These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Kentucky

We used science and data to determine which places in Kentucky are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Kentucky?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Kentucky – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Kentucky cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Bluegrass State:

  1. Stanford (Photos)
  2. Jamestown (Photos)
  3. Irvine (Photos)
  4. Lancaster (Photos)
  5. Richmond (Photos)
  6. Hickman
  7. Morgantown (Photos)
  8. Falmouth (Photos)
  9. Newport (Photos)
  10. Bardstown (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Indian Hills is the happiest place in Kentucky.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.


How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Kentucky

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Kentucky, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Kentucky with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 151 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Kentucky’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.


1. Stanford

Stanford, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,686
People Who Own Their Home: 44.64%
Married Adults: 35.01%

2. Jamestown

Jamestown, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,027
People Who Own Their Home: 41.03%
Married Adults: 31.72%

3. Irvine

Irvine, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,206
People Who Own Their Home: 41.17%
Married Adults: 39.55%

4. Lancaster

Lancaster, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,779
People Who Own Their Home: 47.17%
Married Adults: 44.52%

5. Richmond

Richmond, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,706
People Who Own Their Home: 34.01%
Married Adults: 29.27%

6. Hickman

Hickman, Kentucky

Source: Google Maps

Population: 2,455
People Who Own Their Home: 50.04%
Married Adults: 41.21%

7. Morgantown

Morgantown, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,407
People Who Own Their Home: 36.17%
Married Adults: 31.63%

8. Falmouth

Falmouth, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,278
People Who Own Their Home: 48.35%
Married Adults: 38.64%

9. Newport

Newport, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,467
People Who Own Their Home: 37.32%
Married Adults: 32.95%

10. Bardstown

Bardstown, Kentucky

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,833
People Who Own Their Home: 49.45%
Married Adults: 42.01%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Kentucky reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Kentucky

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Stanford 1 44.64%
Jamestown 2 41.03%
Irvine 3 41.17%
Lancaster 4 47.17%
Richmond 5 34.01%
Hickman 6 50.04%
Morgantown 7 36.17%
Falmouth 8 48.35%
Newport 9 37.32%
Bardstown 10 49.45%
Covington 11 41.48%
Jackson 12 46.97%
Mayfield 13 40.53%
Stanton 14 47.37%
Leitchfield 15 46.09%
Bowling Green 16 35.54%
Barbourville 17 37.28%
Cynthiana 18 41.43%
Murray 19 35.9%
Monticello 20 42.16%
Brandenburg 21 42.9%
Prestonsburg 22 37.84%
Mount Sterling 23 43.18%
Scottsville 24 42.65%
Cumberland 25 45.04%
Hardinsburg 26 55.3%
London 27 35.72%
Cadiz 28 45.94%
Middlesborough 29 47.52%
Hodgenville 30 40.78%
Harrodsburg 31 50.7%
Paris 32 40.83%
Ludlow 33 55.66%
Carrollton 34 40.76%
Dawson Springs 35 53.68%
Greensburg 36 49.0%
Hopkinsville 37 44.93%
Mount Vernon 38 48.43%
Fulton 39 32.2%
Dayton 40 50.51%
Morehead 41 38.24%
Louisa 42 38.92%
Somerset 43 41.75%
Campbellsville 44 49.82%
Crittenden 45 42.73%
Columbia 46 46.4%
Winchester 47 44.76%
Franklin 48 47.1%
Glasgow 49 44.4%
Williamsburg 50 37.63%
Frankfort 51 43.38%
Versailles 52 47.52%
Junction City 53 47.69%
Russellville 54 49.81%
Elkton 55 50.93%
Marion 56 57.68%
Paintsville 57 45.85%
Paducah 58 43.22%
Hazard 59 48.4%
Shively 60 56.4%
Princeton 61 54.5%
Morganfield 62 56.32%
Nicholasville 63 51.55%
Flemingsburg 64 41.5%
Carlisle 65 50.13%
Louisville 66 54.37%
La Grange 67 59.08%
Radcliff 68 40.79%
Beaver Dam 69 47.63%
Corbin 70 48.08%
Sturgis 71 51.07%
Danville 72 49.47%
West Liberty 73 47.99%
Lebanon 74 50.87%
Maysville 75 47.85%
Ashland 76 54.98%
Shelbyville 77 47.6%
Henderson 78 50.68%
Oak Grove 79 26.92%
Berea 80 50.12%
Springfield 81 53.59%
Eddyville 82 53.22%
Raceland 83 63.94%
Grayson 84 38.96%
Elizabethtown 85 45.96%
Highland Heights 86 54.33%
Central City 87 57.86%
Elsmere 88 66.58%
Lyndon 89 39.51%
Southgate 90 54.05%
Pikeville 91 42.54%
Westwood 92 64.31%
Providence 93 51.01%
Shepherdsville 94 57.38%
Fort Campbell North 95 0.33%
Russell 96 62.61%
Brooks 97 84.34%
Hillview 98 71.15%
Bellevue 99 62.99%
Erlanger 100 65.5%
Greenville 101 55.98%
Florence 102 46.82%
Crescent Springs 103 45.37%
Madisonville 104 53.04%
Hartford 105 64.74%
Farley 106 62.93%
Lawrenceburg 107 60.65%
Park Hills 108 49.86%
Simpsonville 109 65.52%
Owensboro 110 51.91%
Fort Knox 111 0.63%
Flatwoods 112 61.13%
Walton 113 59.76%
Georgetown 114 59.91%
Williamstown 115 61.46%
Claryville 116 80.09%
Buckner 117 81.1%
Wilmore 118 51.03%
Reidland 119 76.25%
Benton 120 64.59%
Wilder 121 61.88%
Mount Washington 122 79.52%
Jeffersontown 123 59.67%
Vine Grove 124 71.05%
Taylor Mill 125 68.76%
Fort Mitchell 126 50.55%
Hebron 127 77.73%
Independence 128 73.03%
Lakeside Park 129 63.2%
Douglass Hills 130 64.08%
Calvert City 131 59.22%
Alexandria 132 81.05%
Villa Hills 133 83.58%
Hendron 134 71.86%
Burlington 135 71.09%
Middletown 136 71.06%
Crestwood 137 67.81%
Fort Thomas 138 64.63%
Francisville 139 83.06%
Oakbrook 140 81.88%
Graymoor-Devondale 141 71.4%
Fort Wright 142 62.98%
Union 143 87.04%
Anchorage 144 83.07%
Prospect 145 87.13%
Crestview Hills 146 67.99%
Massac 147 57.38%
Edgewood 148 86.57%
Cold Spring 149 82.95%
Hurstbourne 150 71.98%
Indian Hills 151 94.73%

8 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Kentucky

  1. Really? You based this story on such ridiculous criteria? I don’t have a college degree, I drive 2.5 miles to work to a job I’ve had for 22 years (some days it takes a full 10 minutes to get there), the last time I was stuck in traffic in Stanford was waiting on the left turn arrow at the 27/150 intersection. It took about 1 1/2 minutes. Let me tell you….I was stressed. I am happily married, own my home and have never thought the cost of living in Stanford was considered high. This is just another pathetic college boy attempt to show the world how miserable us country folks are. Let me tell ya a secret….. I for one am very happy. I can sit on my front porch with my big ‘ol glass of sweet tea and look at the beautiful country side. I live in a very nice home (indoor plumbing and everything) and consider myself stable ( financially & mentally). So college boy….. why don’t ya come on down here and sit on the porch with us or maybe pitch a game of cornhole. We’ll play fetch with the dog and when we’re tired we’ll go in the house and turn on our satellite T.V. or maybe even get on the internet with our smart phone. When it’s bedtime we will lay down with a full belly (cuz we got a job and can afford some pretty good grub) and a full heart (cuz we know how blessed we are and we know how to say thank you God). And speaking of blessed…… you know this country girl gotta say…. Well Nick….. Bless Your Heart.

  2. I immediately see a major flaw in your research. I live in Richmond and know that most of the residents don’t own their home and are unmarried due to being college students. I would assume this also affects salary. Maybe you should take that variable into consideration when posting “researched” statistics. Richmond is a known college town.

  3. Irvine is at the bottom of the list for anything for our young people to do! Have to drive to towns around us for kids to b able to swim , skate, go c a movie anything! Why not spend some money for our young people! Maybe it would cut down on the drug problem ! They have nothing to do with their free time unless u travel to nearby towns! Why spend our money in other towns when we could do it here. More jobs too! It’s a win win situation. Wake up!

    1. I agree with what you said about the kids not having anything to do. However happiness is not where you live it is what is in your heart. I’m not trying to be philosophical I’m just saying the things that they used to rate miserable are not accurate. Sure, it would be better if I didn’t have to drive 50 to 60 miles a day (one way) to work, but I have done it for years. It is what it is. It doesn’t effect my happiness. Happiness comes from inside. Family and loved ones. I would apologize for this but I won’t..No God, No happiness….Know God, Know happiness….NO matter where you live.

  4. I was born and raised in Henderson, spent 7 years living in Richmond, 2 in Berea, 1 in Morganfield, 2 in Poole, and currently live in Smyrna TN now. Based on all of those years, and comparing it to were I live now….
    I have to say that you are absolutely RIGHT when you say Richmond is a MISERABLE place to live. The sorry excuse of a school system, SCHOOL BUS system, overall cost of living (rent) for a small townhome……. College kid drama…. massage parlors on every other corner..
    Henderson would have been second on my list. People born there typically dont leave there… and they are always LAST to get things. If I remember right, there was like a 10 year period that the city really didnt have anything to do except bowl, skate, or go to a bar. The movie theater had closed… and turned into a church. They didn’t even get a super walmart until late in the 2000’s. I think it was 2009 or something like that.

    Honestly… Berea wasn’t that bad. Poole was small and quiet but too far away from town….Morganfield was fun while it lasted… but once again… small drawback being it was far away from the bigger cities…..

    But seriously…. The criteria for this list should change slightly…. it should be based on home prices, commute, school system, and ENTERTAINMENT….. unless people just dont go out anymore… they live, eat, and breathe facebook, twitter and the like.

  5. College was the biggest waste of time in my entire life. So was marriage. I now live in the country and I’m happy living in one of the 10 worst towns in Kentucky.

  6. I’m perfectly happy in my little town of Irvine. Oh, by the way, I have a college degree, that is not the key to my happiness. I have a job that it takes five minutes to get to and that isn’t the key to my happiness. Neither does my marital status, or any of that other garbage used as criteria. I’ve traveled, lived in other cities and other countries and I’d rather be here than anywhere else, well except Hawaii. It’s warm year round there. My point is all that criteria is superficial. People need to learn to be thankful and gracious for what they do have. Who cares if you own your own home, it doesn’t make you who you are. If you’re miserable, it’s no one’s fault but your own, so stop judging the places we call home just because it has no appeal to your taste.

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