March 11, 2020

Kentucky Among Top States in Annual Governor's Cup Rankings

Commonwealth places first in South Central Region, second nationally per capita

Kentucky continued its string of strong showings in Site Selection Magazine’s 2019 Governor’s Cup, earning the top ranking in the South Central region per capita. The commonwealth placed second nationally per capita and eighth overall for total projects, besting more densely populated states such as New York, California, Michigan, and Tennessee.

The commonwealth also ranked highly in the metropolitan and micropolitan categories, highlighted by Bowling Green’s top placement among metros with populations 50,000 - 200,000.

The rankings mark the sixth consecutive year Kentucky earned a top-2 placement in the per-capita competition. Three Kentucky communities made Site Selection’s Top 10 Metro Areas list. Bowling Green (12 projects) earned third place among metros with populations less than 200,000; Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati (108 projects) ranked fifth among metros with populations over 1 million; and Lexington (25 projects) placed seventh within the 200,000 to 1 million category.

Kentucky also tied for second among states with the most top micropolitan areas appearing on the list – cities between 10,000 and 50,000 – with 42 projects representing 11 communities:

City Projects
Mayfield 8
Bardstown 6
Danville 5
Murray 4
Glasgow 3
Mount Sterling 3
Paducah 3
Richmond-Berea 3
Frankfort 3
Mayfield 2
Maysville 2


In 2019, Kentucky worked with private businesses to announce the planned creation of more than 10,700 full-time jobs for state residents across the coming years, part of 234 expansion and new-facility projects in which private-sector companies plan invest over $5.3 billion into the state.

Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988 to the US state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

Corporate real estate analysts regard the rankings as an industry scoreboard. The magazine’s circulation reaches 48,000 executives in corporate site selection decision making.

The full rankings can be viewed at

A complete list of Kentucky’s 2019 announced projects is available here. Various reports, including the commonwealth’s existing industries and announced projects are available here. An interactive map of announced investment and job-creating projects is available here.