The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Kentucky For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Kentucky.

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 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Kentucky? That would be Pikeville.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 78 places in Kentucky with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Kentucky for 2021:

  1. Pikeville
  2. Murray
  3. Morehead
  4. Versailles
  5. Richmond
  6. Bowling Green
  7. Elizabethtown
  8. St. Matthews
  9. Newport
  10. Lyndon

What's the most expensive place to live in Kentucky? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Pikeville is the most expensive place to live in Kentucky.

So hopefully Princeton (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 2021

1. PikevillePikeville, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,810
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.7x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.5x (6th most expensive)
More on Pikeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Pikeville comes in at $32,281 and the median home value is $182,500 for 2021.

2. MurrayMurray, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,171
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.4x (most expensive)
More on Murray: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Murray comes in at $30,576 and the median home value is $157,500 for 2021.

3. MoreheadMorehead, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,653
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.7x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.6x (17th most expensive)
More on Morehead: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Morehead comes in at $29,838 and the median home value is $171,500 for 2021.

4. VersaillesVersailles, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 9,215
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.4x (18th most expensive)
More on Versailles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Versailles comes in at $41,151 and the median home value is $171,300 for 2021.

5. RichmondRichmond, KY

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 35,133
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.8x (14th most expensive)
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Richmond comes in at $36,302 and the median home value is $152,600 for 2021.

6. Bowling GreenBowling Green, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 67,600
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.3x (16th most expensive)
More on Bowling Green: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bowling Green comes in at $42,216 and the median home value is $161,000 for 2021.

7. ElizabethtownElizabethtown, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 29,620
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.0x (30th most expensive)
More on Elizabethtown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Elizabethtown comes in at $46,754 and the median home value is $180,000 for 2021.

8. St. MatthewsSt. Matthews, KY

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 18,161
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.3x (39th most expensive)
More on St. Matthews: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in St. Matthews comes in at $62,152 and the median home value is $235,000 for 2021.

9. NewportNewport, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,123
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.8x (11th most expensive)
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Newport comes in at $37,435 and the median home value is $144,000 for 2021.

10. LyndonLyndon, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,431
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (2most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.9x (29th most expensive)
More on Lyndon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lyndon comes in at $57,472 and the median home value is $191,300 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Bluegrass State For 2021

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 2015-2019 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 78 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. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Kentucky For 2021

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. Princeton
  2. Flatwoods
  3. Bardstown

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 6,810 5.7x 48.5x
2 Murray 10.67 19,171 5.2x 43.4x
3 Morehead 12.33 7,653 5.7x 54.6x
4 Versailles 14.33 9,215 4.2x 55.4x
5 Richmond 16.33 35,133 4.2x 52.8x
6 Bowling Green 17.33 67,600 3.8x 54.3x
7 Elizabethtown 17.67 29,620 3.8x 59.0x
8 St. Matthews 18.0 18,161 3.8x 60.3x
9 Newport 18.33 15,123 3.8x 50.8x
10 Lyndon 20.33 11,431 3.3x 58.9x
11 Somerset 21.0 11,447 4.0x 45.1x
12 Danville 21.33 16,730 3.7x 55.5x
13 Maysville 24.0 8,782 3.8x 55.9x
14 Douglass Hills 24.67 5,710 3.4x 66.9x
15 Glasgow 25.0 14,393 3.5x 48.9x
16 Fort Mitchell 26.33 8,257 4.0x 85.9x
17 Lexington 27.33 320,601 3.3x 63.9x
18 Campbellsville 30.0 11,419 3.4x 50.6x
19 Williamsburg 30.33 5,260 3.5x 47.0x
20 Middlesborough 31.67 9,395 3.6x 47.4x
21 Wilmore 33.67 6,335 3.4x 70.6x
22 London 34.33 8,059 3.3x 58.5x
23 Middletown 34.33 7,891 2.9x 68.1x
24 Berea 35.33 15,474 3.1x 61.9x
25 Nicholasville 35.67 30,301 3.0x 60.9x
26 Cynthiana 35.67 6,312 3.4x 59.4x
27 Florence 35.67 32,369 2.7x 59.6x
28 Louisville 36.33 617,790 3.0x 63.2x
29 Mayfield 37.0 9,867 3.1x 51.7x
30 Leitchfield 37.0 6,807 3.3x 55.9x
31 Henderson 37.0 28,625 3.0x 58.2x
32 Lebanon 37.33 5,644 3.1x 50.7x
33 Vine Grove 38.33 6,106 2.4x 56.3x
34 Fort Thomas 38.33 16,308 2.9x 87.1x
35 Paris 39.0 9,817 3.0x 60.0x
36 Shelbyville 39.0 16,009 2.9x 73.4x
37 Radcliff 39.33 22,639 2.8x 59.6x
38 Mount Sterling 40.0 7,166 3.0x 62.1x
39 Jeffersontown 40.0 28,035 2.6x 70.1x
40 Oak Grove 40.0 7,338 2.5x 47.5x
41 Paducah 40.33 24,894 3.0x 59.8x
42 Hopkinsville 40.67 31,056 2.8x 57.4x
43 La Grange 41.67 8,854 2.8x 70.8x
44 Central City 42.0 5,808 3.1x 67.4x
45 Madisonville 42.33 18,936 2.8x 59.9x
46 Franklin 42.67 8,835 2.6x 53.3x
47 Owensboro 43.33 59,536 2.6x 56.4x
48 Shepherdsville 44.0 12,218 2.7x 67.2x
49 Union 44.0 5,910 2.1x 68.9x
50 Shively 44.17 15,726 2.7x 56.0x
51 Winchester 44.33 18,429 2.9x 64.1x
52 Cold Spring 44.33 6,401 2.5x 75.4x
53 Monticello 45.33 6,070 3.1x 60.3x
54 Highland Heights 47.0 7,149 2.3x 51.0x
55 Georgetown 47.0 33,605 2.6x 74.0x
56 Frankfort 47.33 27,680 2.6x 66.2x
57 Elsmere 47.67 8,567 2.0x 50.5x
58 Villa Hills 49.0 7,449 2.4x 97.5x
59 Hillview 49.67 9,071 2.0x 57.4x
60 Edgewood 50.0 8,745 2.2x 90.0x
61 Fort Wright 50.67 5,745 2.4x 97.6x
62 Lawrenceburg 51.0 11,350 2.6x 72.3x
63 Covington 51.33 40,548 2.6x 60.8x
64 Mount Washington 52.33 14,567 2.5x 91.4x
65 Taylor Mill 52.67 6,763 2.4x 80.1x
66 Alexandria 53.33 9,425 2.2x 93.6x
67 Independence 53.33 27,683 2.1x 85.1x
68 Ashland 54.0 20,626 2.5x 59.8x
69 Corbin 56.0 7,325 2.6x 64.0x
70 Erlanger 57.33 18,967 2.1x 72.3x
71 Bellevue 58.0 5,804 2.2x 79.9x
72 Harrodsburg 58.67 8,418 2.6x 64.9x
73 Hazard 59.33 5,046 2.4x 76.5x
74 Russellville 59.5 7,039 2.5x 61.9x
75 Dayton 60.83 5,496 2.0x 61.4x
76 Bardstown 62.0 13,094 2.3x 80.4x
77 Flatwoods 65.5 7,160 1.9x 61.5x
78 Princeton 71.0 6,116 2.0x 69.5x

How Is The Area In ?

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.