These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky For 2018


These are the cream of the crop when it comes to the Bluegrass State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Where are the best places in the state of Kentucky?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Bluegrass State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Kentucky.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 75 places in Kentucky, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Edgewood (Photos)
  2. Fort Thomas (Photos)
  3. Fort Mitchell
  4. Cold Spring
  5. Fort Wright (Photos)
  6. Villa Hills
  7. Jeffersontown (Photos)
  8. Wilmore (Photos)
  9. Independence (Photos)
  10. Highland Heights

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Kentucky.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Frankfort with a population of 27,598 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,300
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,300
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 75 cities, 156 towns, and 296 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,300 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

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How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Kentucky

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Kentucky across a number of criteria from one to 75, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Kentucky”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Kentucky.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Edgewood at the end of the cul-de-sac.

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1. Edgewood


Population: 8,703
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Values: $204,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (1st best)
Edgewood isn’t too far away from Villa Hills. Crime is a little higher, but far, far below the state average. And it’s very affordable as well.

Plus, like Villa Hills, there’s plenty to do in the region, since you’re so close to downtown Cincinnati.

2. Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,317
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Values: $200,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (9th best)
Fort Thomas comes in at a close 2nd. They have the 9th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Fort Thomas are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 7th best in the state.

3. Fort Mitchell


Population: 8,245
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $229,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (3rd best)
Fort Mitchell comes in 3rd in our best places to live in Kentucky analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (3rd overall) and crime rate (9th overall), Fort Mitchell is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Fort Mitchell in our lists for years to come.

4. Cold Spring


Population: 6,168
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Values: $193,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (1st best)
It’s beginning to look like the greater Cincinnati area is the best place to live in the state. Is that a surprise?

Here in Cold Spring, families earn about$68,483 a year, and the cost of living makes it cheaper than the average American city, meaning your money goes a long way here. Crime is in the 19th lowest in the state, and the schools rank in the top 10% in terms of student spending and teacher-student ratios.

5. Fort Wright


Population: 5,732
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Values: $189,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (4th best)
The only knock on Fort Wright is the far higher crime rate than normal. This small city may suffer from being too close to Cincinnati, so while you are within a short bike ride from the Ohio River, you have a much higher chance of being robbed.

That said, there are plenty of jobs in the area, families command large salaries, and the schools that Fort Wright kids attend are above average.

6. Villa Hills


Population: 7,404
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Values: $211,800 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (56th best)
When you look at it from a scientific perspective, Villa Hills is the best place you can live in Kentucky. Here’s why:

It’s really safe in this city along the Ohio River, right outside of Cincinnati. Plus, the cost of living makes it really affordable. Often, ‘great’ places to live are way outside most people’s budget. Not so in Villa Hills.

There are plenty of jobs nearby, as evident by the 9.0% unemployment rate, which is in the bottom 15% of the state. Folks also earn great salaries.

Cincinnati Magazine called Villa Hills one of the most liveable neighborhoods in the region for good reason.

7. Jeffersontown

Jeffersontown, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,395
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Home Values: $167,200 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (14th best)
Jeffersontown is located next to Louisville, making it a great place to live for people who don’t want to live in the greater Cincinnati area.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the cost of living is significantly lower than the national average. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

8. Wilmore

Wilmore, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,181
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Values: $151,500 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (25th best)
If you don’t have a job in Wilmore, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 6.1%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $43,375.

That’s actually not a bad idea…

9. Independence

Independence, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,317
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Values: $160,400 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (15th best)
Independence is a large, sprawling city on the southern fringes of the greater Cincinnati metro area. Being so far away from the big city means the crime and cost of living are substantially lower than in most parts of the state.

Families here earn an average of $73,038 a year, which is one of the highest in Kentucky.

There’s a reason Independence is one of the fastest growing cities in the Commonwealth.

10. Highland Heights


Population: 7,136
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Values: $126,700 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (35th best)
With the unemployment rate being the 36th lowest in Kentucky and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Highland Heights.

Plus, the crime rate is the 6th lowest in the state!

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In Kentucky

If you’re looking at areas in Kentucky with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Edgewood made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Kentucky

  1. Indian Hills (Pop. 2,953)
  2. Audubon Park (Pop. 1,449)
  3. Windy Hills (Pop. 2,203)
  4. Hurstbourne (Pop. 4,343)
  5. Beechwood Village (Pop. 1,368)
  6. St. Regis Park (Pop. 1,453)
  7. Orchard Grass Hills (Pop. 1,787)
  8. Barbourmeade (Pop. 1,391)
  9. Crestview Hills (Pop. 3,327)
  10. Lakeside Park (Pop. 2,762)

Best Small Towns To Live In Kentucky

  1. Thornhill (Pop. 281)
  2. Norbourne Estates (Pop. 374)
  3. Maryhill Estates (Pop. 184)
  4. Mockingbird Valley (Pop. 134)
  5. Strathmoor Manor (Pop. 374)
  6. Glenview Hills (Pop. 450)
  7. Crossgate (Pop. 278)
  8. Bellewood (Pop. 300)
  9. Hickory Hill (Pop. 153)
  10. Broeck Pointe (Pop. 351)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Kentucky:

  1. Mayfield (Pop. 10,078)
  2. Russellville (Pop. 6,998)
  3. Leitchfield (Pop. 6,850)

For more Kentucky reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Kentucky

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Edgewood 1 2 8,703 2.5% $204,300
Fort Thomas 2 1 16,317 4.1% $200,600
Fort Mitchell 3 3 8,245 2.8% $229,600
Cold Spring 4 5 6,168 2.5% $193,100
Fort Wright 5 4 5,732 3.2% $189,000
Villa Hills 6 6 7,404 9.0% $211,800
Jeffersontown 7 12 27,395 4.9% $167,200
Wilmore 8 7 6,181 6.1% $151,500
Independence 9 8 26,317 5.0% $160,400
Highland Heights 10 14 7,136 6.9% $126,700
Alexandria 11 11 8,878 4.6% $156,900
Mount Washington 12 10 14,088 6.7% $160,100
Vine Grove 13 9 5,680 5.7% $124,100
St. Matthews 14 16 17,930 3.6% $203,000
Union 15 13 5,677 3.3% $238,800
Douglass Hills 16 15 5,645 4.6% $229,100
Georgetown 17 20 31,708 5.7% $151,700
Taylor Mill 18 17 6,719 5.5% $148,900
Bellevue 19 18 5,879 7.9% $116,900
Flatwoods 20 22 7,358 7.0% $90,100
Middletown 21 21 7,773 4.0% $198,300
Lawrenceburg 22 19 11,081 7.8% $121,600
Florence 23 23 31,735 6.9% $139,100
Erlanger 24 27 18,565 5.9% $119,800
Elizabethtown 25 24 29,835 6.7% $162,300
Elsmere 26 38 8,488 5.7% $105,500
Danville 27 30 16,645 6.3% $138,600
Hillview 28 32 8,688 8.7% $110,900
La Grange 29 26 8,481 5.2% $161,800
Lyndon 30 25 11,310 6.2% $173,700
Shelbyville 31 28 15,039 4.0% $154,100
Madisonville 32 33 19,615 7.3% $100,400
Owensboro 33 35 58,685 7.6% $106,400
Berea 34 29 14,667 6.4% $131,600
Pikeville 35 33 7,266 4.7% $174,600
Shepherdsville 36 39 11,869 6.4% $128,400
Henderson 37 44 28,870 7.5% $105,100
Frankfort 38 36 27,598 7.8% $126,400
Dayton 39 56 5,385 7.6% $90,100
Morehead 40 31 7,615 4.7% $167,100
Williamsburg 41 37 5,263 9.1% $82,600
Ashland 42 45 21,294 9.3% $93,400
Bardstown 43 64 13,026 11.9% $122,700
Radcliff 44 40 22,806 12.5% $122,600
Versailles 45 47 9,091 5.9% $139,900
Winchester 46 48 18,395 7.5% $120,000
Paris 47 41 9,836 7.2% $110,000
Murray 48 46 18,726 6.7% $143,700
Nicholasville 49 41 29,249 9.5% $137,700
Corbin 50 53 7,306 12.3% $91,400
Bowling Green 51 49 62,824 8.0% $143,500
Paducah 52 54 25,010 6.7% $109,100
Richmond 53 52 33,583 8.8% $138,700
London 54 67 8,111 9.1% $120,000
Shively 55 60 15,625 7.5% $99,300
Hazard 56 73 5,383 14.1% $120,100
Cynthiana 57 55 6,376 6.8% $96,700
Hopkinsville 58 58 32,442 11.7% $114,900
Oak Grove 59 43 7,487 6.0% $93,000
Mount Sterling 60 50 7,136 5.3% $118,900
Monticello 61 70 6,116 11.9% $81,100
Campbellsville 62 61 11,329 8.0% $88,200
Middlesborough 63 63 9,842 10.0% $73,400
Covington 64 68 40,766 9.8% $99,100
Lebanon 65 62 5,604 10.1% $92,000
Glasgow 66 59 14,338 9.8% $98,700
Princeton 67 69 6,215 11.6% $91,900
Franklin 68 65 8,706 7.1% $96,700
Harrodsburg 69 57 8,409 14.8% $104,800
Somerset 70 72 11,415 7.3% $105,100
Newport 71 66 15,321 9.2% $121,700
Maysville 72 51 8,883 9.9% $111,800
Leitchfield 73 75 6,850 7.5% $93,800
Russellville 74 71 6,998 8.7% $87,400
Mayfield 75 74 10,078 14.5% $85,000

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2 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky For 2018

  1. Thanks for the article as we are looking to get out of Illinois and still be close to our grandchildren that still live in Illinois. Would like to find a town in northwest Kentucky, any suggestions. We are retired military so a base near us would be a great help.

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