10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Kentucky For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Kentucky? That would be Pikeville.

So hopefully Central City (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 2019

Pikeville, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,065
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.7x (8th 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 $33,125 and the median home value is $175,000 for 2019.

Murray, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,900
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (3rd 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 $27,282 and the median home value is $151,000 for 2019.

St. Matthews, KY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,993
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.9x (29th 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 $57,284 and the median home value is $215,600 for 2019.

Richmond, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 33,993
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.2x (13th 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 $34,754 and the median home value is $144,700 for 2019.

Danville, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,657
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.1x (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 $37,045 and the median home value is $144,400 for 2019.

Newport, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,219
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.2x (9th 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 $33,363 and the median home value is $122,700 for 2019.

Bowling Green, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 64,302
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.3x (22nd 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 $39,901 and the median home value is $145,500 for 2019.

Somerset, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,334
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.5x (1st most expensive)
More on Somerset: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Somerset is a home rule-class city in Pulaski County, Kentucky, United States. The city population was 11,196 according to the 2010 census.

The median income in Somerset comes in at $23,518 and the median home value is $103,500 for 2019.

Hazard, KY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,250
Rank Last Year: 41 (Up 32)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.2x (25th 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 $27,209 and the median home value is $121,400 for 2019.

Versailles, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,132
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.5x (37th 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 $38,800 and the median home value is $149,200 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Bluegrass State For 2019

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 2013-2017 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.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Kentucky For 2019

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. Central City
  2. Princeton
  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 7.0 7,065 5.3x 46.7x
2 Murray 8.67 18,900 5.5x 43.4x
3 St. Matthews 14.67 17,993 3.8x 57.9x
4 Richmond 15.67 33,993 4.2x 53.2x
5 Danville 19.0 16,657 3.9x 55.1x
6 Newport 20.33 15,219 3.7x 49.2x
7 Bowling Green 21.33 64,302 3.6x 55.3x
8 Somerset 21.67 11,334 4.4x 40.5x
9 Hazard 23.33 5,250 4.5x 56.2x
10 Versailles 23.67 9,132 3.8x 59.5x
11 Lyndon 24.0 11,394 3.3x 59.9x
12 Middletown 24.33 7,817 3.2x 58.6x
13 Douglass Hills 24.33 5,677 3.6x 66.1x
14 Elizabethtown 24.33 29,794 3.7x 61.4x
15 Morehead 24.33 7,663 4.4x 64.9x
16 Maysville 24.67 8,804 3.8x 53.4x
17 Glasgow 24.67 14,318 3.6x 45.7x
18 Fort Mitchell 26.67 8,239 4.0x 88.1x
19 London 27.67 8,000 3.5x 53.8x
20 Franklin 30.0 8,675 3.2x 44.7x
21 Paris 31.0 9,807 3.1x 53.1x
22 Mayfield 31.67 9,936 3.4x 41.5x
23 Campbellsville 32.0 11,364 3.5x 45.9x
24 Middlesborough 32.33 9,709 3.5x 43.7x
25 Shelbyville 32.67 15,318 3.1x 63.1x
26 Winchester 33.67 18,364 3.1x 58.3x
27 Berea 34.33 14,927 3.2x 60.7x
28 Russellville 34.67 7,015 3.3x 53.0x
29 Wilmore 34.67 6,226 3.2x 64.7x
30 Nicholasville 35.33 29,547 2.9x 58.5x
31 Paducah 35.67 24,879 3.3x 58.6x
32 Union 36.33 5,751 2.3x 60.7x
33 Harrodsburg 36.83 8,351 3.3x 58.4x
34 Lebanon 38.33 5,584 3.1x 52.4x
35 Hopkinsville 38.33 31,741 3.0x 56.9x
36 Henderson 38.33 28,859 3.0x 56.7x
37 Louisville 38.67 615,478 3.0x 63.5x
38 Fort Thomas 39.0 16,254 3.0x 89.6x
39 Cold Spring 39.33 6,283 2.8x 77.2x
40 Corbin 39.33 7,315 3.1x 55.2x
41 Cynthiana 40.33 6,328 3.3x 60.3x
42 Leitchfield 40.67 6,826 3.3x 58.2x
43 Frankfort 41.0 27,453 2.8x 62.5x
44 Vine Grove 42.0 5,793 2.2x 55.3x
45 Radcliff 42.33 22,718 2.7x 60.6x
46 Fort Wright 42.33 5,718 2.7x 84.2x
47 Highland Heights 42.67 7,128 2.3x 54.7x
48 Jeffersontown 43.33 27,406 2.6x 73.8x
49 La Grange 44.33 8,620 2.7x 83.1x
50 Mount Sterling 45.17 7,139 3.0x 68.1x
51 Owensboro 45.33 58,791 2.7x 58.1x
52 Florence 45.33 31,603 2.5x 63.5x
53 Shepherdsville 46.0 12,006 2.6x 64.9x
54 Madisonville 46.5 19,303 2.7x 59.6x
55 Covington 46.67 40,578 2.6x 57.2x
56 Williamsburg 47.67 5,261 2.6x 54.0x
57 Villa Hills 48.0 7,397 2.5x 105.6x
58 Georgetown 48.0 32,142 2.5x 76.3x
59 Dayton 48.33 5,378 2.3x 53.8x
60 Mount Washington 49.33 14,285 2.5x 92.2x
61 Elsmere 49.33 8,555 2.0x 54.2x
62 Edgewood 49.33 8,688 2.3x 93.0x
63 Taylor Mill 51.0 6,739 2.4x 79.1x
64 Bardstown 51.33 13,034 2.6x 75.1x
65 Oak Grove 51.67 7,426 2.1x 55.4x
66 Shively 52.33 15,701 2.6x 60.3x
67 Alexandria 53.33 9,022 2.2x 90.1x
68 Independence 53.67 26,772 2.1x 83.6x
69 Lawrenceburg 54.67 11,087 2.5x 69.1x
70 Erlanger 55.17 18,674 2.2x 67.7x
71 Monticello 55.67 6,120 2.7x 63.3x
72 Bellevue 58.0 5,838 2.1x 68.7x
73 Hillview 58.0 8,913 1.9x 63.5x
74 Ashland 62.33 21,035 2.4x 67.1x
75 Flatwoods 68.0 7,274 1.8x 65.9x
76 Princeton 69.33 6,173 2.1x 77.0x
77 Central City 71.67 5,841 1.9x 69.3x

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.