Everyone knows the Bluegrass State is a beautiful place to live, thanks to the land and the friendly residents. Unfortunately, the old saying “nobody’s perfect” still rings true. It hurts me to say it, but we could use some work with these troubling Kentucky facts.
10. New Madrid Fault Line
Most of us don’t really like to think about this, but it still exists. Kentucky sits atop a giant cave system and fault line. We have sink hole issues, though not on a gigantic scale. The fact remains, Mother Nature could decide to swallow up 2/3 of the state on a whim. I personally try to avoid areas with frequent construction using explosives, but I’m paranoid like that.
9. Annual particle position
According to the American Lung Association, Jefferson County ranks 15th in the nation for particle pollution in the air we try to breathe. That is quite a feat for such a vast amount of counties all across the U.S. It is also number 3 for allergens according to WAVE3.
8. Bourbon and horse racing
These are the first things that come to mind when people outside of Kentucky, think of Kentucky. That is one very good reason to promote the beauty of our state and balance it out. Don’t get me wrong. I am not ashamed of the fact we raise amazing horses and make the finest bourbon to be found. Not to mention, despite our high bourbon production, we are nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to deaths due to alcohol. That is something to take pride in. There are just a few other things I’d like to see pop up first. Red River Gorge, Cumberland Falls, Kentucky Lake, etc. etc.
7. Cancer, of all types
We are in the number 1 spot for overall cancer related deaths in the U.S. according to the CDC. We are followed closely by West Virginia, Mississippi and Arkansas, but I’m sure that doesn’t make you feel any better than it did me. We do have great support for cancer patients and survivors, such as the annual Parade of Survivors during the Kentucky Derby Festival.
6. Lung and Respiratory Disease
We rank number 1 for deaths related to lung disease in the U.S. according to the CDC. Since we are one of the top coal and tobacco producers for the country, this should not come as a surprise. Black Lung is not uncommon and our percentage of deaths for heart disease isn’t too far behind.
5. Heart Disease
We rank number 11 in the nation for deaths via heart disease. This is better than being number one. However, though it hurts my heart to admit it, we could all likely get by with a little less gravy.
4. Population growth
The beauty of Kentucky draws people to it. The population of our state has grown 7.39% since 2014. That may not sound like a lot, but it is when other economical factors are not improving. Some of you may try to point fingers and say it is because we promote Kentucky. All I can say is, we accept no responsibility for enticing people to come here. We do hope people visit… as visitors help the economy. Our standard cost of living is more than 12% lower than most of the country.
More than 20% of Kentuckians live in poverty according to the U.S. Census. That means around 1 out of 5 people in our state make under $25,000 annually with a family of 4.
More than 32% of the population of Kentucky has an obesity problem. That is almost 1/3 of the people in our state. We rank 16th in the nation for deaths because of obesity related health issues. We love our southern cooking, but it has some adverse affects.
The current unemployment rate in Kentucky is more than 7%. The average for the remainder of the U.S. is 6.3%. Perhaps we can hope some of the future participants in the population growth will bring jobs with them. At this point, our jobs are continuing to decrease by around .39% annually.
Compared to other issues in the U.S., the troubling Kentucky facts aren’t too awful. I like to think we’re a few steps above the rest because of our good hearted people and the unmatched beauty of our lands. What areas would you suggest Kentucky put efforts into improving?