- Formed in 1884 from backwoods of Perry, Letcher, Floyd and Breathitt counties; named for Gov. James Proctor Knott.
- Landscape is rugged mountains, narrow valleys and headwaters of creeks that flow into the Kentucky and Big Sandy rivers.
- County seat is Hindman, population 777.
- 64 percent of the 4,504 people employed in 2010 commuted to work in a different county.
- Over the past 40 years, the largest local employers were coal mining, government and finance/insurance/real estate services.
- The previous two county judge-executives, Donnie Newsome and Randy Thompson, went to prison after separate corruption investigations.
- Home of the Hindman Settlement School, established in 1902, and Alice Lloyd College, established in 1923.