The State With The Most KFC Stores (And The Ones Without Locations)

Kentucky Fried Chicken, also known as KFC, has 3,895 locations in the U.S. spread out over 2,199 cities as of 2023. And if you guessed that the state with the most KFC stores would be where its founder Colonel Harland Sanders opened his first restaurant, known as Sanders' Café, in the 1930s then you would be wrong. That distinction goes to California, and it's not even close. California is home to 427 KFC locations, comprising 11% of the total number of KFC stores. It has a store for every 92,534 of its residents, which is perhaps unsurprising when you consider that the Golden State is the most populous state in the country.

Following on its heels is Texas, with 279 locations, or one for every 103,928 people, and Florida, with 255 stores. These states are also second and third-ranked in the U.S. in terms of population. Although it places third in the total number of stores, Florida has more KFCs per capita than California or Texas, featuring a store for every 84,227 people.

A KFC for every state

The state of Kentucky, the namesake of the KFC franchise, doesn't even crack the top 10 in the number of stores. However, three of its bordering states, Ohio, Illinois, and Tennessee, come in fourth, ninth, and 10th respectively in total locations. However, one Kentucky city did make the top 10 for cities with the most KFC stores. Fittingly, Louisville, the city where Colonel Sanders died and was buried in 1980, has a whopping 18 KFCs. The city with the most KFC locations is actually not in California, but rather in Houston, Texas, which leads the way with 31 stores, eight more than the next closest city, San Antonio. Los Angeles is tied with Chicago and Miami for the third most at 22 stores.

While all 50 states have at least one KFC store, there is no finger-lickin' goodness to be had in the U.S. territories of the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. But if you live in California or you're planning a road trip there and you have KFC on your mind, you can rest easy knowing you will never be very far from those 11 herbs and spices.