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Paducah is the fast food capital of America

When I think of Paducah, I think of the quilt museum and, well, that it seems really far away from the rest of the state. Apparently, I should also be thinking of fast food. According to a survey by FindTheHome, Paducah has the highest density of fast food restaurants of not only any city in Kentucky, but any city in America.

Per 10,000 people in Paducah, there are 13.18 fast food restaurants, the highest number in the country. Whoa. The most notable, according to this study? Burger King.

Only cities with a population threshold over the 95th percentile of the state were considered. The next highest in Kentucky, which coincidentally has the most interesting Taco Bell Menu Prices. Ashland, where there are 9.28 fast food restaurants per 10,000 people.

Here are the top ten fast food capitals nationally:

1. Paducah, Kentucky: 13.18 fast food restaurants per 10K people
2. Durant, Oklahoma: 10.9 fast food restaurants per 10K people
3. Beckley, West Virginia: 10.84 fast food restaurants per 10K people
4. Slidell, Louisiana, 10.23 fast food restaurants per 10K people
5. Wasilla, Alaska, 9.52 fast food restaurants per 10K people
6. Ridgeland, Mississippi: 9.5 fast food restaurants per 10K people
7. Gallup, New Mexico: 9.46 fast food restaurants per 10K people
8. Russellville, Arkansas: 9.45 fast food restaurants per 10K people
9. Statesville, North Carolina: 9.15 fast food restaurants per 10K people
10. Florence, South Carolina: 9.06 fast food restaurants per 10K people


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

17 responses to “Paducah is the fast food capital of America”

  1. camfarley

    Welp, this is sadly unsurprising. Although I do appreciate my hometown, I am very happy to have spent my last 7 years living in Lexington and Louisville. Local restaurants are gaining a foothold in Paducah, but most of the populace would just rather go through the drive-thru.

  2. originalCatFanForLife

    Being a native of Paducah, this is a bit disturbing, but not surprising. I would say in general, Paducah has a very good selection of “chain” restaurants (not just fast food) that wouldn’t typically locate in a town the size of Paducah. But it’s estimated that there is a population base of roughly 500,000 people if you draw a 1 hour radius centered at Paducah. Plus, it’s where many folks go for their health care. Sadly, I am not sure why Burger King was highlighted…there is also Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Hardees, and Back Yard Burgers. One of the better ones that is local is Station Burger. Worth checking out.

  3. originalCatFanForLife

    And Tyler, Paducah is only 2 hours north west for you. Really easy drive, especially now that it’s Quilt Week…

  4. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy

    Every single one of them are in predominately Republican voting states. What does that tell you?

    1. onsides

      People want cheap food?

    2. UKnowMe


    3. ukwildcat8988

      Is that why NM voted Democrat last presidential election? And up until last presidential election WV was 100% democrat. Not knowing sh** about politics…what does that tell you?

    4. bigblueD

      WV hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1996. #factsareoptional

    5. Booby Petrino

      Tells me that the Republicans are trying to keep the Democrats employed.

    6. Jester

      Damn. Booby Petrino just laid waste to your meaningless observation.

  5. Destroyou

    So many misnomers and misleading information.
    Paducah has a very high population density outside of city limits. This is the reason why restaurants such as red lobster saw fit to place restaurants there with the small population. Paducah would be Lexington if it had a major college campus there. Also, Kentucky and Murray both have an extension campus there, mainly for engineering.
    So all of this leads up to this. Up to 1.2 million people per week travel to and from paducah along with its 40,000k population. Not to mention Bar B que on the river and quilt week, where downtown is booming. That means that they are calculating restaurants that serve around 1.2 million/week on the math basis of 40,000 people. See where the BS factor comes into play? Paducah has one of the most important downtown and best downtown restaurant scenes in the state.

  6. keiths

    I always wondered why Paducah had so many fat ass slobs walking around there

  7. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
  8. MadisonvilleMicah

    You want some fast food talk from some of Paducah’s finest?!? You should listen to this:

  9. Loother

    Love that chicken from Popeye’s…

  10. Wilfred Smith

    McCracken County’s per capita retail sales is over $60,000 – as a retail magnet, this isn’t surprising.

  11. Ky ski nut

    My son and I had that debate about Paducah. He now lives in Jackson Tennessee and said he read that Jackson was ahead on total restaurants which I can see, but us ahead on fast food is no surprise. On a positive note we have some great middle to upper end restaurants downtown. The fast food thing has created a new phobia for me though like people have for clowns. I’ve developed a fear of sketchy people in rough mini vans usually with a smoke in one hand and a triple baconater in the other. This is a fast growing demographic. I do highly recommend the downtown eateries and our new breweries ,but hold off until after this week due to the thousands of blue hair quilters here until Sunday.