Spawning from six different Native American cultures, it’s very fitting that the name Kentucky came from the Iroquois word “Ken-tah-ten,” meaning “Land of Tomorrow.” The state has a very diverse landscape, ranging from mountains and caves to farmland and commercial forests - which make up 50% of the state’s area. The entire northern border of the state is defined by the curves of the Ohio River and is where the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains sits. Along the southern border, you’ll find a plethora of caves that appeal to spelunkers of every skill level. This “Bluegrass State” is also famous for its musical heritage - a complex blend of Irish folk music, blues, and jazz. It’s home to a large amount of whiskey distilleries and over 850,000 farms. The Kentucky Derby, an annual world-famous horse race, is part of the inspiration for the state’s slogan, “Unbridled Spirit.”
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
1. FORT THOMAS
The city of Fort Thomas is nestled along the Ohio River on the northern border of Kentucky, adjacent to Cincinnati. Their downtown has recently been renovated creating a booming business district. It’s a testament to the culture of the city, with cafes, bakeries, boutiques, barber shops, and breweries situated in a long row of colonial brick buildings. They call themselves the “City of Beautiful Homes” - confirmed as one wanders down the streets of stunning architecture and manicured lawns. It’s home to the Highland Country Club and the Midwest’s oldest invitational golf tournament, The Highlander. Last year only 3 violent crimes and 125 property crimes were reported. It’s a comfortable place to live and raise a family as their high school ranks in the top 550 for academics, and 2nd in the state for football wins.
About 15 miles south of Cincinnati lies Independence. It’s a well-designed suburb with a population of 26,773 within 16.8 square miles. It’s gone through a few name changes, from Everett’s Creek to Crews Creek to Bagby and finally Independence after its liberation from nearby Campbell County. It’s home to 9 top-rated schools and 8 beautiful parks. There’s an amphitheater that hosts events for the community including movies at dusk and puppet shows for children. The city also hosts annual Easter Egg Hunts, 4th of July Celebrations, and Christmas Walks along with community fitness classes that promote health and wellness. It reported 11 violent crimes, 0.41/1,000 people, and 193 property crimes, 7.21/1,000 people.
Lawrenceburg is a quaint and historic community located in the heart of Kentucky. Stately colonial homes border its downtown that’s splashed with brightly-colored specialty shops, restaurants rich in culinary creativity and fine cigar shops. This mostly-rural community has quick access to Lexington and Louisville, making it easy to maintain the small-town feel while being able to enjoy the conveniences of a big city. Raising Sons Home Farm Winery, winner of Kentucky’s best dry red Commissioner's Cup award, is in good company with the Four Roses distillery (around since 1888) and Wild Turkey bourbon distillery. Every year they host a Ghost Walk, Summer Fest, family movie nights, and the skate park always keeps kids of all ages occupied. Last year, there were only 3 reported violent crimes and 92 property crimes.
4. HIGHLAND HEIGHTS
With little neighborhoods tucked in the rolling hills, Highland Heights is a suburb of Cincinnati that’s a great place for raising a family. It’s close to the convenience of big cities but maintains a certain level of small-town charm and security. Their motto is “Growth Through Progress” which is reflective of their efforts toward making their city active and innovative. The community hosts a Cruise-In & Dance - classic cars, food, and music. They also host a yearly Easter Egg Hunt and Lunch with Santa. There were only 2 reported violent crimes and 67 property crimes.
Just south of Cincinnati and a few miles from Highland Heights, Edgewood is comprised of neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs that are tucked along ridgelines of hills in the northern part of Kentucky. It’s a more affluent area, with beautiful homes and tree-lined streets, a median family income of over $80,000, and 1.5% of its population below the poverty line. Clearly designed to be family-friendly, there are parks and play areas sprinkled throughout. Presidents Park is a huge, 20-acre park that offers sports fields and hiking trails while Freedom Park offers volleyball, soccer, and baseball facilities. St. Elizabeth Hospital - one of the top 50 best hospitals in the U.S. - is also found here. There’s no shortage of things to do: snow tubing in the winter, mystery dinners, open acoustic music jams, free fitness classes, and much more - to say that their Parks & Recreation department is active would be an understatement. With schools rating 9/10, this city is a great place to live. It’s also one of the safest cities in the state, with 3 reported violent crimes and 81 property crimes, 9.23/1,000 people.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Kentucky, 2017
1. Fort Thomas
11. Central City
12. Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills
4. Highland Heights
16. La Grange
7. Taylor Mill
47. Oak Grove
8. Fort Mitchell
28. Fort Wright
9. Mount Washington
19. Cold Spring
10. Vine Grove
To identify the safest cities in Kentucky, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.