Cost of living in Louisville, KY

Photo by @johns_streetjournal

With Louisville being named as one of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022 + multiple high-profile developments in the works this year, we figured it high time to talk about the cost of putting down roots in Derby City. 

The median household income in Jefferson County is $59,049 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. State-wise, Kentucky is 44th in the country for median income at ~$50,589 per household.

The overall cost of living in Louisville is lower than the national average. | Screenshot from bestplaces.net

The overall cost of living in Louisville is lower than the national averagewhich is represented as 100 in this chart — but higher than the rest of the commonwealth

In Louisville, the cost of healthcare is lower than in other parts of the state + the US.  However, the cost of groceries, housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in the city have higher average costs than other cities in the Bluegrass State + the country overall.

Let’s get numerical 

Hypothetically speaking, if you live in a household that brings in $50,000 annuallyaccording to experts – you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on rent. Don’t worry, we did the math for you – your max monthly rent budget would be $1,250. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Louisville is $1,065  – nearing the top of your budget.

According to a recent study by Attom Data Solutions, it’s actually more thrifty to buy a home in Jefferson County than to rent. 

Take a look at the chart below to see how Louisville’s cost of living compares to that of the capital city of Frankfort.

Louisville has more affordable health care than Frankfort. | Screenshot from bestplaces.net

Louisville has the more affordable health care + miscellaneous costs, but Frankfort has us beat in every other category. The closest these cities get to each other is on the cost of utilities, which differs less than a whole point and is still lower than the national average

Interested in seeing Louisville’s cost of living compared to cities in other states? We played around on nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator, where you can put in any city you want to live in along with your current pre-tax household income to find out what other cities you could actually afford to live in. 

City Editor Sarah here — I’m interested in moving to New York City at some point in the future, so we took a look at the cost of living in LOU compared to Manhattan. Here’s what we found:

  • The cost of living is 173% higher in Manhattan.
  • To maintain our standard of living, we would need to bring in $136,349 to our household. 
  • The median cost for a two-bedroom apartment is $5,102looks like I’m staying put for a while

In November, Mayor Greg Fischer signed an ordinance allocating $89 million in American Rescue Plan funding to boost affordable housing in Jefferson County. The city also has entities such as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Louisville CARES + other government-funded programs to help develop more affordable units

There are also a number of local development firms working on apartments seemingly all the time — from LDG Development’s Midlane Point Apartments in Hikes Point to a new affordable housing development from MKM Investment Group LLC at 18th and Main Street.