Earlington is a home rule-class city in Hopkins County, Kentucky, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 1,649.
Earlington was founded by European Americans in 1870 around the area coal fields. Upon its incorporation a year later, it was formally named for John Baylis Earle, a lawyer who was central to developing the coal industry in the region.
Until the mid-1970s, the City of Earlington operated an independent school system. The system served students from primary until graduation and was known regionally for an exceptionally strong academic program that produced strong students. The athletic programs at Earlington were also very strong. In 1967, the Earlington Yellowjackets won the state "Sweet 16" basketball tournament. During the 1960s, the champions of the Sweet 16 were typically from Jefferson County (Louisville) or Fayette County (Lexington), since school boundaries were being redefined to conform to school desegregation orders. Earlington remains one of the smallest schools to ever win the "Sweet 16" in the modern era.
When the city school board decided to merge with the Hopkins County School System, the school and community were split into two. Half of the student population was enrolled at South Hopkins High School approximately 3 miles to the South and half at West Hopkins High School, located approximately 8 miles to the West. The areas were divided by the railroad line that bisects the town.
The City of Earlington also had a private school that operated until the 1970s. Immaculate Conception, the only Roman Catholic parish in Earlington and the oldest parish in Hopkins County, operated a school periodically from the 1890s until the school was condemned in the 1970s due to poor building conditions. The school was a kindergarten through sixth grade. Located across the street from the parish building, it was demolished after the school closed.
Earlington is located at 37°16′27″N 87°30′41″W (37.274050, -87.511388).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (6.16%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,649 people, 681 households, and 439 families residing in the city. The population density was 493.1 people per square mile (190.6/km²). There were 798 housing units at an average density of 238.6 per square mile (92.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.80% White, 23.29% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.
There were 681 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 78.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,696, and the median income for a family was $24,167. Males had a median income of $27,344 versus $20,341 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,088. About 25.7% of families and 30.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.8% of those under age 18 and 18.8% of those age 65 or over.Dr. Lee Todd - president, University of Kentucky