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 on 4-6-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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

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:

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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)
More on Edgewood: Real Estate | Data
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: Public domain

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

Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

Source: Public domain

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

5. Fort Wright

Fort Wright, Kentucky

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

Villa Hills is one of the most livable neighborhoods in the region for good reason.

7. Jeffersontown

Jeffersontown, Kentucky

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

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

Population: 26,317
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Values: $160,400 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (15th best)
More on Independence: Real Estate | Data
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

Highland Heights, Kentucky

Population: 7,136
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Values: $126,700 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (35th best)
More on Highland Heights: Real Estate | Data
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 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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