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Safest Cities in Kentucky

  • Population

    4,461,153

  • Avg Annual Rent

    $8,605

  • Avg Household Income

    44,225

  • Cost of Living

    20.60%

  • Violent Crime Rate

    0

  • Property Crime Rate

    0

  • Primary Care Ranking

    39

  • Mental Health Provider

    29

We narrowed down the safest cities in Kentucky based on the factors that matter most.

State Overview

The state of Kentucky is bordered by the Ohio River to the north and the Appalachian mountains to the east. It may be best known for its cuisine, bourbon and horse racing, but there is a lot more to it than that. The state is a great place for nature lovers, with plenty of state parks, natural springs caves and mountains. Kentucky also has significant national history as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Visitors to the state can explore the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park to learn more. With a population of almost 4.5 million people, the state is also home to a variety of urban centers and small-town communities. Let’s take a look at which of these cities in Kentucky are the safest.

How We Determined the Safest Cities in Kentucky

We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.

Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:

*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).

  • Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
  • Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
  • Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)

Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:

  • Annual rent – Annualized median rent
  • Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
  • Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
  • Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
  • Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
  • Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance

20 Safest Cities in Kentucky

No. 1 Fort Mitchell

Of Fort Mitchell 8,241 residents, the vast majority are employed, insured and able to access the internet. This financial stability places Fort Mitchell — which is located in Northern Kentucky just south of Cincinnati — in the top spot in our list of safest cities in Kentucky.

98 out of 100

Public Safety

85 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)1.210654 (11th)1.210654 (11th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8976 (13th)66754 (4th)0.004 (20th)0.081 (11th)0.034 (6th)0 (19th)

No. 2 Fort Thomas

Just a stone throw away from Fort Mitchell is Fort Thomas, which borders the Ohio River on its eastern side. Although Fort Thomas has a slightly higher unemployment rate compared to Fort Mitchell, it also boasts a lower poverty rate and a lower hate crime index. 

99 out of 100

Public Safety

79 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.614477 (6th)0.614477 (6th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
10584 (7th)76837 (2nd)0.032 (15th)0.031 (19th)0.022 (15th)0.073 (12th)

No. 3 Independence

No major freeways run through Independence, but this has not stopped it from growing to become the 12th most populated city in Kentucky. Independence also has the highest average household income of all the Kentucky cities we reviewed and the lowest hate crime index. 

100 out of 100

Public Safety

77 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.356481 (3rd)0.356481 (3rd)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11244 (6th)79224 (1st)0.041 (13th)0.043 (17th)0.015 (19th)0.049 (15th)

No. 4 La Grange

Just over 9,000 people live in La Grange, which is located to the northeast of Louisville in Oldham County. Life in La Grange provides small-town charm — including a working railroad track that runs through its quaint main street — with easy access to big-city amenities with a quick drive down I-71. And, according to our research, La Grange can add safety to its list of bragging rights.

97 out of 100

Public Safety

77 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)2.223457 (17th)2.223457 (17th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
9372 (11th)59266 (10th)0.022 (19th)0.133 (8th)0.038 (4th)0 (19th)

No. 5 Erlanger

Erlanger is located between Florence and Fort Mitchell — two other cities on our list of safest cities in Kentucky — which means the over 19,000 residents in this Northern Kentucky town can feel safe not only in their own city limits but also when working, shopping and playing in nearby areas. 

100 out of 100

Public Safety

73 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.434915 (4th)0.434915 (4th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
10344 (8th)60124 (9th)0.03 (17th)0.079 (12th)0.02 (17th)0.192 (8th)

No. 6 Jeffersontown

Even though Jeffersontown is an incorporated city within Louisville Metro, it still ranks as the 15th most populous city in Kentucky. Residents celebrate their community through regular festivities, including the Gaslight Festival. Perhaps it is this tight-knit neighborly feeling that has led to a relatively low hate crime index in Jeffersontown.

99 out of 100

Public Safety

73 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)1.093175 (10th)1.093175 (10th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11436 (4th)69285 (3rd)0.036 (14th)0.036 (18th)0.023 (12th)0.34 (2nd)

No. 7 Mount Washington

Located just south of Louisville, the original settlement of Mount Washington was established in the early 1800s where two popular horse paths/roads intersected. Today, the towns nickname “The Crossroads of Kentucky” hearkens back to its historical significance. Residents of Mount Washington enjoy a relatively low average rent coupled with an average household income of $63,801, which is just one factor that makes this historic town a financially safe place to live.

99 out of 100

Public Safety

70 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.680087 (8th)0.680087 (8th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8688 (16th)63801 (5th)0.058 (6th)0.069 (15th)0.017 (18th)0.335 (3rd)

No. 8 St. Matthews

St. Matthews is another incorporated city located within the city limits of Louisville. It is perhaps best known for its large shopping district on Shelbyville Road, including Mall St. Matthews, as well as the more intimate shopping experience offered by small businesses on Frankfort Avenue. Whether you live, work, shop or play in Saint Matthews, you will be pleased to know our data marks it as one of the safest cities in Kentucky.

99 out of 100

Public Safety

67 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.548607 (5th)0.548607 (5th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
N/A60639 (8th)0.032 (15th)0.076 (13th)0.023 (12th)0.225 (5th)

No. 9 Georgetown

Georgetown is located in central Kentucky, to the east of Frankfort and just north of the bustling city of Lexington. It is the 7th largest city in the state in terms of population. Located in the heart of horse country, Georgetown features a safe haven for retired Thoroughbred racehorses at Old Friends Farm, and according to our data, this blossoming city is a safe haven for people too.

97 out of 100

Public Safety

69 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)2.037786 (15th)2.037786 (15th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
10008 (9th)62321 (6th)0.046 (12th)0.119 (10th)0.021 (16th)0.171 (9th)

No. 10 Vine Grove

Located along the southwest border of the famed Fort Knox, Vine Groveis a small city with 6,439 residents. However, the vast majority of people living in Vine Grove are employed, live above the poverty line and have insurance, making it one of Kentucky most financially safe cities to call home.

98 out of 100

Public Safety

64 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)1.603335 (14th)1.603335 (14th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11928 (2nd)60976 (7th)0.061 (4th)0.021 (20th)0.052 (1st)0.068 (13th)

No. 11 Louisville

Despite being Kentucky most populous city, Louisville has a relatively low hate crime index. In addition, nearly every employed Louisville resident has insurance. Both of these factors secure the home of the Kentucky Derby a place on our list of safest cities in Kentucky.

100 out of 100

Public Safety

60 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.190614 (1st)0.190614 (1st)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
9744 (10th)51307 (12th)0.064 (2nd)0.137 (7th)0.005 (20th)0.205 (7th)

No. 12 Wilmore

Wilmore, Kentucky, can trace its history back to 1770, and its Main Street is on the National Register of Historic Places. Asbury University and the Asbury Theological Seminary are also located in the heart of Wilmore. The majority of Wilmore 6,400-plus residents are employed, giving Wilmore one of the lowest unemployment rates on our list.

96 out of 100

Public Safety

62 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)3.122073 (18th)3.122073 (18th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8916 (14th)47083 (17th)0.024 (18th)0.242 (1st)0.029 (9th)0.309 (4th)

No. 13 Berea

The only southeastern Kentucky city to grace this list, Berea is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Approximately 10% of Berea 16,000 residents are students at Berea College, one of the few tuition-free universities in America. Low rent and a low hate crime index play a major role in Berea safety ranking.

99 out of 100

Public Safety

58 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.629208 (7th)0.629208 (7th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8484 (18th)43618 (19th)0.053 (8th)0.178 (3rd)0.037 (5th)0.078 (11th)

No. 14 Calvert

The only city in western Kentucky to qualify for our list, Calvert City is located just east of Paducah. The 2,505 residents of Calvert City can enjoy nature at its finest, with the Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers within easy reach, not to mention the stunning Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

96 out of 100

Public Safety

62 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)3.979308 (20th)3.979308 (20th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8520 (17th)48583 (15th)0.061 (4th)0.14 (6th)0.034 (6th)0.051 (14th)

No. 15 Highland Heights

Just over 7,000 people reside in Highland Heights, a town in Northern Kentucky between the Licking and Ohio Rivers. However, around 15,000 people visit Highland Heights throughout the year to attend Northern Kentucky University, most of whom commute to the school from nearby towns. Despite the ballooning population during the school year, Highland Heights remains one of the safest cities in Kentucky.

98 out of 100

Public Safety

57 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)1.406074 (13th)1.406074 (13th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11328 (5th)48670 (14th)0.049 (11th)0.074 (14th)0.047 (2nd)0.036 (18th)

No. 16 Frankfort

The capital city of Frankfort is located halfway between the states largest cities, Louisville and Lexington, along the Kentucky River. It is also the home of Kentucky State University and significant cultural landmarks such as the Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

97 out of 100

Public Safety

58 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)2.168884 (16th)2.168884 (16th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8724 (15th)48345 (16th)0.064 (2nd)0.141 (5th)0.027 (10th)0.402 (1st)

No. 17 Lawrenceburg

Just south of Frankfort in Central Kentucky lies the city of Lawrenceburg, which boasts two significant stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Four Roses Distillery and Wild Turkey Distillery. Lawrenceburg earns a place on the list of safest cities in Kentucky thanks in part to its low hate crime index and low average annual rent.

99 out of 100

Public Safety

55 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.878889 (9th)0.878889 (9th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
8364 (19th)49098 (13th)0.099 (1st)0.148 (4th)0.034 (6th)0.221 (6th)

No. 18 Florence

Florence is the 8th most populous city in Kentucky and the 2nd in Northern Kentucky. It is well known by travelers to the region for its welcoming “Florence Yall” water tower. Despite its mass shooting index, Florence fares well in terms of financial safety, earning it a spot on our list.

91 out of 100

Public Safety

64 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)1.223204 (12th)1.223204 (12th)2.446408 (20th)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
11448 (3rd)57041 (11th)0.058 (6th)0.054 (16th)0.025 (11th)0.043 (16th)

No. 19 Cynthiana

Cynthiana is located in Central Kentucky, north of Lexington. This community of just 6,337 residents has one of the highest hate crime indexes on our list, earning it a lower placement in the top 20.

96 out of 100

Public Safety

57 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)3.143666 (19th)3.143666 (19th)0 (1st)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
6468 (20th)36710 (20th)0.051 (10th)0.19 (2nd)0.045 (3rd)0.04 (17th)

No. 20 Elizabethtown

Located south of Louisville, Elizabethtown is the 11th largest city in Kentucky in terms of population. It is also one of the more recognizable towns, thanks to the 2005 Cameron Crowe film set there. Our research determined that Elizabethtown has a low hate crime index, which counteracts its mass shooting index just enough for it to squeak onto the list of safest cities in Kentucky.

93 out of 100

Public Safety

60 out of 100

Financial Safety

Public Safety

Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)0.331345 (2nd)0.331345 (2nd)1.325381 (19th)

Financial Safety

Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
9120 (12th)46129 (18th)0.052 (9th)0.133 (8th)0.023 (12th)0.131 (10th)

Kentucky State Safety

Natural Disaster Safety

Kentucky is ranked as 30th in the country for natural disaster risk and has experienced 56 major natural disasters since 1953. The most common disasters include landslides, rockslides, flooding and tornadoes. One of the most damaging disasters came in 2008, when Kentucky experienced Hurricane Ike. Four years later, Kentucky experienced four tornadoes, reaching wind speeds of 160 mph. These tornadoes were reported as the worst in the region in 24 years, according to The National Weather Service.

30

Natural Disaster


Health Safety

The biggest risk to health in Kentucky is heart disease, which is the leading cause of death according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is followed by cancer and respiratory disease. The number of drug-related deaths means that Kentucky is ranked as 46th in the country and the rate of air pollution puts Kentucky in 36th place. 

Despite high rates of cardiovascular and drug-related deaths, Kentucky only has an average of 127 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, placing it 39th out of 50 states. Kentucky’s score for mental health care is a bit better: The state is ranked as 29th in the U.S. with an average of 227.5 mental health care providers per 100,000 people.

45 out of 100

Health Safety

Top 50 Safest Cities in Kentucky

City Population Public Safety Ranking Financial Safety Ranking Rank