The 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky For 2019

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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Kentucky.

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Where are the best places in the Kentucky? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, and where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, everyone wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 83 most populated cities in the Bluegrass State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Villa Hills is the most desirable, according to science and data.

But as most Kentucky residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

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

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky For 2019

Edgewood, KY

Source: Public domain
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Population: 8,703
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $204,300 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (2nd best)
More on Edgewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Fort Thomas, KY

Source: Public domain
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Population: 16,317
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $200,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (9th best)
More on Fort Thomas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 3rd lowest in the state in Fort Thomas, and there were only 2 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in Kentucky, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Fort Thomas earn $68,333 a year.

Fort Mitchell, KY

Source: Public domain
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Population: 8,245
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $229,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (3rd best)
More on Fort Mitchell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Mitchell isn’t just the nicest place to live in Kentucky – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 3rd lowest unemployment rate, the 12th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Fort Mitchell definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

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Population: 6,168
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $193,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (2nd best)
More on Cold Spring: Real Estate | Data

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.

Fort Wright, KY

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Population: 5,732
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $189,000 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (4th best)
More on Fort Wright: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

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Population: 7,404
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $211,800 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (56th best)
More on Villa Hills: Real Estate | Data

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 livable neighborhoods in the region for good reason.

Jeffersontown, KY

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Population: 27,395
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $167,200 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (14th best)
More on Jeffersontown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Wilmore, KY

Source: Public domain
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Population: 6,181
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $151,500 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (25th best)
More on Wilmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wilmore has a really low crime rate (17th lowest) and only 6.1% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($43,375). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Wilmore.

Independence, KY

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Population: 26,317
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $160,400 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (15th best)
More on Independence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Highland Heights, KY

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Population: 7,136
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $126,700 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (36th best)
More on Highland Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Highland Heights takes 10th place on our list of best places in Kentucky for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (36th overall) and things to do.

Highland Heights is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $126,700 at the median.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Kentucky

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

This left us with 75 cities, 156 towns, and 250 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 5,000 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.

How We Calculated The Best Cities 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.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Kentucky? That would be Edgewood.

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.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living 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 the best place to live in Kentucky for 2019.

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. Strathmoor Manor (Pop. 374)
  5. Crossgate (Pop. 278)
  6. Glenview Hills (Pop. 450)
  7. Mockingbird Valley (Pop. 134)
  8. Bellewood (Pop. 300)
  9. Rolling Fields (Pop. 801)
  10. Riverwood (Pop. 525)

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

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

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Where Are The The Best Places To Live In Kentucky?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Edgewood 8,703 2.5% $204,300
2 Fort Thomas 16,317 4.1% $200,600
3 Fort Mitchell 8,245 2.8% $229,600
4 Cold Spring 6,168 2.5% $193,100
5 Fort Wright 5,732 3.2% $189,000
6 Villa Hills 7,404 9.0% $211,800
7 Jeffersontown 27,395 4.9% $167,200
8 Wilmore 6,181 6.1% $151,500
9 Independence 26,317 5.0% $160,400
10 Highland Heights 7,136 6.9% $126,700

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2 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Live In Kentucky For 2019

  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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