Elizabethtown is a home rule-class city and the county seat of Hardin County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 28,531 at the 2010 census, and was estimated at 30,289 by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019, making it the 11th-largest city in the state. It is included in (and the principal city of) the Elizabethtown–Fort Knox, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Louisville/Jefferson County–Elizabethtown–Madison, Kentucky-Indiana Combined Statistical Area.
Elizabethtown is in east-central Hardin County, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Fort Knox. Interstate 65 passes through the southeast side of the city, leading north-northeast 45 miles (72 km) to Louisville and southwest 71 miles (114 km) to Bowling Green. The Western Kentucky Parkway starts at I-65 in Elizabethtown and leads west 138 miles (222 km) to Eddyville. To the east, the Bluegrass Parkway leads 105 miles (169 km) to Lexington.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Elizabethtown has a total area of 25.8 square miles (67 km2), of which 25.4 square miles (66 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1 km2) (1.77%) is water.
The Elizabethtown–Fort Knox metropolitan area consists of Hardin, Meade, and Larue counties, and includes Radcliff, a city about three-fourths the size of Elizabethtown; the housing areas of the Fort Knox Military Installation; the unincorporated town of Rineyville; and other communities such as Vine Grove, Glendale, Sonora, West Point, and Upton.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Elizabethtown has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Established in 1793, Hardin County was named for Colonel John Hardin, an Indian fighter who worked with tribes in the local area.