Most Americans have never been to Kentucky. However, as the people who live there know, Kentucky is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Kentucky has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Bluegrass State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 149 of Kentucky’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Kentucky where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Kentucky for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Pine Knot is the worst small town to live in Kentucky.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Kentucky has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Kentucky, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Kentucky for 2019
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 149 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $81,100 (52nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (19th worst)
More on Pine Knot: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $74,600 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.4% (3rd worst)
More on Brodhead: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $70,000 (28th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (36th worst)
More on Salyersville: Data
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $83,100 (61st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (47th worst)
More on Russell Springs: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $50,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (30th worst)
More on Vanceburg: Data
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Kentucky
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Bluegrass State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Kentucky, according to science:
- St. Regis Park (Pop. 1,346)
- Audubon Park (Pop. 1,428)
- Hurstbourne (Pop. 4,365)
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Kentucky
- 10 Safest Places In Kentucky
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Kentucky
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Kentucky
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Kentucky
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