Carter county is in the Eastern Coal Field region of Kentucky. The elevation in the county ranges from 542 to 1300 feet above sea level.
In 2010 the county population was 27,720 in a land area of 409.50 square miles, an average of 67.7 people per square mile.
The equine population was 2,000 in the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey.
Carter county was named to honor state Senator William Grayson Carter.