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Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the state’s only 1st-class city. In 2010, Louisville proper was the 27th-largest city in the United States. Located beside the Falls of the Ohio, the only major obstruction to river traffic between the Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, Louisville first grew as portage site. The city was the headquarters of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which grew into a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system across 13 states. Today, Louisville is best known as the location of the Kentucky Derby, the first of the three annual races that make up the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is the home of the University of Louisville and three of Kentucky’s six Fortune 500 companies. Its airport is also the site of UPS’s worldwide air hub.
Since 2003, the city’s borders have been coterminous with those of Jefferson County because of a city-county merger. The city’s total consolidated population at the 2010 census was 741,096. However, the balance total of 602,011 excludes other incorporated places and semi-autonomous towns within the county and is the population listed in most sources and national rankings. As of the 2012, the Louisville metropolitan area (MSA) had a population of 1,334,872 ranking 42nd nationally. The metro area includes Louisville-Jefferson County and 12 surrounding counties, eight in Kentucky and four in Southern Indiana. The Louisville Combined Statistical Area, having a population of 1,451,564, includes the MSA, Hardin County and Larue County in Kentucky, and Scott County, Indiana.
The settlement that became the city of Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark and is named after King Louis XVI of France, making Louisville one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Most native Louisvillians pronounce the city’s name as Listeni/ˈluːəvəl/, which is sometimes shortened to Listeni/ˈlʌvəl/. The formal pronunciation Listeni/ˈluːiːvɪl/, however, is often used by political leaders and the media, as well as most outsiders.
The official name of the consolidated city-county government established in 2000 is the “Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government”, with Louisville Metro used for short. Despite the merger and renaming, the term “Jefferson County” continues to be used in some contexts in reference to the Metro area, particularly the incorporated cities outside the “balance” which makes up Louisville proper. The Louisville metropolitan area is sometimes also referred to as Kentuckiana because it includes counties in Southern Indiana.
Louisville is located at 38°15′N 85°46′W (38.2542, −85.7603). As of 2000, Louisville and Jefferson County have a combined area of 399 square miles (1,030 km2), of which, 385 square miles (1,000 km2) of it is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) of it (3.38%) is water.
Louisville is southeasterly situated along the border between Kentucky and Indiana, the Ohio River, in north-central Kentucky at the Falls of the Ohio. Although situated in a Southern state, Louisville is influenced by both Southern and Midwestern culture. It is sometimes referred to as either one of the northernmost Southern cities or as one of the southernmost Northern cities in the United States. The Louisville metropolitan area is considered part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis.
Louisville is located in the Bluegrass region. Its development has been influenced by its location on the Ohio River, which spurred Louisville’s growth from an isolated camp site into a major shipping port. Much of the city is located on a very wide and flat flood plain surrounded by hill country on all sides. Much of the area was swampland that had to be drained as the city grew. In the 1840s, most creeks were rerouted or placed in canals to prevent flooding and disease outbreaks.
Areas generally east of I-65 are above the flood plain, and are composed of gently rolling hills. The southernmost parts of Jefferson County are in the scenic and largely undeveloped Knobs region, which is home to Jefferson Memorial Forest.
The Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the 42nd largest in the United States, includes the Kentucky county of Jefferson (coterminous with Louisville Metro), plus twelve outlying counties—eight in Kentucky and four in Southern Indiana. Louisville’s MSA is included in the Louisville-Elizabethtown-Scottsburg, KY-IN Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which also includes the Elizabethtown, KY MSA as well as the Scottsburg, IN Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Louisville has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with four distinct seasons and is located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7. Spring-like conditions typically begin in mid-to-late March, summer from mid-to-late-May to late September, with fall in the October–November period. Seasonal extremes in both temperature and precipitation are not uncommon during early spring and late fall; severe weather is not uncommon, with occasional tornado outbreaks in the region. Winter typically brings a mix of rain, sleet, and snow, with occasional heavy snowfall and icing. Louisville averages 4.5 days with low temperatures dipping to 10 °F (−12 °C); the first and last freezes of the season on average fall on November 2 and April 5, respectively. Summer is typically hazy, hot, and humid with long periods of 90–100 °F (32–38 °C) degree temperatures and drought conditions at times. Louisville averages 38 days a year with high temperatures at or above 90 °F (32 °C). The mean annual temperature is 58.2 °F (14.6 °C), with an average annual snowfall of 12.7 inches (32 cm) and an average annual rainfall of 44.9 inches (1,140 mm).
The wettest seasons are spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant year round. During the winter, particularly in January and February, several days of snow can be expected. January is the coldest month, with a mean temperature of 34.9 °F (1.6 °C). July is the average hottest month with a mean of 79.3 °F (26.3 °C). The highest recorded temperature was 107 °F (42 °C), which last occurred on July 14, 1936, and the lowest recorded temperature was −22 °F (−30 °C) on January 19, 1994. In 2012, Louisville had the fourth hottest summer on record, with the temperature rising up to 106 °F (41 °C) in July and the June all-time monthly record high temperature being broken on two consecutive days. As the city exemplifies the urban heat island effect, temperatures in commercial areas and in the industrialized areas along interstates are often higher than in the suburbs, often as much as 5 °F (2.8 °C).
Air pollution is trapped in Louisville’s Ohio River Valley location. The city is ranked by Environmental Defense as America’s 38th worst city for air quality.
As of the 2010 census, the Louisville Metro area held a population of 741,096. In 2012, the “balance” area of Louisville proper included 605,110; this was greatly expanded from the pre-merger area of Louisville, which held only 245,315 people in 2007. Over one-third of the population growth in Kentucky is in Louisville’s CSA counties.
The 2007 demographic breakdown for the entire Louisville Metro area was 74.8% White (71.7% non-Hispanic); 22.2% Black; 0.6% American Indian; 2.0% Asian; 0.1% Hawaiian or Pacific islander; 1.4% other; and 1.6% multiracial. 2.9% of the total population were identified as Hispanic of any race. During the same year, the area of pre-merger Louisville consisted 60.1% White; 35.2% Black; 1.9% Asian; 0.2% American Indian; and 3.0% other, with 2.4% identified as Hispanic of any race.
There were 287,012 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.
The age distribution is 24.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.
The median income for a household is $39,457, and the median income for a family was $49,161. Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,352. About 9.5% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those ages 65 or over.
For More Louisville, Kentucky Information
Contact David M. Meunier Real Estate Team
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