Most Expensive Places To Live In Kentucky For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Kentucky that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Kentucky.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Kentucky does this very well. Families love the Bluegrass State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Kentucky that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Kentucky for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Kentucky? That would be Pikeville.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 77 places in Kentucky with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Kentucky? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Pikeville is the most expensive place to live in Kentucky.

So hopefully Princeton (the cheapest place to live in Kentucky) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Kentucky and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Kentucky For 2020

Pikeville, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,967
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.0x (9th most expensive)
More on Pikeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pikeville is a city in and the county seat of Pike County, Kentucky, United States. During the 2010 U.S. Census, the population within Pikeville's city limits was 6,903. In Kentucky's current city classification system, Pikeville is a home rule-class city, a category that includes all of the state's more than 400 cities except for the two largest, Louisville and Lexington.

The median income in Pikeville comes in at $34,718 and the median home value is $170,900 for 2020.

Murray, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,037
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.5x (2nd most expensive)
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.

The median income in Murray comes in at $29,384 and the median home value is $153,000 for 2020.

Richmond, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 34,566
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.0x (17th most expensive)
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.

The median income in Richmond comes in at $34,532 and the median home value is $145,800 for 2020.

St. Matthews, KY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 18,147
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.7x (37th most expensive)
More on St. Matthews: Real Estate | Data | Photos

St. Matthews is a city in Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States. It forms part of the Louisville Metro government but is separately incorporated as a home rule-class city. The population was 15,852 at the 2000 census, making it the 20th-largest city in the state.

The median income in St. Matthews comes in at $60,639 and the median home value is $229,200 for 2020.

Versailles, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,192
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.1x (33rd most expensive)
More on Versailles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Versailles is a home rule-class city in Woodford County, Kentucky, United States and is located near Lexington. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 8,568 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Woodford County. The city's name is pronounced vr-SAYLZ, not like the French city of the same name.

The median income in Versailles comes in at $39,727 and the median home value is $170,200 for 2020.

Newport, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,152
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.5x (8th most expensive)
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport is a home rule-class city at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers in Campbell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 15,273 at the 2010 census. Historically, it was one of four county seats of Campbell County. Newport is part of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area, which includes over 2 million inhabitants.

The median income in Newport comes in at $35,164 and the median home value is $134,600 for 2020.

Hazard, KY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,170
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.5x (14th most expensive)
More on Hazard: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hazard is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Perry County, Kentucky, United States. The population was estimated to be 5,346 in 2014.

The median income in Hazard comes in at $27,944 and the median home value is $130,500 for 2020.

Danville, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,685
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.1x (20th most expensive)
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.

The median income in Danville comes in at $37,451 and the median home value is $144,000 for 2020.

Bowling Green, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 65,731
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.9x (23rd most expensive)
More on Bowling Green: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bowling Green is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States. As of 2016, its population of 65,234 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 218,870.

The median income in Bowling Green comes in at $41,516 and the median home value is $153,600 for 2020.

Morehead, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,674
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.0x (50th most expensive)
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.

The median income in Morehead comes in at $39,023 and the median home value is $184,100 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Bluegrass State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Kentucky
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Kentucky to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 77 places in Kentucky that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Kentucky according to the data is Pikeville. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Kentucky For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Kentucky that have the highest cost of living, with Pikeville ranking as the most expensive city in the Bluegrass State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Kentucky according to the data:

  1. Princeton
  2. Central City
  3. Flatwoods

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Kentucky

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Pikeville 9.0 6,967 4.9x 50.0x
2 Murray 9.67 19,037 5.2x 43.5x
3 Richmond 17.67 34,566 4.2x 52.0x
4 St. Matthews 18.0 18,147 3.8x 59.7x
5 Versailles 18.33 9,192 4.3x 59.1x
6 Newport 18.67 15,152 3.8x 49.5x
7 Hazard 19.0 5,170 4.7x 51.5x
8 Danville 20.33 16,685 3.8x 54.1x
9 Bowling Green 21.33 65,731 3.7x 54.9x
10 Morehead 21.33 7,674 4.7x 63.0x
11 Douglass Hills 22.0 5,702 3.8x 62.7x
12 Lyndon 22.67 11,427 3.3x 59.3x
13 Maysville 23.33 8,797 4.1x 51.3x
14 Campbellsville 25.0 11,413 3.8x 46.2x
15 Somerset 25.33 11,376 4.0x 39.4x
16 Elizabethtown 25.33 29,474 3.7x 60.7x
17 Glasgow 26.33 14,370 3.5x 46.3x
18 Fort Mitchell 29.0 8,237 3.9x 89.2x
19 Paducah 31.0 24,879 3.3x 54.4x
20 Middlesborough 31.33 9,583 3.7x 46.0x
21 Wilmore 31.67 6,299 3.4x 63.4x
22 London 32.67 8,020 3.3x 54.8x
23 Hopkinsville 34.0 31,483 3.1x 54.0x
24 Henderson 34.33 28,800 3.1x 57.8x
25 Nicholasville 34.33 29,977 2.9x 58.7x
26 Cold Spring 34.67 6,319 3.0x 68.6x
27 Middletown 36.67 7,865 2.8x 67.9x
28 Berea 36.67 15,188 3.1x 61.7x
29 Shelbyville 37.0 15,660 3.1x 69.3x
30 Mayfield 37.33 9,940 3.0x 47.9x
31 Corbin 37.67 7,194 3.2x 55.6x
32 Louisville 38.0 617,032 3.0x 63.2x
33 Fort Thomas 38.33 16,313 2.9x 87.1x
34 Lebanon 39.33 5,621 3.0x 51.2x
35 Franklin 39.33 8,762 2.7x 48.3x
36 Leitchfield 39.33 6,784 3.2x 55.4x
37 Paris 40.0 9,874 2.9x 59.0x
38 Union 40.67 5,815 2.3x 64.0x
39 Highland Heights 40.67 7,136 2.5x 51.6x
40 Florence 41.0 31,940 2.6x 59.8x
41 Winchester 41.17 18,413 3.0x 60.8x
42 Radcliff 41.33 22,693 2.8x 59.6x
43 Madisonville 41.67 19,138 2.9x 60.3x
44 Harrodsburg 41.67 8,403 3.1x 60.3x
45 Owensboro 43.67 59,188 2.7x 57.0x
46 Russellville 43.67 7,008 2.9x 52.2x
47 Fort Wright 44.33 5,724 2.6x 86.4x
48 Mount Sterling 44.33 7,180 2.9x 62.7x
49 La Grange 45.0 8,735 2.8x 75.9x
50 Williamsburg 45.0 5,269 2.8x 51.5x
51 Oak Grove 45.67 7,411 2.3x 50.9x
52 Shepherdsville 46.33 12,117 2.7x 65.4x
53 Jeffersontown 46.33 28,178 2.5x 72.7x
54 Cynthiana 47.0 6,348 3.1x 68.1x
55 Vine Grove 47.67 5,969 2.3x 61.3x
56 Elsmere 48.0 8,570 2.0x 51.0x
57 Georgetown 48.67 32,902 2.6x 74.7x
58 Villa Hills 49.0 7,410 2.5x 106.7x
59 Frankfort 49.0 27,582 2.7x 66.5x
60 Edgewood 49.33 8,723 2.2x 87.6x
61 Mount Washington 49.67 14,433 2.6x 88.1x
62 Covington 50.33 40,552 2.6x 59.4x
63 Shively 50.67 15,741 2.6x 58.1x
64 Hillview 51.67 8,987 2.0x 58.0x
65 Monticello 52.67 6,088 2.9x 61.7x
66 Taylor Mill 53.67 6,746 2.3x 80.4x
67 Alexandria 54.33 9,211 2.1x 101.7x
68 Independence 54.33 27,183 2.1x 84.6x
69 Ashland 54.67 20,822 2.6x 60.7x
70 Dayton 55.33 5,422 2.1x 57.6x
71 Lawrenceburg 55.5 11,272 2.6x 70.4x
72 Erlanger 56.67 18,776 2.2x 69.7x
73 Bardstown 57.33 13,042 2.4x 79.6x
74 Bellevue 57.67 5,828 2.2x 78.5x
75 Flatwoods 64.0 7,186 1.9x 60.9x
76 Central City 70.67 5,822 1.9x 67.5x
77 Princeton 75.0 6,157 1.8x 82.3x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.