Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the United States. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World", it is the heart of the state's Bluegrass region. Notable locations in the city include the Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile and Keeneland race courses, Rupp Arena, Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Lexington ranks 10th among US cities in college education rate, with 39.5% of residents having at least a bachelor's degree.
In the 2019 U.S. Census Estimate, the city's population was 323,152 anchoring a metropolitan area of 517,056 people and a combined statistical area of 745,033 people. By land area, Lexington is the 28th largest city in the United States. The city is consolidated entirely within Fayette County, and vice versa. It has a nonpartisan mayor-council form of government, with 12 council districts and three members elected at large, with the highest vote-getter designated vice mayor.
This area of fertile soil and abundant wildlife was long occupied by varying tribes of Native Americans. European explorers began to trade with them, but settlers did not come in large numbers until the late 18th century.
Lexington was named in June 1775, in what was then considered Fincastle County, Virginia, 17 years before Kentucky became a state.