Breathitt county is in the Eastern Coal Field region of Kentucky. The elevation in the county ranges from 650 to 1600 feet above sea level.
It was formed in 1839 from Clay, Estill, and Perry counties. Breathitt county was a source of Wolfe (1860), Lee (1870), and Knott (1884) counties. The county seat is Jackson.
In 2020 the county population was 13,718 in a land area of 492.41 square miles, an average of 27.9 people per square mile.
The equine population was 300 in the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey.
Breathitt county is in the Kentucky River Area Development District. It is in the Appalachian region according to the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Breathitt county was named for John Breathitt, the eleventh governor of Kentucky.
A large part of the University of Kentucky's Robinson Forest is in the county.
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© 2023 David C. Elbon