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Kentucky ( [email protected], ken-), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky,[note 2] is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South. Kentucky borders Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to its north; West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee to the east; Tennessee and Missouri to the south; Missouri to the west. The Commonwealth’s northern border is defined by the Ohio River. Its capital city is Frankfort. The two largest cities in the state are Louisville and Lexington. In 2020, the state’s population was approximately 4.5 millions.
On June 1, 1792 Kentucky was admitted to the Union as the 15th State. It split from Virginia during this time. It is known as the “Bluegrass State”, a nickname based on Kentucky bluegrass, a species of green grass found in many of its pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state. Historically, it was known for excellent farming conditions for this reason and the development of large tobacco plantations akin to those in Virginia and North Carolina in the central and western parts of the state with the use of enslaved labor during the Antebellum South and Civil War period. Kentucky is ranked 5th in goat farming, 8th with beef cattle production and 14th with corn production. It has been a long-standing center for the tobacco industry. Today, Kentucky’s economy has expanded to importance in non-agricuIturaI sectors, including auto manufacturing, energy fuel production, and medical facilities. The number of cars and trucks manufactured in Kentucky ranks fourth among the US states.