Basic socioeconomic and political indicators in Kentucky

For those who might be curious, here are some basic demographic statistics of Kentucky residents:

  • 89% white, 8% black, 1% Asian, and 2% Hispanic
  • 17% of Kentucky individuals are below the federal poverty level (49th of all U.S. states).
  • The median household income in Kentucky is $41,500 (47th of all U.S. states).
  • 3% of Kentucky individuals are foreign-born and 4% speak a non-English language at home.
  • 19.6% of the adult population over 25 has not graduated from high school (compared to 15.5% nation-wide).
  • 20% of adult Kentuckians have a bachelor’s degree (compared to 27% nation-wide, and 47th of all U.S. states).

Partisan breakdown in Kentucky:

  • 44% Democrat
  • 40% Republican
  • 13% Independent
  • 3% something else

Ideological breakdown:

  • 15% liberal
  • 47% moderate
  • 39% conservative

Of course, these measures aren’t as accurate as they could be because they don’t break down independents into which party they lean toward. Unfortunately, there’s no follow-up question about which way you lean in this survey.

Now, what is the ideological breakdown amongst the two major parties? Among Kentucky Democrats:

  • 24% liberal
  • 58% moderate
  • 18% conservative

And among Kentucky Republicans:

  • 7% liberal
  • 30% moderate
  • 63% conservative

All in all, Kentucky is a fairly white state with lower levels of education and higher levels of poverty than the national average. There are more Democrats than Republicans in Kentucky, but the Democrats are fairly moderate while the Republicans are very conservative.

Soure data: America Fact Finder (U.S. Census) and 2004 Voter News Service exit poll, N=1,075, weighted data.

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