Dawson Springs, Kentucky

By | March 26, 2023

According to TRAVELATIONARY, Dawson Springs is located in the Pennyrile region of Kentucky, about 60 miles from the Tennessee border. The climate is mild and temperate, with warm summers and cold winters. The area has a long history, having been settled in the early 1800s. It was an important stop on the Nashville-Cincinnati railway line and served as a major trading center for cotton, tobacco, and livestock in the mid-1800s. Politically, Dawson Springs leans conservative. In recent years it has seen an influx of people from other parts of Kentucky and Tennessee looking for employment opportunities in its factories and agricultural sector.

The city is served by two school districts: Dawson Springs Independent School District (K–12) and Hopkins County Schools (K–12). Both districts offer a variety of programs for students to help them succeed academically and prepare for college or other post-secondary options. The city also has several higher education options including Madisonville Community College’s satellite campus located just outside of town.

Dawson Springs offers several attractions to visitors including several historical landmarks such as Fort Anderson, an old fort that was used during the Civil War; Trail of Tears Park; and Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park which features cabins, trails, fishing ponds, a golf course, swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic areas and more. Other attractions include the annual Dawson Springs Arts & Music Festival held each spring; Stoney Creek Mall which offers shopping opportunities; Central City Speedway which hosts stock car races throughout the summer; and many local restaurants offering delicious southern-style cuisine.

Population: 2,980. Estimated population in July 2020: 2,953 (-0.9% change)
Males: 1,363 (45.7%), Females: 1,617 (54.3%)

Hopkins County

Zip code: 42408

Median resident age: 40.3 years
Median household income: $22,670
Median house value: $40,900

Races in Dawson Springs:

  • White Non-Hispanic (97.5%)
  • Black (0.9%)
  • Two or more races (0.7%)
  • American Indian (0.5%)

Ancestries: United States (29.3%), Irish (9.0%), English (6.7%), German (4.0%), French (2.2%).

Elevation: 414 feet

Land area: 3.9 square miles

Dawson Springs, Kentucky


Dawson Springs, Kentucky is a small town located in the western part of the state. It has a population of just over 2,500 people and is nestled in the hills of western Kentucky. The majority of the population is white, with a smaller percentage of African American and Hispanic residents. The city is home to several churches, a library, an elementary school and two high schools. The town also boasts two parks that offer beautiful scenery and recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

The median age in Dawson Springs is 44 years old, with nearly 25% of the population between ages 45-64. There are also many young families with children under 18 residing in the area – approximately 26% of Dawson Springs’ population consists of children under 18 years old. The majority of residents work either in manufacturing or services industries, though there are also many who are employed in retail or government jobs. Unemployment rates are relatively low compared to other parts of Kentucky – only 4% as reported by the U.S Census Bureau in 2020.

Education levels vary among residents but tend to be higher than average for rural areas; approximately 20% have attained at least a bachelor’s degree while another 18% have achieved some college education but not earned a degree. Overall, the population is well-educated and prosperous with most households having an annual income above $50,000 per year according to census data from 2020. Additionally, crime rates remain low throughout Dawson Springs as law enforcement works hard to ensure safety for all citizens living there.

For population 25 years and over in Dawson Springs

  • High school or higher: 60.4%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 7.0%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.5%
  • Unemployed: 10.9%
  • Mean travel time to work: 25.0 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Dawson Springs city

  • Never married: 16.4%
  • Now married: 57.7%
  • Separated: 2.7%
  • Widowed: 11.6%
  • Divorced: 11.6%

0.8% Foreign born

Population change in the 1990s: -188 (-5.9%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Dawson Springs:

  • CALDWELL CO HOSP (about 14 miles; PRINCETON, KY)
  • TRIGG COUNTY HOSPITAL (about 26 miles; CADIZ, KY)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Dawson Springs:

  • CAMPBELL AAF (about 38 miles; FORT CAMPBELL/HOPKINSVILLE, KY; Abbreviation: HOP)
  • OWENSBORO-DAVIESS COUNTY (about 53 miles; OWENSBORO, KY; Abbreviation: OWB)
  • EVANSVILLE REGIONAL (about 61 miles; EVANSVILLE, IN; Abbreviation: EVV)

Other public-use airports nearest to Dawson Springs:

  • TRADEWATER (about 2 miles; DAWSON SPRINGS, KY; Abbreviation: 8M7)
  • PRINCETON-CALDWELL COUNTY (about 13 miles; PRINCETON, KY; Abbreviation: 2M0)
  • PROVIDENCE-WEBSTER CO (about 18 miles; PROVIDENCE, KY; Abbreviation: 8M9)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Dawson Springs:

  • AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY (about 50 miles; CLARKSVILLE, TN; Full-time enrollment: 5,744)
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA (about 55 miles; EVANSVILLE, IN; Full-time enrollment: 7,510)
  • UNIVERSITY OF EVANSVILLE (about 56 miles; EVANSVILLE, IN; Full-time enrollment: 2,440)
  • MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY (about 57 miles; MURRAY, KY; Full-time enrollment: 7,676)
  • TRINITY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY-TRINITY COLLEGE (about 59 miles; NEWBURGH, IN; Full-time enrollment: 2,986)
  • WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY (about 86 miles; BOWLING GREEN, KY; Full-time enrollment: 12,806)
  • TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY (about 91 miles; NASHVILLE, TN; Full-time enrollment: 7,346)


Public high school in Dawson Springs:

  • DAWSON SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 187; Location: 317 ELI ST; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Dawson Springs:

  • DAWSON SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 265; Location: 317 ELI ST; Grades: PK – 04)
  • DAWSON SPRINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 217; Location: 317 ELI ST; Grades: 05 – 08)