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.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Kentucky:
- Edgewood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fort Thomas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fort Mitchell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cold Spring (Homes For Sale)
- Fort Wright (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Villa Hills (Homes For Sale)
- Jeffersontown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Wilmore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Independence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Highland Heights (Photos | Homes For Sale)
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.
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kentucky
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Kentucky
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Kentucky
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
The Town of Fort Thomas might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Fort Thomas isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $200,600 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Kentucky.
If Fort Thomas can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (4.1% is the 9th highest in the state.
In Fort Mitchell, everyone loves to call Fort Mitchell home! The median home value is the 2nd highest in Kentucky.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 3rd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Bluegrass State.
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.
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.
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 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 is another great city in Kentucky with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.
Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Wilmore. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”
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 comes in 10th in our best places to live in Kentucky analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (36th overall) and crime rate (6th overall), Highland Heights 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 Highland Heights in our lists for years to come.
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
- Indian Hills (Pop. 2,953)
- Audubon Park (Pop. 1,449)
- Windy Hills (Pop. 2,203)
- Hurstbourne (Pop. 4,343)
- Beechwood Village (Pop. 1,368)
- St. Regis Park (Pop. 1,453)
- Orchard Grass Hills (Pop. 1,787)
- Barbourmeade (Pop. 1,391)
- Crestview Hills (Pop. 3,327)
- Lakeside Park (Pop. 2,762)
Best Small Towns To Live In Kentucky
- Thornhill (Pop. 281)
- Norbourne Estates (Pop. 374)
- Maryhill Estates (Pop. 184)
- Strathmoor Manor (Pop. 374)
- Crossgate (Pop. 278)
- Glenview Hills (Pop. 450)
- Mockingbird Valley (Pop. 134)
- Bellewood (Pop. 300)
- Rolling Fields (Pop. 801)
- Riverwood (Pop. 525)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Kentucky according to the data:
- Leitchfield (Pop. 6,850)
- Russellville (Pop. 6,998)
- Mayfield (Pop. 10,078)
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kentucky
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Kentucky
- 10 Safest Places In Kentucky
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Kentucky
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Kentucky