Pike is Kentucky's easternmost county, it is also the state's largest county in terms of land area. Pike County is the 11th largest county in Kentucky in terms of population preceded by Bullitt County and followed by Christian County. Pike County is Kentucky's third largest banking center, with financial institutions and holding companies having more than $1 billion in assets. In the five years spanning 1995-2000, personal income increased by 28%, and the county's per capita income exceeded the national and state average growth rates of the past decade. Pike County is the seventy-first Kentucky county in order of creation.
With regard to the sale of alcohol, it is classified as a moist county—a county in which alcohol sales are prohibited (a dry county), but containing a "wet" city, in this case two cities: Pikeville and suburb Coal Run Village, where package alcohol sales are allowed.
Pike County was founded on December 19, 1821. The county was named for General Zebulon Pike, the explorer who discovered Pikes Peak. Between 1860 and 1891 the Hatfield-McCoy feud raged in Pike and in bordering Mingo County, West Virginia. On May 6, 1893, Pikeville officially became a city and the county seat.
The Appalachian News Express, published in Pikeville, is preserved on microfilm by the University of Kentucky Libraries. The microfilm holdings are listed in a master negative database on the UK Libraries Preservation and Digital Programs website.