McCracken County
McCracken County courthouse in Paducah
McCracken County courthouse in Paducah
Map of Kentucky highlighting McCracken County
Location within the U.S. state of Kentucky
Map of the United States highlighting Kentucky
Kentucky's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°04′N 88°43′W / 37.06°N 88.72°W / 37.06; -88.72
Country United States
State Kentucky
Founded1825
Named forVirgil McCracken
SeatPaducah
Largest cityPaducah
Area
 • Total268 sq mi (690 km2)
 • Land249 sq mi (640 km2)
 • Water19 sq mi (50 km2)  7.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total67,875
 • Estimate 
(2021)
67,454 Decrease
 • Density250/sq mi (98/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitemccrackencountyky.gov

McCracken County is a county located in the far western portion of U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 67,875.[1] The county seat and only municipality is Paducah.[2] McCracken County was the 78th county formed in the state, having been created in 1825.[3] It is part of the historic Jackson Purchase, territory sold by the Chickasaw people to General Andrew Jackson and Governor Isaac Shelby; this territory was located at the extreme western end of Kentucky.

Paducah developed based on its "River and Rail" traffic. Steamboats, barges, and the Illinois Central Railroad were the basis of the economy into the late 20th century. In the 1920s, the Illinois Central built the largest operating and maintenance base in the world here.

In the 21st century, McCracken County is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

McCracken County was founded in 1825 from Hickman County; it was named for Captain Virgil McCracken of Woodford County, Kentucky, who was killed in the Battle of Frenchtown in southeastern Michigan during the War of 1812.[4][5]

The Battle of Paducah occurred during the American Civil War in McCracken County on March 25, 1864. The skirmish between the Union and Confederate troops ended in a Confederate victory. A total of 140 men were killed during the battle.

In addition to having an economy influenced by river traffic, the county's economy was strengthened by construction of the railroad to Paducah. The railroads based operations and maintenance in Paducah, and the men in many families had careers as firemen, repairment, and related jobs.

Law and government

(Federal)

McCracken County makes up Kentucky's 1st congressional district and elects a representative to the US Congress.

(State)

In the Kentucky General Assembly, McCracken is represented by the entirety of District 3 representing Paducah; a portion of District 2 representing the south of the county and Graves County; most of the county outside of Paducah by District 1, which encompasses counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and Fulton along the Mississippi River; and, lastly, a tiny sliver of the east of McCracken County near Reidland is represented by the 6th District (centered on Marshall & Lyon counties).

In the State Senate, all of McCracken County is represented by the 2nd District and its State Senator Danny Carroll (R).

(County)

The county is led by an elected County Judge Executive: Craig Clymer, and three commissioners elected from single-member districts.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 268 square miles (690 km2), of which 249 square miles (640 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (7.2%) is water.[6] The county's northern border with Illinois is formed by the Ohio River, and its northeastern border by the Tennessee River.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18301,297
18404,745265.8%
18506,06727.9%
186010,36070.8%
187013,98835.0%
188016,26216.3%
189021,05129.4%
190028,73336.5%
191035,06422.0%
192037,2466.2%
193046,27124.2%
194048,5344.9%
195049,1371.2%
196057,30616.6%
197058,2811.7%
198061,3105.2%
199062,8792.6%
200065,5144.2%
201065,5650.1%
202067,8753.5%
2021 (est.)67,454[7]−0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 65,514 people, 27,736 households, and 18,444 families residing in the county. The population density was 261 per square mile (101/km2). There were 30,361 housing units at an average density of 121 per square mile (47/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.76% White, 10.88% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.

There were 27,736 households, out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.50% were non-families. 29.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,865, and the median income for a family was $42,513. Males had a median income of $36,417 versus $22,704 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,533. About 11.40% of families and 15.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.90% of those under age 18 and 12.30% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Public elementary and secondary education in the county is provided by two school districts:

Several private schools also provide K-12 education. These institutions include the St. Mary System and Community Christian Academy.

Higher education is provided by West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Like all other schools in this system, WKCTC offers associate degrees. The state's largest public university, the University of Kentucky, operates a branch campus of its College of Engineering at WKCTC. Murray State University offers bachelor's degree programs and master's degrees. A new 43,000 square foot facility located on a 23-acre campus adjacent to WKCTC was opened in 2014. In addition, Lindsey Wilson College offers a human services degree at WKCTC and McKendree University operates a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

Communities

City

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Politics

United States presidential election results for McCracken County, Kentucky[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,820 65.04% 11,195 33.37% 534 1.59%
2016 20,774 66.36% 9,134 29.18% 1,399 4.47%
2012 19,979 65.40% 10,062 32.94% 510 1.67%
2008 19,043 61.92% 11,285 36.69% 426 1.39%
2004 18,218 61.14% 11,361 38.13% 218 0.73%
2000 14,745 55.25% 11,412 42.76% 532 1.99%
1996 10,221 40.42% 12,670 50.10% 2,396 9.48%
1992 10,657 39.25% 13,341 49.13% 3,155 11.62%
1988 12,160 49.34% 12,208 49.54% 275 1.12%
1984 12,903 50.08% 12,535 48.65% 327 1.27%
1980 10,281 42.27% 13,365 54.94% 679 2.79%
1976 6,997 30.84% 14,956 65.92% 734 3.24%
1972 11,260 57.69% 7,567 38.77% 691 3.54%
1968 5,887 27.33% 9,741 45.21% 5,916 27.46%
1964 4,543 21.83% 16,178 77.75% 87 0.42%
1960 9,689 43.59% 12,539 56.41% 0 0.00%
1956 7,076 33.29% 14,103 66.34% 79 0.37%
1952 6,051 32.93% 12,302 66.95% 22 0.12%
1948 3,251 21.57% 11,183 74.19% 640 4.25%
1944 4,190 27.71% 10,846 71.73% 84 0.56%
1940 3,554 23.43% 11,562 76.23% 52 0.34%
1936 3,160 22.85% 10,557 76.33% 113 0.82%
1932 3,140 25.12% 9,188 73.51% 171 1.37%
1928 7,368 56.93% 5,535 42.76% 40 0.31%
1924 4,979 40.54% 6,028 49.08% 1,274 10.37%
1920 6,085 40.89% 8,496 57.10% 299 2.01%
1916 3,058 39.96% 4,356 56.92% 239 3.12%
1912 1,308 22.62% 2,948 50.99% 1,526 26.39%


See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Collins, Lewis (1877). History of Kentucky. p. 593.
  4. ^ E., Kleber, John; Kentucky, University Press of; Policy, Institute for Regional Analysis and Public; Library, Camden-Carroll; University, Morehead State (2000). "The Kentucky Encyclopedia". www.kyenc.org. Retrieved July 4, 2018. ((cite web)): |last3= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. pp. 36.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 4, 2018.

Coordinates: 37°04′N 88°43′W / 37.06°N 88.72°W / 37.06; -88.72