Louisville – that is, Metro Louisville – is now the nation’s 17th largest city following merger of the city and Jefferson County governments in January 2003.
The city has grown from 61 square miles to encompass a diverse and vibrant community that spans more than 385 square miles, including such rich cultural assets as historic Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack and home to the most exciting two minutes in sports, the incomparable Kentucky Derby; one of the largest municipally-owned urban forests in the country, the Jefferson Memorial Forest; and one of the oldest free public library systems in existence - Louisville Free Public Library.
The population of 741,096 residents is served by the largest public school system in the state (100,000+ students) -- the 28th largest school district in the United States.
Louisville was ranked third in a listing of the nation’s Safest Cities for Families with Young Children.
Louisville is home to such signature products as the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat, Louisville Stoneware and, even KFC, formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken and part of YUM! Brands, Inc. On the food front, Louisville is the birthplace of the cheeseburger (at the now defunct Kaelin’s Restaurant – costing a mere 15-cents when offered on the menu in October 1934), and such local delicacies as the Hot Brown, Benedictine, Derby Pie® and Modjeskas candies.
The quality of life index is high. Louisville is one of only a dozen U.S. cities with a professional orchestra, ballet, opera, theater and children’s theater. Housing options are diverse and affordable.
Louisville neighborhoods maintain their character. From Butchertown to Anchorage, Fern Creek to Fairdale, Louisville offers distinct choices in housing, from steep bluffs with Ohio River views to verdant golf course lots.
Downtown Louisville is enjoying a rebirth, with creation of the Great Lawn (a prime spot for viewing the world’s largest fireworks show, Thunder Over Louisville), opening of Fourth Street Live, Glassworks and a pair of trolley hops on Friday evenings to local art galleries, restaurants and shops.
*The Louisville MSA (metropolitan statistical area) includes Jefferson, Bullitt, Henry, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Spencer, Shelby and Trimble in Kentucky, and Clark, Floyd, Harrison, and Washington counties in Indiana.