What's it like to live in Louisville, KY?

Profile written by local expert:

Sarah Kirby

Sitting along the Ohio River, which divides the northern and the southern U.S., Louisville is a modern metropolitan area steeped in tradition. Each neighborhood offers unique things to do and carries its own dialect. 

The two-week Kentucky Derby Festival enhances the region's appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world to gamble and drink mint juleps. Locally owned restaurants and coffee shops make Louisville a culinary destination, with restaurants serving bourbon, produce, meat and dairy products sporting the "Kentucky Proud" label identifying them as Kentucky-grown or Kentucky-made. And bumper stickers that unapologetically carry the "Keep Louisville Weird" slogan show Louisville residents' strong support of independent businesses.

Learning to pronounce Louisville correctly is the first step to becoming a real Louisvillian. "Lou-uh-vull" (with the "Lou" and the "uh" slightly combining) is the correct pronunciation. 


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Louisville, Kentucky is ranked:

#88 in Best Places to Live

#109 in Best Places to Retire

#17 in Cheapest Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Louisville, KY Quick Stats

  • 1,285,270

    Metro Population

  • $45,740

    Average Annual Salary

  • 67.7° / 48.5°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.9

    Median Age

  • $162,908

    Median Home Price

  • 44.9 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.8%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $821

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 24.0 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Louisville, KY?

Home of boxer Muhammad Ali and the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, Louisville has long loved sports. Anything competitive – whether it's the Cards and Cats rivalry, horse racing, college basketball, football or baseball – is bound to bring Louisvillians together.

Additionally, the arts contribute to Louisville's niche as a creative metro area. Louisville is home to the Humana Festival of New American Plays, a host of theater debuts. October brings the St. James Court Art Show, and the First Friday Hop encourages residents to visit downtown art galleries, shops and restaurants open for extended hours.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Louisville, KY.

What's the cost of living in Louisville, KY?

The cost of living in Louisville is below that of national average. Home costs are below the national median sale price.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.8 /10

How we calculate this.

Louisville offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2017



Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Louisville, KY.

What's the weather like in Louisville, KY?

Summers are hot and humid. Winters are cold, and snow and ice cover roadways. No matter the season, Louisvillians look for any opportunity to have a good time with local fine bourbon and craft beer.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.8 in


5.3 in


4.2 in


3.6 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Louisville, KY?

Though the Transit Authority of River City, or TARC, offers bus routes that cover large spans of Louisville, cars remain the most practical way for residents to get around. Urban sprawl has moved people away from the city center 

Cycling is also becoming a popular way to get around as the metro area increases the number of bike-friendly streets.

For traveling out of town, residents can fly from Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport or hit the road in a Greyhound bus. 

Commuting in Louisville, KY

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

24.0 minutes

2.6 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Louisville, KY?

Louisville is a nice place to raise a family. The Louisville Zoo, Kentucky Science Center and Louisville Slugger Museum represent a few kid-friendly activities.

The area attracts young people and retirees alike. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

About the same number of single people in Louisville as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.