Oldham County is a county located in the commonwealth of Kentucky. The population was 60,316 in the 2010 Census. Its county seat is La Grange. The county is named for Colonel William Oldham. Oldham County was a prohibition or completely dry county until January 2005 as the result of a 2004 'moist' vote, permitting sales of alcohol in restaurants that seat at least 100 patrons in which 70%+ of total revenue is derived from sales of food. It is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Oldham County is the wealthiest county in Kentucky and 48th wealthiest county in the U.S. and ranks second highest in Kentucky for percent of college educated residents. While the causes for this are complicated, areas east of Louisville have long been popular with wealthy residents, initially as summer residences and eventually as year-round suburban estates and bedroom communities. Oldham County lies northeast of the best known of these areas, Anchorage, just outside of Louisville's East End.
Oldham County was established on December 15, 1823 from parts of Henry, Jefferson, and Shelby Counties. It was the 74th Kentucky county, and was named in honor of Col. William Oldham of Jefferson County, a Revolutionary War officer.
Initially, it was mainly a rural country with small, scattered developments in places like Westport which was founded in 1800 and served as the county seat early on. When the Louisville and Frankfort Railroad Company introduced rail lines in the area in the 1850s, many new towns and communities sprang up. Eventually the railroad ceased operating as a form of public transportation, but the more rural nature of the county continued to draw residents away from the metropolitan areas in Jefferson County. Since the early 1970s and the completion of Interstate 71, which connects Oldham County to Downtown Louisville and shopping in Eastern Jefferson County, Oldham County has increasingly become suburban in nature, a natural extension of Louisville's wealthy East End as it ran out of large tracts of undeveloped land.
Crime rates have risen 47% from 2000–2008 due to increased arrests for possession of Methamphetamine. However, crime rates in the county are still low relative to the rest of the state and surrounding areas.