Forests cover nearly half the state of Kentucky and are the foundation of a forest sector that is a major economic force in the Commonwealth. This webpage contains the latest Kentucky forest sector economic contribution estimates, prior estimates, links to data sources and methods, as well as additional information related to the economic importance of Kentucky’s forest resources. 

The 2016 estimates for the economic contribution of Kentucky’s forest sector include:

  • $8.4 billion in direct economic contribution
  • $13.29 billion in total economic contributions
  •  26,068 jobs in the forest sector and an estimated 59,451 jobs overall

The Kentucky Forest Sector is divided into six sub-sectors:

  • Logging
  • Primary Wood Manufacturing
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Secondary Wood Manufacturing
  • Paper Converters
  • Wood Residue

Each of these sub-sectors is comprised of one or more forest industries except for the Pulp and Paper sub-sector which consists of only paper mills in Kentucky. For more information about the forest industries included in each sub-sector click here.

KY Contribution Report Cover 2018


These figures show the direct employment and direct economic contribution of each of the Kentucky forest sub-sectors.

  Direct Economic Contribution by KY Forest Sub-sectorsDirect Economic Contribution by KY Forest Sub-sectors in Millions


Distribution of Kentucky’s Forest Sector2017 Ky Wood Industries and Master Logger Distribution

This map shows the distribution of Kentucky wood using industries and the concentration of Kentucky Master Loggers by county. Kentucky forest industries include 732 wood, paper, and paper converting manufacturing facilities across the Commonwealth. The distribution of these facilities, employing over 26,000 Kentuckians indicates the $13 billion contribution is an important economic force for both rural and urban communities.

For more details about the report click on one of the following links: (coming soon)