30 Safest Affordable Towns in Kentucky 2020

Kentucky’s big cities are a mess, at least when it comes to crime. The capital city, Frankfort, boasts a crime rate that is 35% higher than the national average. Frankforters have a 1 in 27 chance of falling victim to any crime. Lexington, famous for its multi-million dollar horse farms, isn’t much better. Its crime rate is 51% higher than the national average. Worst of all is Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, where crime is a whopping 74% higher than the national average, and where residents have a mere 1 in 21 chance of experiencing a crime.

With numbers like these, it’s no wonder Kentuckians are on the search for safe and affordable small towns in other parts of the Bluegrass State. That’s why we went on the search for the places that were not only most affordable, but where people could live without fear of falling victim to a crime.

Methodology:
To come up with our list of the 30 safest affordable towns in Kentucky, we consulted Sperling’s Best Places to figure out which Kentucky cities and towns have the lowest amount of crime. Because it is often the case that the safest places are the most expensive, we limited our search, and ultimately our list, to only those places with a median home price under $200,000 (the median home price for the state is currently $148,000). We also limited our search to towns with populations of at least 2,000 people, as accurate city-specific information is not as widely available for smaller towns. Finally, we considered both violent crime (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, and forcible rape) and petty crime (burglary, theft, vehicle theft, and property crime).

1. (tie) Horse Cave


97% lower than the national average
Home to approximately 2,300 residents, the small town of Horse Cave is most famous for the titular cave that has attracted curious folks since the 1860s. Horse Cave is a convenient halfway point between Louisville and Nashville, and as it boasts attractions such as cave tours, one of the last remaining Wigwam Motels, and the Australian-themed Kentucky Down Under Adventure zoo, it’s a popular tourism center. According to the most recent records, Horse Cave is also Kentucky’s safest affordable town. Crime in Horse Cave is a whopping 97% lower than the national average. Citizens have a mere 1 in 1,187 chance of falling victim to any crime, which is statistically limited to just 84 crimes per 100,000 people. This is good news for those who live in and visit the town.

1. (tie) Junction City


97% lower than the national average
Once a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad line, Junction City is today a small town of about 2,300 people. It’s also tied for the second safest affordable town in Kentucky. Crime in Junction City is 97% lower than the national average, and residents have a slim 1 in 1,155 chance of becoming victim to any crime. In fact, only two crimes were reported last year, both non-violent burglaries.

1. (tie) Tompkinsville


97% lower than the national average
Tompkinsville, Kentucky is a small town of about 2,100 full-time residents. Though it isn’t the most glamorous address in Monroe County, it is the safest. Plus, it has an interesting history as the site of one of the first Civil War battles to take place on Kentucky soil. Those living in Tompkinsville have a 1 in 1,131 chance of falling victim to any crime, and the number of crimes reported here daily average a minuscule .24 per 100,000. Two crimes were reported in Tompkinsville last year, one assault and one burglary.

4. Whitesburg


96% lower than the national average
Whitesburg is a small town of 2,200 people located only a few miles from the border with West Virginia, in the Appalachians. In the last year, a grand total of two crimes were reported here, both of which were non-violent (one instance of theft and one vehicle theft). This means residents of Whitesburg have a mere 1 in 975 chance of becoming the victim of a crime, making the city far safer than the rest of the state and country.

5. Hartford


90% lower than the national average
Once a college town, now the county seat of Kentucky’s Ohio County, Hartford is home to nearly 2,300 people. Though crime has increased in Hartford by 29% in the last year, it still remains safer than 96% of cities in the United States. This gives Hartford residents a mere 1 in 349 change of becoming victim to any crime at any given time. Of the eight reported crimes last year, all were instances of petty theft or vehicle theft.

6. West Liberty


87% lower than the national average
Located on the banks of the Licking River in Morgan County in western Kentucky, the small town of West Liberty ranks as the sixth safest affordable town in Kentucky. Residents of West Liberty have a 1 in 283 chance of falling victim to any crime. In the last year, only 1 violent crime was reported, an incident of assault. Of the 11 reported property crimes, there were four burglaries, four thefts, and three vehicle thefts.

7. (tie) Columbia


85% lower than the national average
Columbia’s overall crime rate is lower than 85% of the United States. It currently boasts a rate of 1.16 daily crimes per 100,000 people. This means that Columbia residents have a 1 in 236 chance of falling victim to a crime. Of the 21 crimes reported last year, all but four were cases of property crime (the most common being theft).

7. (tie) Raceland


85% lower than the national average
Raceland, a small town of approximately 2,800, is located in Greenup County, near the borders of both Ohio and West Virginia. Ranked 7th on our list of the safest affordable towns in Kentucky, Raceland has a crime rate that is an impressive 85% lower than the national average. There are 1.15 daily crimes per 100,000 people in Raceland, which means residents have only a 1 in 239 change of falling victim to any crime. Of the 10 reported crimes last year, only one was violent (a rape), while the others were petty theft (six reported cases), vehicle theft (two reported cases), and burglary (one case).

9. Carlisle


84% lower than the national average
Carlisle is located in Nicholas County, about halfway between the bigger cities of Louisville and Maysville. In the past year, nine total crimes were reported, the vast majority of them being instances of petty theft. Happily, there were no violent crimes reported in Carlisle last year. According to these statistics, Carlisle residents have a 1 in 222 chance of falling victim to any crime.

10. Morganfield


83% lower than the national average
Home to just under 36,00 people, Morganfield boasts a median home value of $84,900, and a crime rate 83% lower than the national average. Only 1.32 daily crimes occur per 100,000 people in Morganfield, and residents have a 1 in 209 chance of falling victim to a crime. In the past year, two violent crimes have been reported, both of which were murders. Petty theft is the most common crime in Morganfield, with seven incidents having been reported.

11. Flatwoods


81% lower than the national average
Located in Greenup County, the town of Flatwoods is home to approximately 7,300 people. A true family-friendly small town, Flatwoods is known as a bedroom community for nearby Ashland. It’s also known for its impressively low crime rate. Residents of Flatwoods have a slim 1 in 192 chance of falling victim to a crime. Of the 38 total incidents reported last year, only four were violent crimes (three assaults and one rape). Most interesting is the fact that Flatwoods’ overall crime rate actually increased by 103%! Whether that is the beginning of a new trend, or a mere anomaly remains to be seen.

12. Springfield


79% lower than the national average
Located in Washington County in central Kentucky, Springfield boasts the interesting nickname “Hollywood South.” This is because the state offers the most generous tax credit in the country, and Springfield is the site of Kentucky’s first and only sound stage. Home to approximately 3,000 people, Springfield crime rate currently averages 1.56 daily crimes per 100,000 people, meaning Springfield residents have a 1 in 176 chance of falling victim to a crime at any given time.

13. Independence


77% lower than the national average
Despite being Kentucky’s 13th largest city, Independence remains one of the Bluegrass State’s safest affordable places to live. Of the 174 reported incidents of the last year, 25 were violent crimes. The vast majority were cases were non-violent theft. Independence residents have a 1 in 158 chance of falling victim to a crime. Also worth noting that the number of total year-over-year crimes in Hughson has decreased by 17% — great news for residents!

14. (tie) Greenville


74% lower than the national average
Greenville is the county seat of Muhlenberg County. Once considered the unofficial capital of the Black Belt (the coal industry), Greenville today is best known as the home of the Muhlenberg County Rail Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly path that follows the old Paducah and Louisville railway route, and sites like Veterans Plaza, which was built to honor American lives lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Greenville’s overall crime rate is 74% lower than the national average, which makes it safer than 88% of U.S. cities. Specifically, there are 1.95 daily crimes per 100,000 people in Greenville, and residents have a slim 1 in 141 chance of falling victim to any crime. The most common crimes in Greenville are petty theft (16 reported in the last year) and non-violent burglary (eight reported in the last year).

14. (tie) Southgate


74% lower than the national average
Southgate, a suburb of Cincinnati, can certainly be considered one of Kentucky’s most affordable, safest, and most family friendly places to live. The overall crime rate in Southgate is 74% lower than the national average. This makes the town safer than 85% of cities in the United States and 74% of cities in Kentucky. Southgate residents have a 1 in 138 chance of falling victim to any crime, a 1 in 155 chance of falling victim to a property crime, and a 1 in 1,286 chance of falling victim to a violent crime. In the last year, 25 property crimes were reported, the most common being petty theft. In the same time period, three violent crimes were reported, two robberies and one assault.

16. Hardinsburg


72% lower than the national average
Located in Breckinridge County, the small town of Hardinsburg is home to approximately 2,200 people. According to last year’s data, Hardinsburg is safer than 88% of cities in the United States. Violent crime is practically non-existent here, as only one assault was reported in the last year. Residents have a 1 in 130 chance of falling victim to a crime, and current rates estimate 2.12 daily crimes per 100,000 people.

17. Owingsville


70% lower than the national average
Another western Kentucky town to make our list of the safest affordable towns in Kentucky is Owingsville. Owingsville is considered safer than 85% of cities in the United States. This is despite a year-over-year crime comparison that reveals crime has actually increased by 62%. Of course, this isn’t quite as scary as it may initially sound. In the past year, only one violent crime was reported in this town of 1,900 people, and that was a case of assault. Of the 12 reported property crimes, five were cases of theft, four were burglaries, and three were cases of vehicle theft.

18. Providence


68% lower than the national average
Approximately 3,100 people call Providence home. A small town through and through, Providence boasts a crime rate which is 68% lower than the national average. There are 2.4 daily crimes per 100,000 people in Providence, which means residents have only a 1 in 115 change of falling victim to any crime. There were no violent crimes reported in Providence last year, but there were 27 non-violent crimes which are known to have taken place. Of these, 17 were cases of theft, eight were burglaries, and two were instances of vehicle theft.

19. Highland Heights


67% lower than the national average
Considered a suburb of Cincinnati, the city of Highland Heights boasts a population of nearly 7,100 residents. Highland Heights’s overall crime rate comes in at an impressive 67% lower than the national average, and averages 2.48 daily crimes per 100,000 people. Residents have a 1 in 111 chance of falling victim to a crime, though Highland Heights’s crime rate has decreased by 5% in the last year, and is expected to continue falling.

20. Irvine


66% lower than the national average
About 2,300 people live in Irvine, a small town located on the Kentucky River. It’s well known for its Mountain Mushroom Festival. Irvine’s overall crime rate is 66% lower than the national average. This means Irvine residents have a 1 in 109 chance of falling victim to any crime, a 1 in 133 chance of falling victim to a property crime, and a 1 in 597 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.

21. Taylor Mill


61% lower than the national average
Home to approximately 6,700 people, Taylor Mill is located in the northernmost part of the state in Kenton County. There are 2.91 daily crimes that occur in Taylor Mill per 100,000 people. In other words, Taylor Mill residents have a 1 in 95 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. In the last year, the city has reported 72 crimes, all but three of which have been non-violent property crimes.

22. (tie) Mount Vernon


60% lower than the national average
A small town in the greater Richmond-Berea metropolitan area in eastern Kentucky, Mount Vernon is home to approximately 2,800 people. Mount Vernon boasts an overall crime rate that is 60% lower than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 92 chance of becoming the victim of a crime, the most common of which is non-violent burglary. Fourteen burglaries were reported last year, along with six thefts, six vehicle thefts, and one violent robbery.

22. (tie) Stanford

60% lower than the national average
Founded in 1775, the town of Stanford is one of the oldest settlements in all of Kentucky. The picturesque town of approximately 3,700 people is located in central Kentucky, in the greater Danville metropolitan area. Stanford’s impressively low crime rate makes it safer than 82% of cities in the U.S. People who live here have a slim 1 in 92 chance of falling victim to a crime. Of the 40 total incidents reported last year, only two were violent crimes (one rape and one robbery).

22. (tie) Vine Grove


60% lower than the national average
Located in the shadows of Elizabethtown in Hardin County, Vine Grove is a small town of approximately 5,700 people. Vine Grove’s current crime rate is 60% lower than the national average, which makes it safer than 86% of the cities in the U.S. The most common property crime in Vine Grove is petty theft, and residents have a 1 in 91 chance of falling victim. There were no violent crimes reported in Vine Grove last year.

25. (tie) Brandenburg


57% lower than the national average
Though it’s located only 46 miles southwest of Louisville, Brandenburg couldn’t be any more different than its larger neighbor. For starters, this small riverfront town is pretty quiet, and boasts a crime rate that makes it safer than 80% of cities in America. In the past year, 34 total crimes were reported. Of these, only two were violent crimes, both rapes. The other 32 reported crimes were non-violent property crimes. Brandenburg residents have a 1 in 86 chance of falling victim to any crime.

25. (tie) Lawrenceburg


57% lower than the national average
Lawrenceburg is a city of approximately 11,100 people. Located in Anderson County, Lawrenceburg is considered part of the Frankfort metropolitan area. Arguably, Lawrenceburg is most famous as the home of two major bourbon distilleries: Four Roses and Wild Turkey. Residents of Lawrenceburg have a 1 in 85 chance of falling victim to any crime, 1 in 91 chance of falling victim to a property crime, and a slim 1 in 1,246 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.

27. Central City


55% lower than the national average
Central City is a town of 5,900 people located in Muhlenberg County in western Kentucky. The town’s biggest claim to fame may be that it’s the hometown of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers. Indeed, Labor Day weekend in Central City is better known as The Everly Brothers Homecoming Cruise-In. In terms of crime, Central City is safer than 70% of cities in Kentucky, and 83% of cities in the country. Residents’ chance of falling victim to a violent crime in Monrovia is 1 in 5,837. Last year, only one violent crime was reported (an assault).

28. Eddyville


52% lower than the national average
Located within easy access of Lake Barkley, a popular destination for Kentuckians and other Midwesterners, the town of Eddyville boasts a crime rate that is 52% lower than the national average. This means Eddyville is safer than a whopping 82% of towns in America. Based on the number of reported crimes in the last year (34, none of which were violent crimes), Eddyville residents have a 1 in 76 chance of falling victim to any crime.

29. Beaver Dam


51% lower than the national average
Located in Ohio County in eastern Kentucky, the small town of Beaver Dam ranks as the 29th safest affordable town in the Bluegrass State. Residents of Beaver Dam have a 1 in 75 chance of falling victim to any crime. In the last year, only six violent crimes were reported, five of which were incidents of assault. Of the 43 reported property crimes, 34 were cases of theft.

30. Louisa


50% lower than the national average
Yet another small town in eastern Kentucky to make our list of the safest affordable places to live is Louisa. Home to approximately 2,700 people, Louisa is perhaps most famous as the home of “the bridge from Louisa to Fort Gay.” This unique quarter-mile bridge spans two forks of the Big Sandy River, connects two states, and has at its center a right turn complete with a traffic light! Louisa also boasts a crime rate that is 50% lower than the national average. This makes Louisa safer than 66% of cities in the United States. Crime here decreased 25% in the last year, and Louisa residents have a mere 1 in 73 chance of falling victim to any crime, and an even slimmer 1 in 619 chance of falling victim to a violent crime.