Paducah, Kentucky is a small town located in McCracken county in Western Kentucky. Paducah is a small town, with an approximate population of over 26,000 residents inside Paducah city limits. McCracken county itself has a population of over 65,000 residents. (This figure includes the over 26,000 Paducah city residents.)
As any Paducahan can tell you, Paducah is for the most part a good place to live. The people in Paducah are generally friendly and helpful. There are a moderately wide variety of businesses, services, stores, restaurants and activities available in the Paducah area. There are two very well equipped hospitals and many doctors, dentists and other specialists in Paducah. The weather is generally somewhat moderate, but Paducah summers can get rather hot.
Paducah is known to be an attractive area for retirees as well as a family-oriented town. The job market in Paducah and the surrounding areas is sometimes a bit problematic for blue collar laborers and factory workers. Many Paducah employers in this sector tend to have a lot of layoffs or go out of business. There tend to be less frequent job opportunities for this type of work in Paducah, making it difficult for those who are laid off.
The service and sales sector in Paducah tends to remain stable with a moderate amount of jobs. There are also some white-collar, business professional, clerical support jobs as well as jobs in the medical and legal field in Paducah and surrounding areas.
This somewhat limited job market outlook can make Paducah less attractive for working families. Personally, I’ve known many blue-collar as well as white-collar individuals and families that had to move away from Paducah due to the problematic job market. If you look at the local newspaper job ads you will see what relatively few jobs are available and the low wages they tend to pay. Contrasting this with the relatively high housing, makes me wonder just how most working families can afford to live in Paducah.
With the exception of the more expensive neighborhoods on the west side of Paducah, living inside the city limits of Paducah is best avoided, if at all possible. Many of the Paducah neighborhoods are economically repressed and have a high crime rate. Many residences inside neighborhoods in the Paducah city limits are rental homes and rental apartments. Inside Paducah city limits are also many government sponsored housing projects for the elderly or those with low incomes. Some of these areas in Paducah are generally areas you might try to avoid. If you must visit them, don’t go into alone, and never at night.
The Farley and Reidland neighborhoods are right next to each other, right outside of the Paducah city limits. The Farley neighborhood is somewhat more affordable than the Reidland neighborhood. Both neighborhoods share a common middle school, Reidland Middle School. Next door to Reidland Middle School, is the common high school that the Farley and Reidland neighborhoods share, Reidland High School. Both Reidland Middle and High Schools are known to be very good schools. Both neighborhoods have a few stores and businesses of their own and are within 5-20 minutes from most local Paducah businesses and the local shopping mall.
The Farley area is somewhat more affordable than than the Reidland area. There are several nice housing subdivisions in the Farley area. Farley Elementary school is known as one of the better elementary schools in the area. Farley has it’s own centrally located volunteer fire department.
The Farley area also offers some of the more affordable housing options outside of the Paducah city limits. This is a bit of a mixed bag, as it is changing the Farley area, and not for the better. I’m all for affordable housing, but crime seems to be increasing in some of the Farley area. I personally lived in the Farley area for 29 years. I found it to be a nice, quiet neighborhood.
But parts of the Farley are slowly becoming more and more like the bad neighborhoods inside Paducah city limits. This is something to take into consideration when considering to live in the Farley area. Neighborhoods that were relatively quiet 15 to 20 years ago, are now looking more like the inner city neighborhoods. They are becoming run down, noisy and more crime ridden, although they still are not as bad as the inner city neighborhoods. But if something is not done, within 10-20 years, they will be considered bad neighborhoods in some Farley areas. So, if you are looking to buy or rent a home in Farley, use caution and thoroughly investigate your local neighborhood.
Reidland is generally known as a more upscale neighborhood than the Farley area. Housing is generally significantly more expensive than in the Farley area. Reidland has several nice neighborhood subdivisions. Reidland subdivisions and homes are generally nicer than the ones in the Farley neighborhood. Reidland subdivisions are comparable to many of the subdivisions in Lone Oak and Heath.
There are some areas of Reidland that are not as good as others, so you do have to evaluate each neighborhood carefully. Reidland also has some rental homes and apartment rentals that are much nicer and safer options than in the Paducah city limits. Reidland has it’s own elementary school, although not as modern of one as the Farley area has. Reidland also has it’s own centrally located volunteer fire department.
Lone Oak is another one of Paducah’s best neighborhoods. Lone Oak neighborhoods can be in subdivisions or a bit rural. Lone Oak neighborhoods vary, but most are very nice. Lone Oak neighborhood subdivisions are comparable to the best subdivisions in the Reidland and Heath area. There are still some good home and apartment rentals in Lone Oak, again making it one of the best options for renters who want to avoid the bad neighborhoods in the Paducah city area.
With all the new construction in Lone Oak, I think Lone Oak will surpass Reidland as the most popular neighborhood in Paducah. Lone Oak tends to have more businesses, restaurants and services and is more centrally located than in the other subdivisions. Lone Oak bustles, while Reidland feels laid back and quiet.
Lone Oak has it’s own elementary school, comparable with the Reidland elementary school. Lone Oak shares a high school with the more rural Hendron area, but has it’s own middle school. Lone Oak also has it’s own volunteer fire department.
The Heath neighborhood is much more rural than the Lone Oak neighborhood and tends to be a quiet area. Heath has some nice subdivisions comparable to both Lone Oak and Reidland neighborhoods. There are also a few rental houses available in the Heath neighborhood. Heath tends to be more slow growing than than the Lone Oak neighborhoods. Heath has it’s own elementary, middle and high school. Heath high school is one of the newest high schools in the area and has the most modern high school facility in the area. Heath also boasts it’s own volunteer fire department.
Paducah and it’s surrounding areas can provide a wonderful area to live for a working or retired family. Paducah is just like any other city with good and bad neighborhoods, and you have to educate yourself and choose carefully.
Reidland, Lone Oak, and Heath are generally excellent neighborhoods. Farley can be a good neighborhood, if you find the right area. Neighborhoods inside the Paducah city limits, with the exception of the expensive West Side of Paducah area, are generally to be avoided if at all possible.
There are already problems with crime in within many Paducah inner-city neighborhoods, and as the city grows this only seems to get worse. The small areas that were considered “bad” neighborhoods 20 years ago, have now overtaken many of the once good neighborhoods. This unfortunately, is one of the side effects of city growth anywhere, not just in Paducah.
Some Paducah Resources & Information:
Wikipedia’s McCracken County article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCracken_County,_Kentucky
Wikipedia’s Paducah article:
Wikipedia’s Reidland area article:
Wikipedia’s Lone Oak area article:
Paducah Tourism Official Site:
Joint Site for City of Paducah & McCracken County