Barren county is in the Pennyrile region of Kentucky. The elevation in the county ranges from 465 to 1068 feet above sea level.
It was formed in 1799 from Green and Warren counties. The county seat is Glasgow. Barren county was a source of Allen (1815), Hart (1819), Monroe (1820), and Metcalfe (1860) counties.
In 2020 the county population was 44,485 in a land area of 487.54 square miles, an average of 91.2 people per square mile.
The equine population was 3,600 in the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey.
Barren county is in the Glasgow micro statistical area and the Barren River Area Development District.
Barren county was named for the grasslands, known as the barrens, that cover the northern part of the county.
Mammoth Cave National Park extends into the northwest of the county near Park City and Cave City.
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