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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 147 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 2020? According to the most recent census data, Jenkins 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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Kentucky For 2020
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $84,700 (58th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.5% (17th worst)
More on Pine Knot: Data
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 16)
Median Home Value: $77,100 (35th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (27th worst)
More on Burkesville: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $76,500 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 28.3% (1st worst)
More on Brodhead: Data
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $86,800 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.5% (4th worst)
More on Mckee: Data
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $52,200 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (14th worst)
More on Clay City: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $82,800 (50th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (69th worst)
More on Russell Springs: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $54,300 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (40th worst)
More on Vanceburg: Data
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $61,900 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (89th worst)
More on Whitley City: Data
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 2020
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 2014-2018 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 - 147 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.
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:
- Hurstbourne (Pop. 4,383)
- Lakeside Park (Pop. 2,749)
- Audubon Park (Pop. 1,352)
For more Kentucky reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Kentucky
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