The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kentucky For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Kentucky have the most for people looking to make the move to Kentucky.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Kentucky.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Kentucky a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in Kentucky.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Bluegrass State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Kentucky, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 120 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Bluegrass State for 2021.

Spencer County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Kentucky. And you might want to avoid Harlan County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move Kentucky, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Kentucky and the cheapest places to live in Kentucky.

The Best Counties To Live In Kentucky For 2021

1. Spencer County

Biggest Place: Elk Creek

Population: 18,680
Median Income: $80,166 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $213,300.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 474.5% (3best)
More on Spencer County: Data

2. Oldham County

La Grange, KY

Biggest Place: La Grange

Population: 65,967
Median Income: $99,128 (best)
Median Home Price: $282,100.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 338.0% (6th best)
More on Oldham County: PhotosData

3. Boone County

Union, KY

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Florence

Population: 130,820
Median Income: $78,327 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $189,800.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 378.6% (11th best)
More on Boone County: PhotosData

4. Bullitt County

Shepherdsville, KY

Biggest Place: Mount Washington

Population: 80,171
Median Income: $63,348 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $165,500.0 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 410.2% (18th best)
More on Bullitt County: PhotosData

5. Anderson County

Lawrenceburg, KY

Biggest Place: Lawrenceburg

Population: 22,409
Median Income: $55,334 (17th best)
Median Home Price: $149,800.0 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 717.8% (82nd best)
More on Anderson County: PhotosData

6. Nelson County

Bardstown, KY

Biggest Place: Bardstown

Population: 45,650
Median Income: $60,127 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $154,700.0 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 452.4% (26th best)
More on Nelson County: PhotosData

7. Hancock County

Hawesville, KY

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Lewisport

Population: 8,720
Median Income: $57,217 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $112,300.0 (54th best)
Unemployment Rate: 585.7% (62nd best)
More on Hancock County: PhotosData

8. Scott County

Georgetown, KY

Biggest Place: Georgetown

Population: 54,667
Median Income: $70,817 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $189,500.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 331.8% (5th best)
More on Scott County: PhotosData

9. Lyon County

Biggest Place: Eddyville

Population: 8,271
Median Income: $52,528 (27th best)
Median Home Price: $141,500.0 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 177.5% (2nd best)
More on Lyon County: PhotosData

10. Campbell County

Alexandria, KY

Biggest Place: Fort Thomas

Population: 92,861
Median Income: $63,050 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $172,000.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 399.4% (16th best)
More on Campbell County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Kentucky county is the best?

To give you the best county in Kentucky, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Kentucky across each of the criteria from one to 120, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In Kentucky".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Bluegrass State.

Read on to see why Spencer County is the best county, while Harlan County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Kentucky.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In Kentucky To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Kentucky can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in Kentucky according to the data:

  1. Harlan County
  2. Clay County
  3. Wolfe County

For more Kentucky reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Kentucky

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Spencer County 1 18,680 $80,166 $213,300.0
Oldham County 2 65,967 $99,128 $282,100.0
Boone County 3 130,820 $78,327 $189,800.0
Bullitt County 4 80,171 $63,348 $165,500.0
Anderson County 5 22,409 $55,334 $149,800.0
Nelson County 6 45,650 $60,127 $154,700.0
Hancock County 7 8,720 $57,217 $112,300.0
Scott County 8 54,667 $70,817 $189,500.0
Lyon County 9 8,271 $52,528 $141,500.0
Campbell County 10 92,861 $63,050 $172,000.0
Marshall County 11 31,192 $55,113 $131,100.0
Grant County 12 24,951 $48,714 $130,200.0
Meade County 13 28,182 $56,603 $153,500.0
Fayette County 14 320,601 $57,291 $189,800.0
Woodford County 15 26,318 $63,820 $203,000.0
Pendleton County 16 14,572 $54,375 $116,400.0
Kenton County 17 165,668 $64,339 $161,100.0
Jefferson County 18 767,419 $56,586 $170,100.0
Boyle County 19 29,972 $46,382 $146,400.0
Bracken County 20 8,305 $49,158 $103,100.0
Shelby County 21 47,325 $67,056 $197,300.0
Livingston County 22 9,235 $50,839 $102,400.0
Hardin County 23 108,527 $54,367 $156,600.0
Owen County 24 10,796 $48,801 $116,100.0
Larue County 25 14,204 $47,643 $115,600.0
Henry County 26 15,911 $53,926 $128,700.0
Carlisle County 27 4,784 $45,109 $89,300.0
Jessamine County 28 53,032 $58,245 $172,100.0
Ballard County 29 8,032 $45,048 $102,900.0
Greenup County 30 35,555 $51,655 $116,700.0
Mercer County 31 21,592 $55,093 $147,300.0
Gallatin County 32 8,737 $52,167 $128,100.0
Clark County 33 35,971 $54,953 $145,400.0
Daviess County 34 100,474 $51,673 $133,600.0
Henderson County 35 45,829 $48,926 $128,400.0
Bourbon County 36 20,058 $49,637 $146,700.0
Madison County 37 90,802 $50,060 $159,300.0
Franklin County 38 50,529 $56,274 $142,900.0
Simpson County 39 18,183 $48,623 $135,200.0
Calloway County 40 38,837 $42,273 $137,300.0
Crittenden County 41 9,000 $45,244 $89,900.0
Warren County 42 128,652 $52,270 $167,600.0
Washington County 43 12,023 $53,743 $128,300.0
Harrison County 44 18,722 $48,438 $140,000.0
Union County 45 14,638 $46,673 $92,100.0
Mccracken County 46 65,268 $46,080 $143,400.0
Taylor County 47 25,571 $44,522 $120,200.0
Muhlenberg County 48 30,951 $43,590 $93,900.0
Hopkins County 49 45,331 $47,170 $108,700.0
Trimble County 50 8,558 $53,056 $124,000.0
Mclean County 51 9,283 $51,861 $104,700.0
Hickman County 52 4,510 $42,929 $80,600.0
Ohio County 53 24,071 $45,564 $92,500.0
Garrard County 54 17,445 $52,631 $140,500.0
Trigg County 55 14,449 $50,536 $129,400.0
Webster County 56 13,068 $42,119 $75,600.0
Bath County 57 12,355 $44,898 $89,700.0
Rowan County 58 24,507 $38,230 $124,200.0
Adair County 59 19,222 $38,021 $96,400.0
Cumberland County 60 6,697 $35,344 $89,400.0
Mason County 61 17,112 $45,377 $132,800.0
Caldwell County 62 12,702 $44,775 $87,900.0
Edmonson County 63 12,138 $43,401 $87,300.0
Lincoln County 64 24,476 $42,919 $106,400.0
Logan County 65 26,902 $48,014 $111,000.0
Green County 66 10,979 $35,899 $79,500.0
Butler County 67 12,764 $41,763 $92,100.0
Rockcastle County 68 16,820 $35,720 $81,900.0
Johnson County 69 22,634 $37,055 $101,300.0
Menifee County 70 6,443 $39,325 $76,800.0
Allen County 71 20,944 $44,036 $120,600.0
Montgomery County 72 27,884 $45,516 $116,700.0
Breckinridge County 73 20,176 $47,190 $102,900.0
Powell County 74 12,304 $37,469 $89,800.0
Grayson County 75 26,247 $38,612 $113,900.0
Metcalfe County 76 10,036 $37,386 $77,200.0
Morgan County 77 13,288 $36,134 $73,100.0
Boyd County 78 47,682 $48,308 $111,200.0
Hart County 79 18,729 $38,396 $94,400.0
Whitley County 80 36,131 $39,005 $92,500.0
Todd County 81 12,316 $44,005 $106,300.0
Marion County 82 19,244 $40,107 $105,400.0
Lewis County 83 13,417 $31,147 $65,500.0
Jackson County 84 13,369 $32,138 $87,200.0
Graves County 85 37,248 $44,043 $104,300.0
Carroll County 86 10,671 $43,524 $115,900.0
Fleming County 87 14,513 $44,612 $89,900.0
Laurel County 88 60,357 $41,526 $112,000.0
Pulaski County 89 64,350 $39,998 $116,200.0
Nicholas County 90 7,153 $38,149 $85,600.0
Leslie County 91 10,283 $31,627 $64,100.0
Barren County 92 43,884 $41,459 $125,400.0
Elliott County 93 7,510 $32,306 $82,700.0
Clinton County 94 10,193 $32,184 $72,800.0
Christian County 95 71,414 $43,919 $117,400.0
Robertson County 96 2,123 $41,902 $114,700.0
Letcher County 97 22,295 $29,886 $58,600.0
Carter County 98 27,159 $34,736 $95,000.0
Knott County 99 15,260 $31,198 $51,500.0
Monroe County 100 10,627 $34,879 $80,500.0

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.

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