|Named for||John Breathitt|
|• Total||495 sq mi (1,280 km2)|
|• Land||492 sq mi (1,270 km2)|
|• Water||2.9 sq mi (8 km2) 0.6%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||25.9/sq mi (10.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Breathitt County is a county in the eastern Appalachian portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 13,878. Its county seat is Jackson. The county was formed in 1839 and was named for John Breathitt, who was Governor of Kentucky from 1832 to 1834. Breathitt County was a prohibition or dry county, until a public vote in July 2016 that allowed alcohol sales.
The area now encompassed by Kentucky's Breathitt County was first bounded in 1772, when all of what is now the state of Kentucky was in the frontier county of Fincastle County, Virginia. Fincastle was divided in 1776, with the western portion named Kentucky County, Virginia. In 1780, Virginia set aside all land in Kentucky County for soldiers who had served in the Revolutionary War. In 1780, Kentucky County was divided into 3 counties, Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Lincoln County was divided in 1799, with part becoming Knox County. In 1807, the Legislature partitioned the upper part of Knox to create Clay County. On February 6, 1839, a portion of Clay (along with portions of Estill and Perry Counties) was partitioned off to create Breathitt County. It was named for Governor John Breathitt.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 495 square miles (1,280 km2), of which 492 square miles (1,270 km2) is land and 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) (0.6%) is water.
The North and Middle Forks of the Kentucky River pass through the county as the main water drainages.
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 16,100 people, 6,170 households, and 4,541 families in the county. The population density was 32 per square mile (12/km2). There were 6,812 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.69% White, 0.39% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,170 households, out of which 34.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.00% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.00% 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.
The county population contained 25.50% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $19,155, and the median income for a family was $23,721. Males had a median income of $26,208 versus $20,613 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,044. About 28.10% of families and 33.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.90% of those under age 18 and 26.80% of those age 65 or over.
Jackson Independent Schools is a school district that educates students inside and outside the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky.
Breathitt County Schools is another school district with an array of schools within the city limits of Jackson, Kentucky and throughout the county.
The Breathitt Area Technology Center serves both the Jackson Independent and the Breathitt County school districts. It is located in Jackson on the campus of Breathitt County High School. The school is operated by the state of Kentucky. While most of the funding comes from the state, much of the equipment is purchased with federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act funds, which are aimed at advancing technical education.
The school is focused on technical education, offering these technical programs:
The community of Quicksand is the location for the University of Kentucky Robinson Station. This agriculture research facility is a pivotal asset in Breathitt County, furthering the scientific studies in the areas of agriculture and forestry.
Breathitt County health care providers were featured in a November 23, 2013 article in The Washington Post: "In Rural Kentucky, Health-Care Takes Back Seat as the Long-Uninsured Line Up". As of 2014 the county had the highest morbidity rate in the state of Kentucky.