The 10 Best College Towns In Kentucky For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Kentucky is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Kentucky are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Kentucky for 2019:

  1. Highland Heights, KY (Photos | Homes)
  2. Murray, KY (Photos | Homes)
  3. Morehead, KY (Photos | Homes)
  4. Williamsburg, KY (Photos | Homes)
  5. Danville, KY (Photos | Homes)
  6. Berea, KY (Photos | Homes)
  7. Wilmore, KY (Photos | Homes)
  8. Owensboro, KY (Photos | Homes)
  9. Richmond, KY (Photos | Homes)
  10. Frankfort, KY (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Highland Heights, Murray and Morehead - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Highland Heights ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Kentucky check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Kentucky?

To crunch our data on Kentucky's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 15 places in Kentucky with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Kentucky For 2019".

And it looks like Highland Heights placed Summa Cum Laude.

Highland Heights, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,128
% Undergrad Pop.: 152.0% (1st best)
Median Rent: $945 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 530.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Highland Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Highland Heights is a home rule-class city in Campbell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 6,923 at the 2010 U.S. census.

Colleges: Northern Kentucky University

Murray, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 18,900
% Undergrad Pop.: 39.6% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $628 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 590.0% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on Murray: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Murray is a home rule-class city in Calloway County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of Calloway County and the 20th-largest city in Kentucky. The city's population was 17,741 during the 2010 U.S. census, and its micropolitan area's population was 37,191.

Colleges: Murray State University

Morehead, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,663
% Undergrad Pop.: 88.0% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $602 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 420.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Morehead: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Morehead is a home rule-class city located along US 60 and Interstate 64 in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 6,845 at the time of the 2010 U.S. census.

Colleges: Morehead State University

Williamsburg, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 5,261
% Undergrad Pop.: 29.5% (5th best)
Median Rent: $599 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 460.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Williamsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Williamsburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Whitley County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in 1818 and named after William Whitley. The Cumberland River flows through the city.

Colleges: University of the Cumberlands

Danville, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 16,657
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.3% (11th best)
Median Rent: $672 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 530.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Danville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danville is a home rule-class city in Boyle County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county. The population was 16,690 at the 2015 Census. Danville is the principal city of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boyle and Lincoln counties.

Colleges: Centre College

Berea, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 14,927
% Undergrad Pop.: 10.7% (9th best)
Median Rent: $684 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 620.0% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Berea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Berea is a home rule-class city in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.

Colleges: Berea College

Wilmore, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 6,226
% Undergrad Pop.: 21.5% (6th best)
Median Rent: $724 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 320.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Wilmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wilmore is a home rule-class city in Jessamine County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 5,920 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles, all of it land.

Colleges: Asbury University, Asbury Theological Seminary

Owensboro, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 58,791
% Undergrad Pop.: 2.3% (15th best)
Median Rent: $691 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 700.0% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 14th best
More on Owensboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Owensboro is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Daviess County, Kentucky, United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the state by population. Owensboro is located on U.S. Route 60 about 107 miles southwest of Louisville, and is the principal city of the Owensboro metropolitan area. The 2016 population was 59,273. The metropolitan population was estimated at 116,506.

Colleges: Owensboro Community and Technical College, Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Richmond, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 33,993
% Undergrad Pop.: 39.1% (4th best)
Median Rent: $653 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 810.0% (16th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 33,533 in 2015. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region and the state's sixth-largest city. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond-Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.

Colleges: Eastern Kentucky University

Frankfort, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 27,453
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.8% (10th best)
Median Rent: $727 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 710.0% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Frankfort: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the seat of Franklin County. It is a home rule-class city in Kentucky; the population was 25,527 at the 2010 census. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Franklin and Anderson counties.

Colleges: Kentucky State University

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Kentucky, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

15 Best College Towns In Kentucky

Rank City Population
1 Highland Heights, KY 7128
2 Murray, KY 18900
3 Morehead, KY 7663
4 Williamsburg, KY 5261
5 Danville, KY 16657
6 Berea, KY 14927
7 Wilmore, KY 6226
8 Owensboro, KY 58791
9 Richmond, KY 33993
10 Frankfort, KY 27453
11 Campbellsville, KY 11364
12 Louisville, KY 615478
13 Georgetown, KY 32142
14 Pikeville, KY 7065
15 Florence, KY 31603

Best College Towns By State

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