These 5 Cities Will Becomes the Worst Places to Live in Kentucky for 2024

Kentucky, also known as the Bluegrass State, is known for its beautiful rolling hills, horse farms, and internationally renowned bourbon. However, not all parts of Kentucky have this perfect image. Some cities in the state are dealing with poverty, high crime rates, and low living standards. In this article, we will explore the five worst places to live in Kentucky and discuss the reasons why these locations are not considered desirable.

Things to Think About

Before we start looking at the list, there are a few things we need to recognize:

  • Subjectivity: Rankings like these can be subjective to some extent.
  • Everyone has different priorities, so what matters most to one person may not be the same for someone else.
  • Fluidity: The fortunes of a city can change. These places that are currently considered ‘worst’ could get better, while areas that are currently desirable could become less desirable.

Criteria for Evaluation

This article discusses the factors used to determine the worst places to live in Kentucky:

Economic distress refers to a situation where there are high rates of unemployment, low incomes for households, and a lot of poverty.

  • Crime: There are higher rates of violent and property crime.
  • Education: There are schools that are not doing well and it is difficult for some people to get into higher education.
  • Health: There is not enough access to good healthcare and many people struggle with substance abuse.
  • Infrastructure: The roads, utilities, and public services are not in good condition because they are either outdated or not well taken care of.

The 5 Most Unfavorable Places to Reside in Kentucky

Note: The order of the list does not indicate a ranking from worst to least worst.

1. Middlesboro

Location: Southeastern Kentucky, situated in a former meteor crater.


  • There has been a significant decrease in the economy due to the decline of the coal industry.
  • There are high poverty rates, with over 30% of the population living in poverty, as well as high unemployment rates.
  • Having difficulties with the opioid epidemic.
  • There is a high level of crime in the area.
  • Statistics: Please provide relevant data on crime, income, etc., from reputable sources.

2. Mayfield

Location: In the western part of Kentucky.


  • The economy is slow and there are not many job opportunities available.
  • There is a high level of crime, especially theft and other property-related crimes.
  • The tornado in December 2021 caused more difficulties and challenges.

Also read: These 5 Cities Will Become the Worst Places to Live in Oregon for 2024

3. The Paducah

Location: Western Kentucky, at the point where the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers come together.


  • There are issues with income inequality and certain areas experiencing poverty.
  • The city has crime rates that are higher than what is typically seen in cities of its size.
  • Concerns about the environment due to previous contamination from a plant that used gaseous diffusion.

4. The town of Pikeville

Location: Eastern Kentucky, in the heart of the Appalachian region.


  • The problem of depending on the coal industry, which is declining.
  • There is a lot of poverty and not many opportunities available.
  • Common problems related to drug and alcohol abuse.

5. The Oak Grove

Location: The place is in Western Kentucky, close to Fort Campbell.


  • There are high crime rates in this area, which are higher than the national average.
  • Some residents are worried about being able to afford housing.
  • The local economy is easily affected by changes because it heavily relies on the military base.

In summary

This article focuses on some of the cities in Kentucky that face significant challenges. However, it’s important to remember that every community has the potential for growth and improvement. Positive change can happen in these less-than-ideal places with the help of resilient residents, dedicated leaders, and focused investment. Considering factors beyond statistics is important for truly understanding the complexities of a place.

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