Kentucky Counties
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Kentucky Counties

Kentucky has one hundred and twenty counties, third in the US behind Texas's (254) and Georgia's (159.) Washington County was the first county formed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky when it reached statehood, and the sixteenth county formed

Barren County, Kentucky

Barren County Education, Geography, and HistoryBarren County, Kentucky Courthouse

Barren County is a county located in the state of Kentucky. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 42,173.  The county was created on December 20, 1798. The county seat is Glasgow. Barren county is named for the Barrens, meadow lands that cover the northern third, though actually the soil is fertile.

Barren County is part of the Glasgow, KY Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Bowling Green-Glasgow, KY Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Barren County Name

The county was named by explorers. Barren County received its namesake due to large treeless expanses visitors found which made the area seem infertile. The expanses were attributed to the burning of trees and brush by the Indians to aid in their buffalo hunts.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Barren County History

Barren county was formed in 1799. It is located in the Pennyrile region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 465 to 1068 feet above sea level. In 2000 the county population was 38,033 in a land area of 490.97 square miles, an average of 77.5 people per square mile. The county seat is Glasgow.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 488 square miles (1,260 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (2.5%) is water.

Barren county is located close to the center of Kentucky. Barren River Lake is located in the southern part of the county, forming part of its boundary with Allen County. Barren River Lake State Resort Park is located mainly within Barren County, along the lake's shoreline.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Hart County
  • East: Metcalfe County
  • Southeast: Monroe County
  • Southwest: Allen County
  • West: Warren County
  • Northwest: Edmonson County


The county is home to all or part of three school districts:

  • Most of the county is served by the Barren County Schools, which includes Barren County High School and Middle School in Glasgow, and several elementary schools throughout the county, many of which were formerly also high schools before they were consolidated into Barren County High in the early 1970s.
  • The Glasgow Independent Schools
  • The Caverna Independent Schools

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