Kentucky’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022

SW safest cities Kentucky badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Kentucky for 2022

See if your city made the full list.

Kentucky’s violent crime rate falls below the national and regional averages and is among the lowest in the country, but The Bluegrass State saw an 18% increase in violent crime year over year. Property crime decreased during the same period, but Kentuckians worry about property crime more than the average American.

In this report

2022 Kentucky crime rates

Kentucky’s violent crime rate of 2.6 is the lowest in its region (which includes Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and the tenth-lowest in the nation. Kentucky also boasts a property crime rate that’s lower than the national and regional averages. 

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

Level of concern and experience with crime in Kentucky

According to our latest State of Safety survey, 78% of Kentuckians believe crime is increasing. That’s the third-highest percentage in the nation and eight percentage points higher than the previous year’s survey results. On the flip side, 1% of Kentucky residents think crime is decreasing, which represents the lowest percentage nationwide.

That perception doesn’t perfectly align with our Kentucky survey respondents’ personal experiences. Compared to the previous year’s survey results, Kentuckians claimed to have experienced less violent crime and property crime year over year, but their gun violence experience rose from 3% to 7%.

53% of Kentuckians feel safe in their state, which is lower than the national average of 55%.

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.

Crime concerns in Kentucky

We asked Kentucky residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Kentuckians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality

According to our State of Safety survey, 48% of Kentuckians feel concerned about violent crime—above the national average of 41%. However, Kentucky residents reportedly experienced violent crime at a lower rate: 9%. That’s two percentage points lower than the previous year’s survey results.

Kentucky respondents noted an increase in gun violence experiences year over year (from 3% to 7%), even though mass shootings in the state declined by 60%.

Violent crime in Kentucky increased by 18% compared to the previous reporting year, which is the fourth-largest increase nationwide.

  • Violent crime accounts for 13% of all crime in Kentucky, which is lower than the national average of 17%. However, robberies, rapes, and murders make up a larger percentage of Kentucky’s violent crimes than the national average.
  • Kentucky is 1 of just 3 states where murder and nonnegligent manslaughter represents 3% or more of all violent crime in the state. Virginia (3%) and Mississippi (4%) are the others.
  • 15 people were injured and 3 were killed in 4 mass shooting events in Kentucky during the 2022 reporting year.
  • The number of mass shooting events in Kentucky decreased by 60% year over year while they increased by 13% nationwide.
  • 41% of Kentuckians use some form of personal protection (US 34%) with firearms leading the way at 19%.
  • 47% of Kentucky residents say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic, which is 3 percentage points higher than the national sentiment.
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality

Kentuckians report the third-highest level of concern about property crime: 55%. Only New Yorkers and Texans are more likely to think they’ll experience property crime (64% and 61%, respectively).

But property crime actually decreased by 7% year over year in Kentucky. This aligns with our survey results; 22% of Kentuckians claimed to have experienced a property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey, down from 32% the last year.

  • Larceny-theft makes up 66% of all property crime in Kentucky, which is lower than the national average of 71% and represents the third-lowest percentage of larceny-theft in the nation.
  • 73% of Kentuckians use some form of property protection (US 60%).
  • Security systems represent the most popular form of property protection among Kentuckians at 35%, but security cameras came in a close second at 33%.
  • 25% of Kentucky residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).

A closer look at the safest cities in Kentucky

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • 104 Kentucky cities met the criteria for ranking this year, and 10 cities are appearing in the top 20 for the first time.
  • 60% of Kentucky’s 20 safest cities climbed 10 or more positions compared to last year’s list. Ludlow rose an astonishing 47 positions to land at number 20.
  • Taylor Mill and Prospect reported 0 violent crimes.
  • Fort Wright was the only safest city to report a murder (1).
  • 5 cities reported no murders, rapes, or robberies: Taylor Mill, Wilmore, Prospect, Paintsville, and Central City.
  • Even though it’s not the most populous city on the list, Erlanger reported the most burglaries and tied with Mount Washington for the most motor vehicle thefts of Kentucky’s 20 safest cities.
  • 60% of Kentucky cities on this year’s list reported 10 or fewer burglaries and 10 or fewer motor vehicle thefts.
Map of state with markers and labels highlighting the cities with the lowest crime rates.

Image: SafeWise

The 20 safest cities in Kentucky

VC=Violent crime
PC=Property crime

Taylor Mill, Kentucky
#1
Taylor Mill
(
+8
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,819
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $68,031
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.0, 0.3, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.3, 6.2, 7.5
Wilmore, Kentucky
#2
Wilmore
(
+14
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,496
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $50,662
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.2, 0.0, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.1, 11.7, 8.7
Prospect, Kentucky
#3
Prospect
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,929
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $145,511
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.0, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    6.9, 9.1, 8.3
Edgewood, Kentucky
#4
Edgewood
(
+7
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,776
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $104,912
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.5, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.4, 6.9, 7.0
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
#5
Fort Thomas
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,273
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $78,972
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.3, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.4, 5.1, 4.2
Flatwoods, Kentucky
#6
Flatwoods
(
-4
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,041
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $49,073
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 0.1, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.7, 3.7, 3.4
Villa Hills, Kentucky
#7
Villa Hills
(
+26
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,478
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $90,929
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.1, 0.8, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.1, 11.1, 5.5
Lakeside Park - Crestview Hills, Kentucky
#8
Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills
(
+19
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,134
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    Unavailable
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.3, 0.5, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.8, 12.1, 23.1
Independence, Kentucky
#9
Independence
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    28,957
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $81,657
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 0.5, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.5, 4.4, 5.5
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
#10
Lawrenceburg
(
+11
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,565
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $50,382
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.3, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.4, 10.7, 12.5
Mount Washington, Kentucky
#11
Mount Washington
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,964
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $69,214
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.5, 0.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.6, 6.9, 8.9
Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
#12
Fort Mitchell
(
+13
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,249
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,745
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.8, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    8.6, 8.5, 7.5
Vine Grove, Kentucky
#13
Vine Grove
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,596
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $62,596
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 0.5, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.6, 7.6, 14.9
Erlanger, Kentucky
#14
Erlanger
(
+4
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    23,441
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $64,460
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.9, 0.7, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.8, 6.7, 8.1
#15
Paintsville
(
+11
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    3,964
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $31,550
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    1.0, 1.0, 2.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.8, 7.7, 6.2
Highland Heights, Kentucky
#16
Highland Heights
(
+8
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,069
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $46,979
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.7, 0.7, 0.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.5, 9.1, 9.3
Alexandria, Kentucky
#17
Alexandria
(
+14
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,861
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $81,159
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 0.7, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    12.4, 11.6, 15.0
Fort Wright, Kentucky
#18
Fort Wright
(
+17
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,752
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $85,794
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 0.7, 1.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    11.5, 12.5, 11.5
Central City, Kentucky
#19
Central City
(
+36
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,703
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $42,400
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.5, 1.6, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    11.6, 15.4, 9.7
Ludlow, Kentucky City Map
#20
Ludlow
(
+47
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    4,499
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $56,393
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.4, 2.0, 2.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    13.3, 17.8, 16.4

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.

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Didn't find your city in the top 20?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.

2022 Rank
City
Population
2022 VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2022 PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
2021 Rank
21Columbia4,6091.72.819
22Bellevue5,6950.513.743
23Greenville4,1741.46.722
24Williamstown3,9071.011.05
25Elsmere8,6181.48.434
26Versailles26,8991.012.638
27Elizabethtown30,5051.49.454
28Cold Spring6,6410.816.432
29Berea16,3111.014.646
30Hillview9,3110.518.436
31Dayton5,6391.411.041
32Madisonville18,4941.510.742
33Harrodsburg8,5531.114.844
34Danville16,8261.016.959
35Southgate4,0392.26.428
36Williamsburg5,2872.54.749
37Shelbyville16,8630.917.956
38Lebanon5,7261.414.364
39Morehead7,6441.316.058
40Benton4,4551.118.281
41Murray19,4991.416.353
42Corbin7,1901.119.657
43Leitchfield6,8801.020.576
44Paris9,6551.715.266
45Middletown7,9100.625.348
46La Grange9,1421.518.051
47Jeffersontown27,7001.025.562
48Monticello5,9661.720.463
49Princeton6,0911.622.273
50Bardstown13,3302.020.268
51Somerset11,6221.821.883
52Georgetown35,7021.822.471
53Radcliff22,9501.724.790
54Richmond36,6911.825.972
55London8,0761.035.987
56Russellville7,1251.531.486
57Franklin9,0722.127.282
58Nicholasville31,1912.127.369
59Campbellsville11,5591.930.093
60Hazard4,7962.326.988
61Pikeville6,5012.327.2108
62Cynthiana6,3293.519.345
63Ashland19,9792.132.198
64Henderson28,1262.926.278
65Shepherdsville12,5672.530.275
66Frankfort27,8032.530.895
67Lancaster3,8732.631.070
68Glasgow14,5372.930.580
69Hopkinsville30,5322.930.596
70Lexington325,8513.228.789
71Maysville8,6953.032.084
72Middlesboro8,9683.230.499
73Covington40,3243.826.0103
74St. Matthews18,1621.347.7101
75Newport14,8743.530.592
76Florence33,3971.646.794
77Owensboro60,4302.738.597
78Scottsville4,5763.927.885
79Winchester18,5702.342.5102
80Mount Sterling7,2681.751.791
81Paducah24,8503.440.0106
82Mayfield9,7913.837.5107
83Bowling Green71,8613.444.5105
84Shively15,7355.032.3100
85Oak Grove7,2995.832.2104
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Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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