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
    10.47
  • Property Crime Rate
    198.6
  • 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

10 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.

    88out of 100

    Public Safety

    85out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    3.632 (6th)1.2107 (5th)75.061 (4th)1.2107 (7th)1.2107 (7th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    8976 (8th)66754 (4th)0.004 (10th)0.081 (3rd)0.034 (4th)0 (9th)
  • 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. 

    92out of 100

    Public Safety

    79out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    2.4579 (1st)1.229 (6th)41.784 (2nd)0.6145 (3rd)0.6145 (3rd)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10584 (5th)76837 (2nd)0.032 (7th)0.031 (9th)0.022 (7th)0.073 (5th)
  • 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. 

    85out of 100

    Public Safety

    77out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    4.9907 (8th)3.2083 (7th)54.898 (3rd)0.3565 (1st)0.3565 (1st)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11244 (4th)79224 (1st)0.041 (5th)0.043 (7th)0.015 (10th)0.049 (7th)
  • 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.

    80out of 100

    Public Safety

    77out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    4.4469 (7th)1.1117 (4th)163.42 (10th)2.2235 (10th)2.2235 (10th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9372 (7th)59266 (8th)0.022 (9th)0.133 (2nd)0.038 (3rd)0 (9th)
  • 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. 

    80out of 100

    Public Safety

    73out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    5.219 (9th)4.3491 (9th)80.894 (5th)0.4349 (2nd)0.4349 (2nd)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10344 (6th)60124 (7th)0.03 (8th)0.079 (4th)0.02 (8th)0.192 (4th)
  • No. 6 Vine Grove

    Located along the southwest border of the famed Fort Knox, Vine Grove

    88out of 100

    Public Safety

    64out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    3.2067 (4th)0 (1st)149.11 (9th)1.6033 (9th)1.6033 (9th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11928 (1st)60976 (6th)0.061 (2nd)0.021 (10th)0.052 (1st)0.068 (6th)
  • 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 town 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.

    82out of 100

    Public Safety

    70out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    3.4004 (5th)4.7606 (10th)89.091 (6th)0.6801 (4th)0.6801 (4th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    8688 (9th)63801 (5th)0.058 (3rd)0.069 (6th)0.017 (9th)0.335 (2nd)
  • No. 8 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.

    90out of 100

    Public Safety

    57out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    2.8121 (3rd)0 (1st)92.801 (7th)1.4061 (8th)1.4061 (8th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    N/A48670 (10th)0.049 (4th)0.074 (5th)0.047 (2nd)0.036 (8th)
  • No. 9 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.

    89out of 100

    Public Safety

    55out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    2.6367 (2nd)0.8789 (3rd)124.8 (8th)0.8789 (5th)0.8789 (5th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    8364 (10th)49098 (9th)0.099 (1st)0.148 (1st)0.034 (4th)0.221 (3rd)
  • No. 10 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.

    74out of 100

    Public Safety

    73out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeSociety CrimesProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    12.754 (10th)3.2795 (8th)0 (1st)1.0932 (6th)1.0932 (6th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11436 (2nd)69285 (3rd)0.036 (6th)0.036 (8th)0.023 (6th)0.34 (1st)

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.

30out of 50

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.

45out of 50

Health Safety

Top 50 Safest Cities in Kentucky

Fort Mitchell8,260411
Fort Thomas16,274122
Independence28,052633
La Grange8,9951244
Erlanger22,9931165
Vine Grove6,2374106
Mount Washington14,704877
Highland Heights7,1122208
Lawrenceburg11,3783229
Jeffersontown27,44315510
Wilmore6,40691411
St. Matthews18,22816912
Calvert2,513181513
Owingsville1,57573414
Berea15,893191715
Tompkinsville2,267143016
Georgetown34,35126817
Taylorsville1,262133718
Falmouth2,100104419
Shelbyville16,138251320
Versailles26,552202321
Murray19,402173522
Elizabethtown30,180281623
Cynthiana6,362242124
Paris9,809223325
Florence32,701381126
Danville16,801321927
Lexington325,579411228
Dawson Springs2,665214329
Nicholasville30,922292730
Radcliff22,576313131
Cadiz2,637234832
Frankfort27,664441833
Corbin5,517274234
Paducah24,933332935
Uniontown943432536
Ashland20,525393237
Williamsburg5,299364038
London8,008354139
Glasgow14,411304740
Hopkinsville30,606423841
Owensboro59,686472442
Russell Springs2,588344643
Russellville7,088374544
Campbellsville11,503453945
Fulton2,175404946
Bowling Green68,268492647
Oak Grove7,232483648
Lebanon5,668465049
Covington40,448502850