water||1.3 sq mi (3 km2) 0.4%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||47/sq mi (18/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Knott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,346. Its county seat is Hindman. The county was formed in 1884 and is named for James Proctor Knott, Governor of Kentucky (1883-1887). It is a prohibition or dry county. Its county seat is home to the Hindman Settlement School, founded as America's first settlement school.
Knott County was established in 1884 from land given by Breathitt, Floyd, Letcher, and Perry counties. The 1890s-era courthouse, the second to serve the county, burned in 1929.
Big Lovely Mountain, 1,401 feet (427 m)
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,649 people, 6,717 households, and 4,990 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 per square mile (19/km2). There were 7,579 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.27% White, 0.73% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. 0.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,717 households, out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.60% were married couples living together, 12.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.70% were non-families. 23.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.30% 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.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.50% under the age of 18, 10.80% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $20,373, and the median income for a family was $24,930. Males had a median income of $29,471 versus $21,240 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,297. About 26.20% of families and 31.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.80% of those under age 18 and 23.10% of those age 65 or over.
Knott County has historically voted very strongly for the Democratic Party. In 1992, 75% of Knott County residents voted for Democrat Bill Clinton for US President, the highest percentage for Clinton of any county in the state. However, in recent years, Knott County has voted more favorably for the Republican Party. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain became the first Republican to win Knott County in a presidential election by winning 52.6% of the vote to Barack Obama's 45%. Aside from Elliott County, Kentucky (which didn't vote Republican until 2016) and the equally historically blue Floyd County, Kentucky , Knott County was the last county in Kentucky outside of Fayette and Jefferson counties to switch to the GOP.
However, Democrat Andy Beshear narrowly won the county in the 2019 gubernatorial race, showing that residents still have some affinity to local Democrats.
When Governor Ernie Fletcher appointed Republican Randy Thompson as County Judge Executive in 2005, it was the first time the county ever had a Republican Judge Executive. Thompson won re-election in 2006 and again in 2010, making him the first Republican to win election in a Knott County office. Congressman Hal Rogers has also won Knott County's vote in recent years. Thompson was removed from office in 2013 after being convicted of misusing public funds.
Tourism is increasing in the county, especially the popularity of elk viewing. Knott County and its surrounding counties are home to 5,700 free ranging elk, the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River. There is an ATV Training Center dedicated to the safety of ATV usage amongst riders and the Knott County Sportsplex, a sports complex which has indoor basketball courts, outside baseball fields, a soccer field, and a fitness center.
Albert Stewart, Kentucky Poet, educator, and founder of "Appalachian Heritage Magazine. Albert Stewart has recently been selected as a member of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, KY.