Jefferson County, Kentucky

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Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the most populous county in Kentucky and is more than twice as populous as the second most populous, Fayette. It was formed in 1780. As of 2009, the population estimate recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 721,594.[1] In November 2008 the city of Louisville challenged the U.S. census stating that they had miscounted Jefferson County population figures. If this ends up being correct Jefferson County could actually be well over 750,000 people.[citation needed]

Jefferson County is the most populous county in the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Jefferson County was organized in 1780 and one of the first three counties formed out of the original Kentucky County, which was still part of Virginia at the time (the other two being Fayette and Lincoln). The county is named for Thomas Jefferson, who was governor of Virginia at the time.

The last major American Indian raid in present day Jefferson County was the Chenoweth Massacre on July 17, 1789.

In 2003, its government merged with that of its largest city and county seat, Louisville, forming a new entity, the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government (the official long form) or simply Louisville Metro (the official short form).

Prior to this merger, the head of local government was the County Judge/Executive, a post that still exists but now has few powers. The current incumbent is Ken Herndon. Local government is effectively now led by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, Jerry Abramson.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 399 square miles (1,033 km2), of which 385 square miles (997 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) is water. The Ohio River forms its northern boundary with the state of Indiana.

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