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 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:

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

Well, it looks like you should check out Edgewood if you’re thinking of moving to Kentucky — it’s the best the Bluegrass State has to offer according to the data.

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.

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

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 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.

Edgewood, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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
Overall SnackAbility


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

Fort Thomas has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Fort Thomas has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 4.1% and lowering. And the Fort Thomas police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 3rd lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

Fort Mitchell, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 has a really low crime rate (9th lowest) and only 2.8% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($62,396). 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 Fort Mitchell.

Overall SnackAbility


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

Overall SnackAbility


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.

Overall SnackAbility


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

Overall SnackAbility


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
Overall SnackAbility


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 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 25th lowest unemployment rate, the 33rd highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Wilmore definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.

Independence, KY

Overall SnackAbility


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

Overall SnackAbility


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

The tiny town of Highland Heights may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Kentucky residents know, Highland Heights is a great central spot for making the most of life.

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 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. 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:

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