“United we stand, divided we fall”- If you want to move to Kentucky, you need to keep the state’s motto in mind. And this statement is reflected in the lives of the people living there. Just like any Southern state, a sense of warmness and welcomeness is experienced and you need to do your fair share of welcoming if you choose to live in this state.
Apart from the people’s hospitality, the Bluegrass State has many other things to offer. What are those things, you may ask. Read our article to find out more before moving to Kentucky!
Living In Kentucky: What To Know Before Moving To Kentucky
Low Cost Of Living: If you’re moving to Kentucky to save a few dollars, then you’re making the right choice. You’ll find that the prices of essentials are much lower than the national average. We’ll get into more details in the latter part of the article, but bear this point in mind for now.
Low Crime Rate: According to NeighbourhoodScout, the violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents) is 2.17 which is some points below the national median. Similarly, the property crime rate (18.97 per 1,000 residents) is below the national median too. Therefore, safety is guaranteed in this state.
Inexpensive Real Estate: Purchasing a house in Kentucky will not at all be a problem because of its cheap real estate. On top of that, property taxes are cheaper as compared to most states in the country. You’ll be saving a lot again from this area.
The Food: Kentucky’s cuisine goes beyond fried chicken. Some of the state’s well-known delicacies are Hot Brown, Burgoo, Benedictine, Rolled Oysters, and Derby-Pie. These are just some of the few dishes we have mentioned. However, the list is endless.
Fun fact: Do you know that KFC is planning to launch its own gaming console with a built-in chicken warmer?
Air Pollution: Since a part of Kentucky’s economy is dependent on manufacturing, air pollution levels are a bit higher than normal in this state. If you can’t manage this intensity of air contamination, then Kentucky might not be the place for you.
Not-so-ideal Education: According to a report by USNews, Kentucky is ranked 36th where education is concerned. Also, WalletHub sees Kentucky as the 45th most-educated state based on the quality of education and educational attainment.
Vehicle-animal Accidents: Deer appear from nowhere especially during hunting season. So be more vigilant of them while driving. Also, see that your car insurance is renewed and your vehicle is serviced.
After moving to Kentucky, you won’t have a problem paying sales and property taxes because they’re much lower than the national average. However, the state income taxes might be a bit heavy on the pockets. The thing with Kentucky is that the state charges a flat 5% income tax rate irrespective of how much you earn. Adding to that, local taxes imposed by counties can bump the net income tax rate to even 7.50% in some parts of the state. So keep this point in mind before choosing to move to Kentucky.
However, on the brighter side, local taxes are not applied to sales tax rates. Therefore you’ll just pay the standard 6% that is imposed statewide. Property taxes are something to cheer about as well. The average effective tax rate in Kentucky is 0.83% where Kentuckians pay $1,257 per year.
If you’re planning to buy a house in Kentucky, it’s a good decision because real estate is 44% less than the national average. The median home value stands at $165,900 whereas the US average is $291,700. Rent is lower than the national average as well, so that can be your next viable option if purchasing property is not on your agenda.
Here are the average rent rates in Kentucky per month according to the size of the apartment:
You’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money by living in Kentucky. According to a report by USNews, Kentucky ranks 9th in the affordability rankings. Also, on the cost of living index with 100 as the national average, Kentucky scores 83.6, which means the Bluegrass State is cheaper than some states.
Since groceries, transportation, and utilities are inexpensive in this state, the cost of living in Kentucky drops by a few points.
Speaking of utilities in Kentucky, you’ll spend approximately $390 per month, which means you’d be paying 3% lower than the national average.
Weather And Natural Disasters
Located in the southeastern region, Kentucky has a humid subtropical type of climate with hot summers and frigid winters. It is one of those states that also have a four-season weather year-round. Expect to see fewer sunny days in Kentucky as the average number of those days round up to 189.
Let us speak of the summer season in Kentucky. The average high temperature during the peak summer season in this state ranges between 85°F to 92°F. Nights are a bit forgiving as the state registers temperatures between 62°F to 70°F. Thunderstorms, which are caused by high humidity, are frequent during this season, so be on the watch out for those.
Winters in Kentucky aren’t as lenient as the summers as well. Although the state might not see much snowfall annually, the average day temperatures remain between the cold 39°F to 47°F. Sometimes the average low temperature can be between 23°F to 28°F. So get your winter coats and mufflers from your cupboards.
On average, ten tornadoes happen in Kentucky per year. So please check the forecast before moving out.
Although Kentucky’s economy is not as grand as the other states in the country (ranked 46th in the list of “Best & Worst State Economies” by Fox Business), the state boasts of a robust auto manufacturing industry. Kentucky is known as the chief manufacturer of automobiles such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Escape, Ford Super Duty trucks, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Solara, Toyota Venza, and the Lexus ES 350.
Following the auto manufacturing industry, agriculture and coal mining have taken 2nd and 3rd place in Kentucky’s economy.
Kentucky has two companies on the Fortune 500 list and four in the top 1000. Here are the companies with their adjacent rankings:
Yum Brands Inc.
Tempur Sealy International
Texas Roadhouse Inc.
Kentucky’s unemployment rate (5.0%) is below the national average of 6.0%. However, you’ll earn a bit less as compared to the national average. But that shouldn’t worry you because the cost of living is low.
Income per year
Average annual income of a Kentucky resident
Annual median household income
Traffic And Transportation
Compared to other states, traffic in Kentucky is much milder. Only you may have to be a bit careful while driving on 1-65 in Louisville as that stretch can get a bit congested during rush hours.
Where transportation is concerned, you’ll get the best out of Kentucky by owning a car. On top of the Interstate and US highways, Kentucky has 9 parkways connecting different cities of the state. If you feel like using the train once in a while, Amtrak has the Cardinal and the City of New Orleans routes touching Maysville, South Portsmouth, Ashland, and Fulton.
Schools And Universities
Kentucky’s public schools don’t rank as high as other educational institutes in the country. However, you will still find few school districts that provide quality education. The same can be said about its colleges and universities as well. They are pretty proficient when it comes to pursuing a degree in any applied field.
Here are some of the best schools, colleges, and universities you should check out first if you or your child plan on studying in this state.
Johnson Elementary School, North Fort Thomas Avenue Fort Thomas, Fort Thomas Independent
Heath Elementary School, Metropolis Lake Road West Paducah, Mccracken County School District
Stuart Pepper Middle School, Old Ekron Road Brandenburg, Meade County School District
James D. Adams Middle School, South Lake Drive Prestonsburg, Floyd County
McCracken County High School, US Hwy 60 Paducah, Mccracken County School District
Betsy Layne High School, Bobcat Boulevard Stanville, Floyd County
If you want to delve into Kentucky’s aesthetic side, then making a trip to the Daniel Boone National Forest is compulsory. Amid the density of the forest, you’ll find numerous waterfalls, which are a major tourist attraction, accompanying the lush surroundings of the place.
Exploring the vastness of the place in a day is a herculean task. However, you can camp on their onsite campgrounds – The Little Lick Campground and the Holly Bay Campground- and resume your trek on the next day.
2. Louisville Zoo
Nothing is more fun than spending time with your family and friends. And if you aren’t sure of a place for your next outing, try considering Louisville Zoo as your next get-together destination.
The place has a couple of award-winning exhibits, such as the Islands zone, where its surroundings simulate the living environment of orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Cuban crocodiles, and a wide species of birds; the Glacier Run, where you’ll see polar and grizzly bears lazing around the area.
3. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
If you want to have a deeper understanding of one of America’s prolific presidents, then visiting this place will do you good. Once you reach the place, head towards Knob Creek Farm. There you’ll find Lincoln’s boyhood home surrounded by a well-kept lawn from where you can admire the place or have a family picnic. Adding to that, you can have a look at the visitors center, where numerous exhibits of Lincoln’s life are stored.
Other Notable Places To Visit
Muhammad Ali Center
Lost River Cave
Great American Dollhouse Museum
Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum
Best Places To Live In Kentucky
Louisville is one of Kentucky’s oldest and largest cities. Once you reach this city, you’ll feed on its vibrancy and diversity of sports and business culture. You can say this is the place where the party is because a majority of the state’s monuments and parks are scattered in the vicinity of this city. You might feel a bit of the crowd due to its economic stronghold in the state, but other than that, Louisville is a great place to get close to all the action. Also, Nashville and Indianapolis are just 3-4 hours away from Louisville.
To understand Louisville’s vast cultural phenomena, try visiting these places below:
Bowling Green is regarded as Kentucky’s fastest-growing city. Apart from cheap home values and rents, the presence of Western Kentucky University might be one of the many reasons why this city has been growing exponentially. Along with the numerous local bars, restaurants, and shops that serve some of the state’s best authentic American cuisine, the flourishing job market in this city has provided newcomers with career breakthroughs as well. Hence, you can say there is something for everyone in this city.
We have selected the top four places which will help you in understanding Bowling Green’s culture:
National Corvette Museum
Historic Railpark and Train Museum
Bowling Green Hot Rods
Capitol Arts Center
Median Home Value: $161,000
Monthly Median Rent: $778
Annual Median Household Income: $42,216
If you want to live in an area close to one of the country’s prettiest Capitol buildings, then Frankfort is what you need to choose. Not only that, the city is safe, the emergency services are responsive, and the job market is thriving in this city. Although there may not be a lot of outdoor recreation for children, the city has numerous malls and a couple of distilleries that contribute to the economic growth of the state. Being the capital of Kentucky, you’ll mostly find thriving government jobs in this area.
Here are some places of the city you can visit after you’ve comfortably settled in
Old State Capitol
New Capitol Building
Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History
Median Home Value: $130,900
Monthly Median Rent: $759
Annual Median Household Income: $50,211
It is safe to say that Kentucky possesses more than just the birthplace of KFC. With its rich history stored in various museums, we can say that this state has a culturally rich upbringing. Looking from an economic standpoint, the cost of living is much better than other states and the job market is competitive as well. Moving to a place is subjective and if you can cope with some of the state’s flaws, then moving to Kentucky shouldn’t be a hassle at all. Happy planning!
Kentucky is a great place to experience Southern hospitality at its finest. The state has some of the best parks, museums, and trekking terrains. Only overcrowding is prevalent in this state, but other than that, the cost of living will not affect you at all since it is below the national average. Keeping all these points in mind, we feel it will be worth moving to Kentucky.
What Are The Benefits Of Moving To Kentucky?
Moving to Kentucky has a variety of long-term benefits. For starters, the cost of living is low, the regional food and drinks are delicious, the number of outdoor activities is countless, the tax rates are competitive, and the people are welcoming. What more could you ask for?
What Should I Know Before Moving To Kentucky?
Tornadoes: Kentucky’s rich culture and beautiful surroundings might enamor you, but pay attention to tornado warnings too. The brighter side is that they don’t occur as frequently as other states, but they can get lethal. So take care.
Hunting: If you want to establish deeper connections with some of the folks in your area, you could learn to hunt a bit. Hunting black bears, deers, turkeys, coyotes, bobcats, elks, river otters, and squirrels is a favorite pastime in Kentucky.
Bourbon: Do you know that 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky? Well, now you know. To understand how Kentucky gets its finest bourbon, get a hold of a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.