Elsmere is a home rule-class city in Kenton County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 8,451 at the 2010 census.
Elsmere is located in western Kenton County at 39°0′5″N 84°36′11″W (39.001475, -84.603116). It is bordered to the north and east by Erlanger, to the south by Independence, and to the west by Florence in Boone County. The Dixie Highway (U.S. Routes 25, 42, and 127) forms the northern border of the city and leads northeast 7 miles (11 km) to Covington and southwest 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the center of Florence.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Elsmere has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.73%, are water.
The community was first settled in 1885 as "South Erlanger". Elsmere organized as a city in 1896, renamed after Elsmere Avenue in Norwood, Ohio, the hometown of one of its founders.
In 1998, Billy Bradford was elected mayor of Elsmere, the first African-American mayor elected in northern Kentucky. He served 12 years (three terms), and now serves as a member of the city council. The current mayor is Marty Lenhof.
Regal Beloit (formerly Emerson Power Transmission) and L'Oréal have facilities in an unincorporated pocket of Kenton County surrounded by Elsmere. Portions of Elsmere have a Florence mailing address. Mazak's North American headquarters are in Elsmere.
The cities of Elsmere and adjacent Erlanger share a public school system.