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The 20 Worst Places to Live in Kentucky

Duncan Park, Kentucky

Are you considering a move to the state of Kentucky? If so, there are some wonderful places to settle in the Bluegrass state. There are also some really terrible places that you'll want to avoid. We've put together a list of the 20 worst places to live in Kentucky.

We based our ranking on a combination of factors including crime rates, cost of living, opportunities for gainful employment, home values, and overall livability gathered from current statistical resources on these conditions.

Radcliff, Kentucky

20. Radcliff, Kentucky

Radcliff is a small town that has made the most dangerous cities list in the state, according to Only In Your State. Crime has increased in the city in the last 12 months to move it up 5 places on the most dangerous list. Some wonderful people are living in Radcliff, but according to the crime rates, there are too many who put everyone else at risk of becoming a crime victim.

Frankfort, Kentucky

19. Frankfort, Kentucky

Frankfort has also made the most dangerous. It's the capital city of the state of Kentucky, and although there are a lot of great amenities residents enjoy, including a rich history, the Bourbon Trail, and more, the crime rates for the city are disturbing. Violence and property crimes have continued to climb in this city, making the residents feel unsafe in their own homes.

Shively, Kentucky

18. Shively, Kentucky

Shively is a smaller neighborhood that is a suburb of Louisville. It used to be a nice area to live in, but since 2018, residents are feeling less safe all the time. Property crimes are high, but what is even worse, violent crimes have taken a jump of 11 percent in 7 years. It's not the best choice to settle down and raise a family.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

17. Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling green is one of Kentucky's larger cities. It's filled with wonderful amenities and there's always something fun to do. There are shopping, entertainment, and plenty of housing but the property crime rates have pushed the city to the number one worst place in the state in that category. It's just not worth living in a place where you work hard to earn a living only to have someone else steal your valuables.

Oak Grove, Kentucky

16. Oak Grove, Kentucky

Only in Your State has added Oak Grove to their list of the most dangerous places to live in Kentucky. It's a small city with a peaceful appearance, but the residents who call it home are at risk of becoming the victims of crime. Surprisingly, the chance of becoming a violent crime victim is 1 in 241. This makes it one of the last places you'd want to put down roots and raise a family.

Pikeville, Kentucky

15. Pikeville, Kentucky

Zippia lists Pikeville as one of the worst cities in the state to get a job. If you can't work or earn a decent living you won't be able to pay for housing, food, and utilities. The town of Pikeville has a population of 6,898.

Although there is hope that the economy will improve, the recent job growth rate dived -3.70 percent. They're going backward in taking an already bad situation to much worse. Pikeville lags in economic growth. Unless you're independently wealthy, it's not a place you're likely to thrive financially.

Murray, Kentucky

14. Murray, Kentucky

Murray is a city with a population of 17,706 residents. It's a moderate-sized city, but the prospects of finding a job there are low. Unless you've already secured gainful employment, it isn't the best place to go in hopes of a fresh start.

It's even worse in Murray for job seekers than in Pikeville. The recent job growth rate fell behind for an astounding -7.43 percent. Murray's economy isn't looking good shortly either, so it's not the best choice to build the American dream at this point.

Covington, Kentucky

13. Covington, Kentucky

According to Roadsnacks, Covington has a population of 40,553 residents. It has the 15th worst unemployment rate in the state at a whopping 8.5 percent. The median home value is 5,900 ranking it in the top 20 worst places to own a home.

The average combined household income is just $41,254 a year which doesn't leave much to live on for a family of four. The crime rate puts it in the worst 10 percent of all cities in Kentucky. When you add up all these factors, Covington isn't a great place to live if you have other options.

Paducah, Kentucky

12. Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah has a population base of 24,879 residents. The unemployment rate is 5.3 percent with a median home value of $117,900, which are neither good, although not the worst by far. What makes Paducah the 12th worst place to live in the state is that the crime in the city is terribly high. The most recent FBI numbers indicate that 1 in 21.9 people who live in Paducah have a change of becoming a property crime victim. The crime rate is the 5th worst in the state.

Glasgow, Kentucky

11. Glasgow, Kentucky

RoadSnacks lists Glasgow as an increasingly bad place to live. It's gone up 6 places in the last year for being the worst. The city has a population of just 14,370 residents and the unemployment rate is 9.7 percent with a median home value of $113,100. Although life seems to be simple in Glasgow, the income levels for the average family are rated at far below the state average.

The poverty statistics are disturbing with 28.2 percent of the population below the poverty line. Glasgow also has one of the highest crime rates per capita in the state. The combination of all these factors suggests that it's a good idea to look for a town that has a little more going for it if you plan to set down roots.

Somerset, Kentucky

10. Somerset, Kentucky

Somerset is a smaller city of 11,376 residents and the town has an economy that is suffering greatly. The median home value is the 11th worst at $100,700. The unemployment rate is the 12th worst at a high of 9.2 percent. The crime rate ranks the city as the 37th most dangerous and on top of all of this, the income levels are terribly low for the average household. Somerset is the tenth worst city in the state of Kentucky to live in.

Russellville, Kentucky

9. Russellville, Kentucky

RoadSnacks lists Russellville as one of the worst places in Kentucky because it has a median home value of a pitiful $93,800, which is the 7th worst in the state. The population consists of just 7,008 residents. They have the 13th worst unemployment rate of 8.9 percent. The average combined household income is $32,367 per year.

Hazard, Kentucky

8. Hazard, Kentucky

Hazard is a small town that is home to 5,170 residents. While the median home value isn't the worst, it's not great at only $130,500. A worse fact about Hazard is that it ranks as the 32nd most dangerous place to live in Kentucky because of the high crime rates.

It gets even worse with an unemployment rate of 15.4 percent. This was enough to land it in the 8th worst place position. As with many cities in the nation, poverty also causes an increase in the rate of criminal activity. The odds of becoming the victim of a property are also a deterrent to moving to Hazard.

Maysville, Kentucky

7. Maysville, Kentucky

Maysville is RoadSnack's 4th worst place to live, but we know a few that are worse. They give it low marks for its median home values of $119,300 and an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, but there are worse things about this city of 8,797 people.

The crime rate is the 25th highest in the state overall, but the most disturbing factor is that you have a 1 in 31.9 chance of becoming the victim of a crime if you live in the town. The economy of Maysville is ranked as the second-worst in Kentucky, so it's not a great place to settle down and try to earn a decent living.

Eastland Park-Dixie Plantation, Kentucky

6. Eastland Park-Dixie Plantation, Kentucky

According to Area Vibes, Some of the suburbs of Lexington-Fayette take the lead in being the most dangerous cities in the entire state. Eastland Park-Dixie Plantation is the sixth worst place in the state with crime rates that are 297 percent higher than the national average.

The chances of becoming the victim of a crime are 1 in 11 in this city, and that's after a year over a decrease of 5 percent in the crime rates. Violent crimes are 174 percent above the national average so it's not a safe place to call home.

Lexington Manor, Kentucky

5. Lexington Manor, Kentucky

Lexington Manor's crime rates are 180 percent above the national average. It ranks the same as Eastland Park for giving you the 1 in 11 odds of becoming the victim of a crime. The violent crime rates are even higher than Eastland Park-Dixie Plantation. These are two suburbs that Area Vibes recommends staying away from unless you have no other options available.

Lexington Cemetery, Kentucky

4. Lexington Cemetery, Kentucky

Lexington Cemetery takes danger to a whole new level. When we compare the statistics with the previous two cities, it makes them look a lot better if you have to choose. This suburb has a violent crime rate that is 256 percent higher than the national average. When you combine property crimes for an overall crime rate, the numbers go up to 300 percent higher.

Castlewood Park, Kentucky

3. Castlewood Park, Kentucky

Castlewood park has a violent crime rate that beats Lexington Cemetery by a full percentage point. The odds of having a crime committed against you in this suburb are 1 in 8. If you do live in Castlewood Park, if you haven't become a victim yet, there's a good chance you will soon, or that you know someone who has. The overall crime rates are 406 percent higher than the national average. There seems to be a crime wave in progress in Castlewood Park. It's not a place that you'd want to move your family to. It's not seen for couples or singles either.

Central Downtown, Kentucky

2. Central Downtown, Kentucky

Central Downtown is Area Vibes' number two pick for the most dangerous place to live in the Fayetteville area. This suburb has an overall crime rate that is 334 percent above the national average with violent crimes at 285 percent.

There is a one in ten chance that you'll become the victim of a crime if you live in this city, or if you spend too much time there. If you're a person that plays the odds then you know that it is likely to be a matter of time before you become one of the statistics that are recorded in the criminal statistics report.

Times are tough in Central Downtown, Kentucky and it's just not worth taking the chance with your own life or with that of your family.

Duncan Park, Kentucky

1. Duncan Park, Kentucky

The number one worst place to live in the state of Kentucky is Duncan Park. The FBI statistics show that the city has gone down in crime by five percent. The crime rates soar above the national average by 324 percent.

The numbers for violent crimes are what concern us the most. The violent crime rate for Duncan Park is 328 percent higher than the national average. If you move to Duncan Park, the chances of becoming the victim of a crime are one in ten.

This makes it one of the most dangerous cities in the United States as well as the state of Kentucky.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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