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


Sarah Kirby

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. While Louisville certainly exudes the charm befitting a southern area's reputation, the vibrant music and performing arts scene, desire for competitive innovation, and farmers markets superseded fried chicken a long time ago.

The two-week Kentucky Derby Festival enhances the region's appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world to gamble and drink mint juleps. Meanwhile, 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. 

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 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:

#64 in Best Places to Live

#91 in Best Places to Retire

6.5

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.8
  • Value
    7.9
  • Job Market
    6.3
  • Quality of Life
    6.0
  • Net Migration
    6.2

Read how we rank places

Louisville, KY Quick Stats

  • 1,278,203

    Metro Population

  • $45,100

    Average Annual Salary

  • 67.7° / 48.5°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 38.8

    Median Age

  • $167,300

    Median Home Price

  • 44.9 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.9%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $792

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 23.9 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

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.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.9 /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 2017-12


Louisville
$167,300

USA
$226,500

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 the humidity rivals that of the Deep South. 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)

37.2°F


Winter

57.6°F


Spring

77.8°F


Summer

59.7°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.8 in


Winter

5.3 in


Spring

4.2 in


Summer

3.6 in


Fall

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 only truly practical way for residents to get around. Urban sprawl has moved people away from the city center (though city leaders are trying to change that through infrastructure projects and by offering attractive housing). The city still lacks the extensive bus coverage needed to efficiently get people to their destinations. But the city recently completed a new bridge that crosses the Ohio River into southern Indiana with the goal of alleviating traffic.

Local officials are discussing other transportation options, including a light-rail system and improved TARC routes. Cycling is also becoming a popular way to get around as the metro area increases the number of bike-friendly streets.

Louisville International Airport used to offer many direct flights; however, due to airlines cutting routes, passengers find themselves having to change planes for more destinations than one might expect. A small Greyhound bus terminal that offers intercity transit is located downtown, but the Amtrak train no longer stops in Louisville. 

Commuting in Louisville, KY

Means of Transportation
Driving
91%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
2%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

23.9 minutes

2.5 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. 

Louisville is becoming more diverse, attracting new residents from around the world. The LGBT community also finds Louisville to be a supportive home.

In the heart of the Bible Belt, religion still strongly reigns in Louisville. It's home to large Catholic and Baptist populations, and other faiths are represented as well. 

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.

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 NCAA tournament games, 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, progressive metro area. Louisville is home to the Humana Festival of New American Plays, a nationally renowned host of theater debuts. October brings the St. James Court Art Show, which is among the largest in the country, and the monthly trolley hop transports visitors from art gallery to art gallery for free.

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