The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States, normally included in the group of Southern states, but sometimes included, geographically and culturally, in the Midwest. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states established as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 it became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th largest state in terms of land area, and ranks 26th in population.
Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State," a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the lawns and pastures throughout the state. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, the most miles of navigable waterways and streams in the Lower 48, the two largest man made lakes east of the Mississippi River, the highest per capita number of deer, turkey, and elk in the US, and the most productive coalfield in the US. Kentucky is also known for thoroughbred horses, horse racing, bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, automobile manufacturing (including the best selling car, truck, and SUV in the US market), and college basketball.