Is Lexington, KY A Good Place To Live?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Lexington, KY, is in Fayette County in the Bluegrass Region of the state. The city has a lot to offer, but what exactly is it that makes Lexington, KY a good place to live?

Lexington, KY, is a great place to live thanks to a great housing market, low cost of living, strong job market, and varied transportation options. However, Lexington does have humidity issues, terrible pollution, and you need to be aware of the increased risk for tornadoes. Lexington also has a poor education system, although there are plenty of schools.

There is no better place to enjoy the hustling pace of city life or the scenic beauty of the countryside than Lexington, Kentucky. There are many people who love living here, but what’s great for one person may not be great for another. Let’s discuss this in detail, so you can decide whether you think it’s an excellent place to live or not.

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Lexington Residents

With a population of 324k people in 2018, Lexington-Fayette, KY, had a median age of 34.9 and a median household income of $54,896. The population of Lexington-Fayette, KY increased from 321,959 to 323,780 between 2017 and 2018, a 0.566% increase. Its median household income decreased from $56,137 to $54,896, a -2.21% decrease.

Kentucky has a large population of White non-Hispanic individuals, with about 70% White non-Hispanic and about 15% African-American, plus other races including Asian, Hispanic, and mixed. More than 93% of residents are citizens of the United States, and 0% speak another language as their primary language.

Why Is Lexington, KY A Good Place To Live?

Aside from being surrounded by fantastic countryside, Lexington is also one of the most affordable cities in the country. The housing costs are lower than their US counterparts, and the economy is doing well.

In addition to its many independently owned restaurants, Lexington is becoming one of the most popular dining destinations in the country. Its breweries, famous Kentucky bourbon, boutique shopping, and exciting recreation all add to the city, making it an ideal place to live.

1. Great Housing Market Makes Lexington, KY A Good Place To Live

Homeownership is the most common form of housing in Lexington. The median home value stands at $185,000 as of July 2019, and that this value is expected to increase by approximately 2.8% in the next year.

However, if you prefer to rent, as 41% of the Lexington population does, the median price per month for a rental here is $920. There are some cheap places to live in Lexington, including Jamestown, Twin Oaks, Southeastern Hills, and Kenawood-Rockwood.

2. Low Cost Of Living

As compared to the average American city, Lexington has an affordable cost of living. Compared with other national cities, Lexington has a cost of living index (average 100) of 95/100, which is 5% less than the national average. The average price of housing in the state is 7% lower than that in the United States.

As for the cost of healthcare, groceries, and utilities, those will also be more affordable. For transportation, the cost will be just 1% above the US average.

To pay for the estimated $6,400 a month needed to cover housing, food, childcare, transportation, health care, taxes, and other expenses for a family of four living in Lexington, a household needs to earn approximately $76,700 a year. With Lexington’s median income of $48,700, both parents will need to work in order to pay for these expenses comfortably.

3. The Weather Is Great

As one of the most comfortable cities in Kentucky, Lexington’s climate has a comfort index of 7.3/10. Generally, there is plenty of sunshine in Cincinnati, although it does rain a lot – about 46 inches annually. Despite being rainy and humid during the summer months, July is the month with the most rainfall.

However, temperatures rarely go higher than the average annual high of 86 degrees F. Summer is warmest between July and August, while winter is coldest between December and January. The average winter temperature in Lexington reaches 24 degrees, and the city receives an average of 13 inches of snow annually, with the most snow falling in February.

4. Good Economy & Job Market Make Lexington, KY A Good Place To Live

With an unemployment rate of 3.3%, Lexington has an unemployment rate that is slightly lower than the national average of 3.9%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment has increased 1.4% in 2018-19. The job market in Lexington is expected to expand substantially over the next decade, according to some estimates.

Horses, one of Kentucky’s most significant industries, play a central role in Lexington, also known as the “Horse Capital of the World.”. The tobacco industry is also an essential sector of the economy due to its wide distribution and production.

The top 10 list also includes several other industries. Retail, education, healthcare, and manufacturing are a few of these industries. Lexmark International Inc., Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and the University of Kentucky are some of the city’s major employers.

5. Traffic & Transportation Options

It is common for city planners to arrange significant roads so that spokes form a wheel around the center of the city, so streets can be challenging to navigate during rush hour, and people complain of traffic congestion. As a matter of fact, traffic in Lexington is among the most congested in the whole country.

In the course of the week, Lextran buses traverse every neighborhood in the city. The service begins as early as 5 am and ends as late as 12 am for a fee. The Blue Grass Airport, a small regional airport about four miles west of downtown, flies about 85 domestic flights every day. The nearest airports are Louisville (SDF), 63 miles via Interstate 64, and Cincinnati (CVG), 70 miles north via Interstate 75.

6. Relatively Low Crime

Lexington comes in just below the national average of 22.7/100 in the violent crime rankings with 22/100. Property crime in Kentucky, on the other hand, occurs at a rate of 55.8/100 – much higher than the US average of 35.4/100.

The comparison of crime rates between Lexington and nearby cities, such as Salvisa, High Bride, Midway, and Winchester, indicates that crime within Lexington is relatively moderate.

The odds of you becoming a victim of violent crime or a property crime in Lexington are just 1 in 28. Among the safest neighborhoods in the United States, Lexington does not rank highly. Compared to Kentucky’s cities and towns of all sizes, Lexington’s crime rate is higher than 90% of the state’s.

Check out this guide: What Are The 7 Safest Neighborhoods In Lexington, KY?

7. Schools & Universities Are Plenty

You probably place the education of your children first when relocating to Lexington as a parent. Currently, Fayette County Public Schools is the only school district in the city. There are 54 public schools in the community and more than 42,000 students.

Many of these schools hold a high or average rating on Liberty Elementary School scored a 9/10, Scapa At Bluegrass scored a 9/10, and Lafayette High School scored a 9/10. Private schools are also available in Lexington.

There are seven colleges in Lexington that offer higher education to students, including:

  • American National University Lexington
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  • ITT Technical Institute Lexington
  • Lexington Community College
  • The National College of Business and Technology Lexington East
  • The University of Kentucky

Downfalls Of Living In Lexington, Kentucky

While there are great aspects of living in Lexington, Kentucky, here are some downfalls. While they’re not necessarily as severe as other areas, they’re essential to know.

Kentucky Has Its Own Language

It is not surprising to see stereotypes being formed, as this suggests they are at least partially accurate. The local language is distinctively southern, which makes it challenging for people who live on the coasts to understand.

The new words may need some time to become accustomed to, as well as the new phrases. “There are many dirt roads that make up hollers, and if you live on one, you are living in one.”

Poor Education System

US News & World Report ranks Kentucky #32 for Pre K-12 education and #43 for higher education out of 50 states. According to the 2018 edition of News & World Report.

The Pre-K-12 ranking is based on enrollment in public schools, scores on standardized tests, and graduation rates from public high schools. College graduation rates, the cost of college, and how accessible college is to Kentuckians are used to compute the Higher Education ranking.

Harsh Storms Bring Tornadoes

When moving from the west coast to Kentucky, you should take the severe storm warnings very seriously. It is no laughing matter when a tornado warning is issued.

Take cover and be prepared to take action when a weather event is headed your way. The windows may not rattle too often, but there are approximately 2-3 storms per year where this is likely to happen.

Heavy Pollution

Louisville’s air can be so polluted that you can smell pollution from the other side of the city. When an inversion settles in during the summer, it can also generate smog in the city, as well as Lexington. Most of these communities are working towns, so most people are focused on getting their daily to-do lists completed.

You could find yourself watching Netflix on a hot summer’s night while your air conditioner runs to keep cool, which means there can be few social opportunities available, too.

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Related Questions

Why is Lexington called the Horse Capital of the World?

Throughout the late 18th century, people raised thoroughbred horses in Lexington. It’s the first city outside of Europe to host the World Equestrian Games and it’s surrounded by 400 horse farms.Lexington also features the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park, attracting millions of people each year, and some of the best equestrian care centers in the world. It’s also a belief that the mineral content in the water and soil in the Bluegrass Region leads to strong bones and horses.Many champion horses make their home in Lexington, and many horse sales are made in the city. These are just a few of many reasons why Lexington is known as The Horse Capital of the World.

What are winters like in Lexington, KY?

The summers are warm and humid in Lexington, while the winters are short, very cold, and wet, and it is partly cloudy all year round. The temperature typically fluctuates between 26°F and 85°F during the year, rarely falling below 9°F or exceeding 92°F.

What is a good salary in Kentucky?

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living-wage calculator, to afford the cost of living in Kentucky, a single adult would need to earn at least $10.82 an hour. With one child, MIT’s calculator says a single parent would need $22.68 an hour to live.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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