The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Kentucky’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Kentucky for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
Kentucky’s violent crime rate falls below the national and regional averages and is among the lowest in the country, but The Bluegrass State saw an 18% increase in violent crime year over year. Property crime decreased during the same period, but Kentuckians worry about property crime more than the average American.
In this report
2022 Kentucky crime rates
Kentucky’s violent crime rate of 2.6 is the lowest in its region (which includes Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and the tenth-lowest in the nation. Kentucky also boasts a property crime rate that’s lower than the national and regional averages.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Kentucky
According to our latest State of Safety survey, 78% of Kentuckians believe crime is increasing. That’s the third-highest percentage in the nation and eight percentage points higher than the previous year’s survey results. On the flip side, 1% of Kentucky residents think crime is decreasing, which represents the lowest percentage nationwide.
That perception doesn’t perfectly align with our Kentucky survey respondents’ personal experiences. Compared to the previous year’s survey results, Kentuckians claimed to have experienced less violent crime and property crime year over year, but their gun violence experience rose from 3% to 7%.
53% of Kentuckians feel safe in their state, which is lower than the national average of 55%.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Kentucky
We asked Kentucky residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Kentuckians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality
According to our State of Safety survey, 48% of Kentuckians feel concerned about violent crime—above the national average of 41%. However, Kentucky residents reportedly experienced violent crime at a lower rate: 9%. That’s two percentage points lower than the previous year’s survey results.
Kentucky respondents noted an increase in gun violence experiences year over year (from 3% to 7%), even though mass shootings in the state declined by 60%.
Violent crime in Kentucky increased by 18% compared to the previous reporting year, which is the fourth-largest increase nationwide.
- Violent crime accounts for 13% of all crime in Kentucky, which is lower than the national average of 17%. However, robberies, rapes, and murders make up a larger percentage of Kentucky’s violent crimes than the national average.
- Kentucky is 1 of just 3 states where murder and nonnegligent manslaughter represents 3% or more of all violent crime in the state. Virginia (3%) and Mississippi (4%) are the others.
- 15 people were injured and 3 were killed in 4 mass shooting events in Kentucky during the 2022 reporting year.
- The number of mass shooting events in Kentucky decreased by 60% year over year while they increased by 13% nationwide.
- 41% of Kentuckians use some form of personal protection (US 34%) with firearms leading the way at 19%.
- 47% of Kentucky residents say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic, which is 3 percentage points higher than the national sentiment.
Property crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality
Kentuckians report the third-highest level of concern about property crime: 55%. Only New Yorkers and Texans are more likely to think they’ll experience property crime (64% and 61%, respectively).
But property crime actually decreased by 7% year over year in Kentucky. This aligns with our survey results; 22% of Kentuckians claimed to have experienced a property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey, down from 32% the last year.
- Larceny-theft makes up 66% of all property crime in Kentucky, which is lower than the national average of 71% and represents the third-lowest percentage of larceny-theft in the nation.
- 73% of Kentuckians use some form of property protection (US 60%).
- Security systems represent the most popular form of property protection among Kentuckians at 35%, but security cameras came in a close second at 33%.
- 25% of Kentucky residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
A closer look at the safest cities in Kentucky
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 104 Kentucky cities met the criteria for ranking this year, and 10 cities are appearing in the top 20 for the first time.
- 60% of Kentucky’s 20 safest cities climbed 10 or more positions compared to last year’s list. Ludlow rose an astonishing 47 positions to land at number 20.
- Taylor Mill and Prospect reported 0 violent crimes.
- Fort Wright was the only safest city to report a murder (1).
- 5 cities reported no murders, rapes, or robberies: Taylor Mill, Wilmore, Prospect, Paintsville, and Central City.
- Even though it’s not the most populous city on the list, Erlanger reported the most burglaries and tied with Mount Washington for the most motor vehicle thefts of Kentucky’s 20 safest cities.
- 60% of Kentucky cities on this year’s list reported 10 or fewer burglaries and 10 or fewer motor vehicle thefts.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.