Fastest growing cities in Kentucky

Written by:
February 6, 2022
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Fastest growing cities in Kentucky

Population growth in the United States is slowing. From 2010 to 2020, the population grew by just 7.4%—the lowest rate since the 1930s. Declining birth rates, an aging population, and fewer immigrants are all contributing to historically slow growth rates. But depending on where you are in the country, it might not always feel that way.

In every state, there were cities that experienced cumulative population gains over the course of the decade. But when you look at the growth rates from year to year, cities across the country are following a similar trajectory. Small, medium, and large cities all saw declining growth since 2016. Some of the largest cities—those with populations over 1 million—have actually seen a decrease in overall population, not just slower population growth.

Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in Kentucky using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cities are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020.

Many cities experienced their most significant growth within the first few years of the decade. Experts postulate that the housing bubble burst in tandem with economic hardships of the Great Recession pushed many people of home-buying age to the cities. A decade later, in the wake of the pandemic, the U.S. is in a similar position.

#20. Francisville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,215
--- #2,005 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 28.6%
--- #59 among cities in Kentucky, #4,030 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 9,952
--- #46 largest city in Kentucky, #4,089 largest city nationwide

#19. Vine Grove
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,249
--- #1,974 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 52.2%
--- #29 among cities in Kentucky, #2,094 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 6,559
--- #69 largest city in Kentucky, #5,516 largest city nationwide

#18. Wilmore
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,259
--- #1,967 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 60.4%
--- #25 among cities in Kentucky, #1,755 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 5,999
--- #77 largest city in Kentucky, #5,832 largest city nationwide

#17. Berea
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,284
--- #1,957 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 17.2%
--- #108 among cities in Kentucky, #6,345 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 15,539
--- #30 largest city in Kentucky, #2,845 largest city nationwide

#16. La Grange
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,306
--- #1,944 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 29.7%
--- #55 among cities in Kentucky, #3,884 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 10,067
--- #44 largest city in Kentucky, #4,043 largest city nationwide

#15. Union
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,398
--- #1,876 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 47.8%
--- #32 among cities in Kentucky, #2,328 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 7,416
--- #62 largest city in Kentucky, #5,084 largest city nationwide

#14. Florence
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,704
--- #1,704 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 9.2%
--- #153 among cities in Kentucky, #9,238 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 31,946
--- #8 largest city in Kentucky, #1,403 largest city nationwide

#13. Middletown
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,753
--- #1,682 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 39.6%
--- #39 among cities in Kentucky, #2,875 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 9,706
--- #47 largest city in Kentucky, #4,158 largest city nationwide

#12. Frankfort
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +2,920
--- #1,617 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 11.4%
--- #142 among cities in Kentucky, #8,272 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,602
--- #13 largest city in Kentucky, #1,568 largest city nationwide

#11. Shepherdsville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,388
--- #1,410 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 31.3%
--- #50 among cities in Kentucky, #3,672 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 14,201
--- #32 largest city in Kentucky, #3,055 largest city nationwide

#10. Richmond
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,602
--- #1,348 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 11.6%
--- #140 among cities in Kentucky, #8,159 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 34,585
--- #7 largest city in Kentucky, #1,283 largest city nationwide

#9. Owensboro
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,642
--- #1,340 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 6.4%
--- #184 among cities in Kentucky, #10,688 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 60,183
--- #4 largest city in Kentucky, #689 largest city nationwide

#8. Shelbyville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +3,879
--- #1,269 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 28.9%
--- #58 among cities in Kentucky, #3,990 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 17,282
--- #27 largest city in Kentucky, #2,574 largest city nationwide

#7. Nicholasville
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,232
--- #1,168 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 15.8%
--- #113 among cities in Kentucky, #6,724 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 31,093
--- #11 largest city in Kentucky, #1,445 largest city nationwide

#6. Elizabethtown
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +4,572
--- #1,091 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 17.0%
--- #109 among cities in Kentucky, #6,392 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 31,394
--- #9 largest city in Kentucky, #1,427 largest city nationwide

#5. Independence
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +5,701
--- #893 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 24.8%
--- #69 among cities in Kentucky, #4,612 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 28,676
--- #12 largest city in Kentucky, #1,561 largest city nationwide

#4. Mount Washington
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +9,041
--- #572 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 99.9%
--- #13 among cities in Kentucky, #863 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 18,090
--- #22 largest city in Kentucky, #2,489 largest city nationwide

#3. Georgetown
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +9,818
--- #522 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 36.0%
--- #44 among cities in Kentucky, #3,178 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 37,086
--- #6 largest city in Kentucky, #1,186 largest city nationwide

#2. Bowling Green
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +15,887
--- #288 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 28.2%
--- #61 among cities in Kentucky, #4,092 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 72,294
--- #3 largest city in Kentucky, #537 largest city nationwide

#1. Lexington-Fayette urban county
- 2010 to 2020 population change: +34,525
--- #94 among all cities nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 12.0%
--- #138 among cities in Kentucky, #8,015 among all cities nationwide
- 2020 population: 322,570
--- #2 largest city in Kentucky, #57 largest city nationwide

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