Is Lexington, Kentucky a Good Place to Live?

Is Lexington, Kentucky a Good Place to Live?

Lexington is the second-biggest city in the state of Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the USA. The city is located in Fayette County in the Bluegrass Region of the state and is commonly referred to as the ‘Horse Capital of the World.’ Lexington has been raising horses since the 18th century and some of the best thoroughbreds are from Lexington. Moving to Lexington will reveal that it is not only a house rearing town. It has universities, distilleries and shopping malls among other amenities serving its population of 323,780. Lexington is a good option if you are thinking of moving to Kentucky.

Is Lexington a good place to live? Living in Lexington Kentucky is quite affordable despite relatively high quality of life. The city is also very family friendly with good schools, churches and hospitals. The city’s residents are also more liberal than most people in the United States. Moving to Lexington is a good idea.

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Many families and young professionals call Lexington home, but Lexington is also a city made for people who love bourbon and horses. You will be hard pressed to find a city that loves horses as much as Lexington. 40% of the city’s residents have at least a Bachelors degree and make up one of the most educated populations in the country. The cost of living is low and the city has great green open spaces mostly to raise horses but also some great parks. Niche ranked Lexington as the 40th best city to live in the US and I sincerely concur.

Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to live?

In Lexington, there is a general rule when it comes to neighborhoods: north is good and south is bad. Neighborhoods are generally categorized by safety and cost of living. Most of the neighborhoods in Lexington are safe with pockets of bad neighborhoods scattered in the North of the city. Good neighborhoods in Lexington include Chevy Chase/Ashland Park, Beaumont, Landowne, Kenwick, Southland and Liberty Heights whereas bad neighborhoods include North Side, Winburn, Gainesway and Versailles Rd.

Lexington has a moderately high crime rate. There are about 42 crimes per 1000 residents in Lexington every year. Unfortunately, more than 93% of cities across the USA are safer than Lexington hence a safety index of 8/100. The chances of being a violent crime victim in Lexington are 1 in 280. The violent crime rate in the city is slightly higher than most parts in the country and includes crimes such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape or murder. Property crimes take the heft of crime in Lexington. The chances of becoming a victim of property crime in Lexington are 1 in 26. Insurance is a must if you live in Lexington.

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40% of the residents in Lexington over the age of 25 have a Bachelors degree and the city has received credit for being the 10th most educated city in the US. The city’s public education system is managed by the Fayette County Public Schools which consists of 6 district high schools, 12 middle schools and 37 elementary schools. The University of Kentucky is the city’s prominent educational institution. It hosts over 30,000 students and employs a significant portion of the population. Transylvania University is the city’s oldest four-year university. Other notable institutions of higher education include Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Sullivan University, Medtech College and Strayer University.

As of 2016, the most common forms of transportation in Lexington were driving personal vehicles, public transportation and walking respectively. There are no freeways running through the city but the North of the city is connected to the I-64 and I-75. There are also two beltways in Lexington namely New Circle Road and Man o’ War Boulevard. Lexington’s public transportation system is the Lextran which is a public transit bus agency offering public transportation using buses and lift vans. Lexington’s roads often encounter massive traffic jams. The city’s main airport is Blue Grass Airport which has about 100 flights per day. The airport is 4 miles west of the city center.

Lexington’s social scene is vibrant. There are regular and annual cultural events and fairs, historical structures and museums, parks and outdoor attractions. The city is home to a professional orchestra, two ballet companies a theatre and a number of museums where enthusiasts of fine arts can aggregate. Significant events include Mayfest Arts Fair, Festival of the Bluegrass, Festival Latino de Lexington and the Roots and Heritage Festival. The city is home to over 100 parks varying widely in the site. The University of Kentucky’s basketball team, the Kentucky Wildcats, is the city’s most popular sports team.

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Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to work?

Lexington has one of the most stable economies in the country which is largely due to its diversification. The largest industries in Lexington include Health Care & Social Assistance, Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Educational Services. The city is home to several multinational corporations including IBM, Lockheed Martin, Xerox and Lexmark International.

Single organizations employing the largest number of people in Lexington include the Veterans Administration Hospital, Fayette County Public Schools and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. However, the University of Kentucky takes the title of the largest employer in Lexington employing more than 13,000 people as of 2017.

The unemployment rate in Lexington is 3.2% and is lower than the national average of 5%. The average salary for employees in Lexington is $46,586 which is high as compared to the US national average salary of $31,100. Popular job titles in the city include Electrical Engineer, Project Manager, Mechanical Engineer and Operations Manager.

Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to buy a house?

Niche ranks Lexington as the 19th best city out of 228 cities to buy a house in the United States. The average property price in Lexington is $193,100. The homeownership rate in Lexington is 55.3% with most houses being owned by a mortgage. The average monthly rent in Lexington is $908. Buying a property in Lexington will be highly dependent on its location and hence it is important to know the city’s neighborhoods.

Good neighborhoods in Lexington include Chevy Chase/Ashland Park, Beaumont, Landowne, Kenwick, Southland and Liberty Heights whereas bad neighborhoods include North Side, Winburn, Gainesway and Versailles Rd.

The average monthly rent for an apartment with two bedrooms in Lexington is $764 whereas that for an apartment with two bedrooms is $950 a month. The average rent for an apartment with three bedrooms is $1210 a month while the mean monthly rent for an apartment with four bedrooms is $1452 and the average rent for an apartment with five bedrooms is $1670 a month.

The average buying price of an apartment with a single bedroom in Lexington is $131,300. The average price of an apartment with two bedrooms is $165,070. The average price of an apartment with three bedrooms is $197830. The average price of a four-bedroom apartment is $231,085. The average price of an apartment with five bedrooms is $276,004.

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Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to retire?

Lexington may not be a good city in which to retire. The city has a very high crime rate to begin with. It would be quite difficult for a retiree to fend off intruders into their home or muggers on the street who abide aplenty in Lexington.

Another reason why Lexington is not a good retirement location is that it is a typical student city. There are throngs of students living in the city who tend to stay out late and be very loud. The one reason that would entice a retiree to move to Lexington is the low cost of living as compared to other cities.

Since Kentucky is not an ideal retirement location, anyone looking for retirement properties in Lexington can use the monthly rents and apartment prices above for reference.

Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to visit?

Lexington has its fair share of short break attractions and landmarks to visit in Lexington including Kentucky Horse Park, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Fayette County Arboretum, Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Malibu Jack’s Lexington and the American Saddlebred Museum. There are also festivals and other events all year round.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of living in Lexington, Kentucky?

The cost of living in Lexington is 4% lower than the national mean cost of living. All expenses including utilities, housing, transportation and food are all lower than the national average. It takes an average of $2645 a month to live in Lexington.

Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to invest in property?

Lexington, as mentioned earlier, is one of the best places in the country to purchase property. The real estate market is stable and shows signs of continuous growth into the future. There is a huge student population and employees with higher than average salaries so high demand and returns can be expected by investors.

Is Lexington, Kentucky a good place to raise a family?

Lexington is a great place to raise a family. Most elementary, middle and high schools are better than average. The cost of living is low and there are excellent hospitals in the region. The one thing you would have to worry about is your family’s security.

Marta Kovachek
About the author: Marta Kovachek graduated from the university with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.