Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Ranks 3rd Nationally in Economic Projects Per Capita, 1st in South Central Region for 2023 Governor’s Cup

Editor’s note: A video message from Gov. Beshear can be found here.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 1, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky’s strong placement in Site Selection magazine’s 2023 Governor’s Cup rankings, coming in third nationally in economic projects per capita and first in the South Central region. The commonwealth also secured the second spot in the South Central region for overall projects, building on the previous year’s strong rankings. Kentucky has placed in the top 3 nationally and atop the South Central region in the per capita rankings each year of the administration.

“Kentucky is on an economic winning streak, and the success we’re seeing is thanks to the communities across the state that are welcoming businesses with open arms and helping them succeed,” said Gov. Beshear. “These rankings reflect that hard work, and it’s extremely exciting to see Kentuckians coming together to secure lasting prosperity so that every child, every family and every worker knows that they can pursue their dreams right here in the commonwealth.”

In addition to Kentucky’s strong overall Governor’s Cup placement nationally, several Kentucky communities were recognized by Site Selection for their economic success in 2023, with categories based on population size.

Bowling Green sits atop the Tier 3 Metros list with 23 total projects, as well as second in projects per capita. Bowling Green also placed in the top 10 for total projects in the South Central region regardless of population.

The Louisville/Jefferson County region placed sixth nationally in projects per capita for all metropolitan areas, while the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region ranked eighth overall. Lexington/Fayette County placed seventh in the Tier 2 per capita rankings and top 10 for total projects, as well as eighth for total projects in the South Central region among all population sizes.

Kentucky also tied for fourth with six of the Top 100 Micropolitan areas. Those communities include Frankfort with nine projects, followed by Danville, Murray and Somerset with three projects each, then Madisonville and Richmond-Berea each with two projects.

Since 1988, Atlanta-based Site Selection has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually to the U.S. state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the Conway Projects Database. The rankings are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as an industry scoreboard. The magazine’s circulation reaches 42,000 executives in corporate site selection decision-making roles.

In 2023, Kentucky had 180 new-location and expansion announcements within the private sector. Those projects include $4.6 billion in new investments and nearly 8,600 jobs.

Previously, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top 5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.

Kentucky’s recognition in the 2023 Governor’s Cup builds on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30.3 billion in announced investments, creating nearly 52,000 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Gov. Beshear announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.