Bowling Green is a home rule-class city and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States. As of 2019, its population of 70,543 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area, which is the fourth largest in the state after Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky, had an estimated population of 177,432; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 231,608.
Founded by pioneers in 1798, Bowling Green was the provisional capital of Confederate Kentucky during the American Civil War. The city was the subject of the 1967 Everly Brothers song "Bowling Green".
In the 21st century, it is the location of numerous manufacturers, including General Motors and Fruit of the Loom. The Bowling Green Assembly Plant has been the source of all Chevrolet Corvettes built since 1981. Bowling Green is also home to the state's second-largest public university, Western Kentucky University. In 2014, Forbes magazine listed Bowling Green as one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire in the United States.
The first Europeans known to have reached the area carved their names on beech trees near the river around 1775. By 1778, settlers established McFadden's Station on the north bank of the Barren River.
Present-day Bowling Green developed from homesteads erected by Robert and George Moore and General Elijah Covington, the namesake of the town near Cincinnati. The Moore brothers arrived from Virginia circa 1794. In 1798, two years after Warren County had been formed, Robert Moore donated 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land to county trustees for the purpose of constructing public buildings.