Benton, Kentucky

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Benton is a city in Marshall County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 4,197 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Marshall County[1].

Shape-note singers gather annually at Benton on the fourth Sunday in May to sing from a tunebook called The Southern Harmony. This event, organized in 1884 and called The Big Singing or Big Singing Day, is considered by many to be the oldest indigenous musical tradition in the United States. Benton is also known for an annual festival called "Tater Day", which attracts residents from all over the Jackson Purchase and involves games, deep fried food, and a parade.


Benton is located at 36°51′19″N 88°21′15″W / 36.85528°N 88.35417°W / 36.85528; -88.35417 (36.855231, -88.354047)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.2 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 4,197 people, 1,767 households, and 1,111 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,065.3 people per square mile (411.3/km²). There were 1,922 housing units at an average density of 487.8/sq mi (188.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.97% White, 0.62% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.91% of the population.

There were 1,767 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.1% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 25.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,250, and the median income for a family was $52,396. Males had a median income of $39,097 versus $22,134 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,660. About 7.6% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.6% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

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