It was created from Bourbon and Fayette Counties and is named for Revolutionary War hero General George Rogers Clark. Clark County is in rich agricultural land, with most of the county consisting of farmland. It’s located on Interstate 64 and is seven miles from Interstate 75.
Many pioneers went through Fort Boonesborough (or Fort Boonesboro) in Madison County before permanent settlements were set up in Clark County. After Native Americans were removed from the area, commercial and agricultural enterprises began. There were wharfs for flatboats along the Kentucky River and its tributaries in the early 19th century, and county farmers started importing European livestock.
Railroads started in Clark County from 1873 through 1883. They helped Winchester become a transportation, commercial and educational hub. A number of agricultural changes have occurred in the county over the years. Clark County was known for its shorthorn cattle, then tobacco, and later hemp became popular during World Wars I and II. A recent revival of industrial hemp growing started in 2015.
Industry started moving to the county, mostly around Winchester, starting in the 1950s and 1960s, helped by the opening of I-64 and the Mountain Parkway, which joins near Winchester. By 1986, manufacturing jobs were occupied by 25% of the county’s labor force while another 25% worked in other counties, many in nearby Fayette County.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates:
- The county’s population was 35,757 in 2015.
- Nearly 93% of the population is White (higher than the state average of 88%); African Americans make up about 5% of the county with Hispanics being 3% of the population.
- An estimated 1.5% of the county is foreign born, less than half the estimate for Kentucky which is 3.4%.
- 7% of residents have at least one college degree; the state average is 22.3%.
- The median household income is $47,959 (higher than the state average of $43,740). and 15.4% of the population lives in poverty (lower than the state average of 18.5%).
- The county covers 252 square miles. and on average 141 people per square mile live there (higher than the state average of 109.9).
According to the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development:
- The county’s current unemployment rate is 5.3%, about the same as the national rate.
- The county’s average weekly wage was $720 in 2013. The national average that year was $957.
Agriculture is a huge part of Clark County’s economy, and that wouldn’t be possible without immigrant workers. With the Trump Administration ramping up immigration enforcement, undocumented workers should get legal help if they’re not sure of their status or want to take steps to try to ensure that they can stay in the country legally.
If you live in Clark County, Kentucky, and want to discuss immigration law matters or you need legal representation for an immigration issue, contact our office so we can discuss your situation, the applicable laws and how we can help you.