The 10 Best College Towns In Kentucky For 2022


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our fifth time ranking the best college towns in Kentucky.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Kentucky is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Kentucky are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Kentucky for 2022.

The 10 Best College Towns In Kentucky For 2022

  1. Murray, KY
  2. Highland Heights, KY
  3. Morehead, KY
  4. Wilmore, KY
  5. Berea, KY
  6. Williamsburg, KY
  7. Danville, KY
  8. Owensboro, KY
  9. Richmond, KY
  10. Frankfort, KY

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Murray, Highland Heights and Morehead - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Murray ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Kentucky check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Kentucky For 2022

Murray, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 19,254
% Undergrad Pop.: 38.9% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $674 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 465.9% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Murray: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Murray State University

Highland Heights, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,372
% Undergrad Pop.: 147.0% (best)
Median Rent: $912 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 223.7% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Highland Heights: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Northern Kentucky University

Morehead, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 7,653
% Undergrad Pop.: 88.2% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $656 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 480.8% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Morehead: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Morehead State University

Wilmore, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
9
/10

Population: 6,339
% Undergrad Pop.: 21.1% (6th best)
Median Rent: $832 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 158.6% (best)
Crime Rank: best
More on Wilmore: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Asbury University, Asbury Theological Seminary

Berea, KY
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 15,773
% Undergrad Pop.: 10.1% (9th best)
Median Rent: $739 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 536.4% (12th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Berea: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Berea College

Williamsburg, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 5,266
% Undergrad Pop.: 29.5% (5th best)
Median Rent: $568 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 1049.9% (17th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Williamsburg: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of the Cumberlands

Danville, KY
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 16,801
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.3% (11th best)
Median Rent: $715 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 785.9% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 8th best
More on Danville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Centre College

Owensboro, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 59,796
% Undergrad Pop.: 2.3% (16th best)
Median Rent: $812 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 454.6% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Owensboro: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Owensboro Community and Technical College, Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College

Richmond, KY
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 35,744
% Undergrad Pop.: 37.2% (4th best)
Median Rent: $713 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 866.1% (16th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Eastern Kentucky University

Frankfort, KY
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 27,705
% Undergrad Pop.: 7.7% (10th best)
Median Rent: $779 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 464.2% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 15th best
More on Frankfort: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Kentucky State University

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Kentucky?

To crunch our data on Kentucky's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 16 places in Kentucky with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Kentucky For 2022".

And it looks like Murray placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Kentucky, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

16 Best College Towns In Kentucky

Rank City Population
1 Murray, KY 19254
2 Highland Heights, KY 7372
3 Morehead, KY 7653
4 Wilmore, KY 6339
5 Berea, KY 15773
6 Williamsburg, KY 5266
7 Danville, KY 16801
8 Owensboro, KY 59796
9 Richmond, KY 35744
10 Frankfort, KY 27705
11 Lexington, KY 322200
12 Pikeville, KY 6642
13 Louisville, KY 618733
14 Campbellsville, KY 11370
15 Georgetown, KY 34362
16 Florence, KY 32721

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?