Ashland is a city in Boyd County, Kentucky, United States, nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. The population was 21,981 at the 2000 census. Ashland is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 288,649. Ashland is the second largest city within the MSA, after Huntington. Ashland serves as an important economic and medical center for northeast Kentucky.