The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Kentucky’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Kentucky for 2021
3. West Liberty
6. Pioneer Village
7. Fort Thomas
9. Taylor Mill
10. Indian Hills
See if your city made the full list.
The Bluegrass State is home to rolling hills, The Kentucky Derby, and the lowest crime rates in the East South Central region. And while 53% of residents who call Kentucky home feel safe there, concerns are high when it comes to property crime and package theft.
We saw a 33% rise in levels of high concern from Kentuckians from last year’s 40% to this year’s 53%. Kentucky is also the third-most concerned state in the nation when it comes to property crime.
2021 Kentucky crime rates
The good news for Kentucky residents is the state shows the lower property and violent crime rates than the rest of the region and the nation overall. On average, Kentucky saw half the crime as neighboring states and 1.5 fewer incidents than the rest of the country.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Kentucky
We saw a significant rise in daily concern over the last year from Kentuckians. Kentucky residents also show a big divide when it comes to their expectations of crime. According to our survey, 78% said crime rates were increasing while 1% said crime was decreasing (respective national averages are 66% and 8%).
Property crime was Kentucky’s biggest concern over the last year. But the number of respondents who experienced it firsthand in the last year dropped by 10%. Violent crime also decreased, but we did see an increase in gun violence reports.
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 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality
Although there was a slight increase in Kentucky’s violent crime, the rate in Kentucky sits safely below the national and regional average.
- Providence, Kentucky’s safest city, saw 0 violent crimes in the last year.
- All twenty of Kentucky’s safest cities had a murder rate of 0.
- The Bluegrass State saw under 10,000 violent crimes in the last year, less than 1% of the nation’s violent crime.
- Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in Kentucky over the last year, accounting for 60% of violent crimes.
- Rape accounted for a higher percentage of violent crime among the safest cities. Rape made up 32% of the violent crimes in the safest cities vs. 16% of violent crime statewide.
- 41% of Kentuckians carry some form of protection compared to 34% nationally.
- 47% of Kentucky residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- When it comes to police violence, 47% of Kentuckians are concerned daily.
- 54% of Kentucky residents say they have confidence in law enforcement.
- According to the Gun Violence Archive, there was a rise in the last year of mass shootings (5 to 10) and officer-involved incidents (34 to 48) in Kentucky.
Property crime in Kentucky: Fear vs. reality
Many Kentucky residents feel crime is increasing, and property crime is a main concern in The Bluegrass State. But over the last year, the state saw a slight drop in property crime. The property crime rate in Kentucky is still significantly lower than the rest of the region and the nation.
- Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in Kentucky over the last year. It accounted for 72% of property crime in the safest cities and 70% of property crime statewide.
- West Liberty had the lowest property crime rate of the safest cities (0.8 compared to the 6.7 average) with only 3 incidents in the last year.
- A high percentage (73%) of Kentuckians use some kind of protection for their home (US 62%). Security systems lead the way as the favorite method at 35% with security cams close behind at 33%.
- 25% of Kentucky residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic.
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.
- There were 8 new cities added to our list this year, including our number 1 city, Providence.
- Columbia, last year’s number 2, dropped 17 spots to number 19 this year. Its violent crime rate jumped from 2.6 to 5.6 last year.
- The most improved this year is a three-way tie. Stanford, Mount Washington, and Vine Grove all moved up 6 spots this year.
- Taylor Mill and Wilmore are the only cities to hold their same places from last year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
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. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
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 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
|27||Lakeside Park-Crestview Hills||6.05K||0.5||12.1|
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: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.