10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Alaska have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Alaska? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Last Frontier:

  1. Valdez (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Cordova (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Seward (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Palmer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Wrangell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Sitka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Unalaska (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Kodiak (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Soldotna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Homer (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to Alaska, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Alaska and the best places for families in the country:

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How do you determine which place is best for families in Alaska anyways?

To give you the places in Alaska which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Last Frontier

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Alaska, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 2,000 people. For Alaska, that meant a total of 20 cities.

Read on to see why Valdez is where all the families are headed, while Bethel is probably a place made for singles.

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Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,930
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on Valdez: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Valdez is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valds y Fernndez Bazn. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered huge damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,047
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 29.3%
More on Cordova: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cordova is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing.

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,714
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 27.4%
More on Seward: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 2,528. It was named after William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In 1867, he fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska which he finally negotiated to acquire from Russia.

Mile 0 of the historic Iditarod Trail is at Seward. In the early 1900s the trail was blazed in order to transport people and goods to and from the port of Seward to interior Alaska.

Palmer, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,572
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 37.9%
More on Palmer: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.

Wrangell, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,401
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 27.2%
More on Wrangell: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The City and Borough of Wrangell is a borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census the population was 2,369. Incorporated as a Unified Home Rule Borough on May 30, 2008, Wrangell was previously a city in the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area.

The primary industry of the city is fishing, and it is a tourist destination. The former large wood processing factory in Wrangell closed down some time ago.

Sitka, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,921
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 29.7%
More on Sitka: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The City and Borough of Sitka, formerly Novo-Arkhangelsk, or New Archangel under Russian rule, is a unified city-borough located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,881. In terms of land area, it is the largest city-borough in the U.S., with a land area of 2,870.3 square miles and a total area of 4,811.4 square miles ; however, it is the smallest of Alaska’s boroughs. Urban Sitka, the part that is usually thought of as the “city” of Sitka, is on the west side of Baranof Island.

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,710
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 38.9%
More on Unalaska: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Unalaska is the largest city of the Aleutian Islands. The city is in the Aleutians West Census Area, a regional component of the Unorganized Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The population was 4,376 at the 2010 census, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska is the second largest city in the Unorganized Borough, behind Bethel.

Kodiak, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,272
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 41.1%
More on Kodiak: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Kodiak is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,471
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 30.2%
More on Soldotna: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Homer, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,418
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Seattle
Households with kids: 27.0%
More on Homer: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is two hundred and eighteen miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003. Long known as The “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.” Homer is also nicknamed “the end of the road,” and more recently, “the cosmic hamlet by the sea.”

There You Have It – The Best Places To Grow Up In Alaska

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Alaska ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Alaska according to the data:

  1. Bethel
  2. North Pole
  3. Kotzebue

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Alaska

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Valdez 3,930 40
2 Cordova 3,047 63
3 Seward 2,714 70
4 Palmer 6,572 41
5 Wrangell 2,401 40
6 Sitka 8,921 44
7 Unalaska 4,710 54
8 Kodiak 6,272 47
9 Soldotna 4,471 65
10 Homer 5,418 47
11 Ketchikan 8,189 59
12 Dillingham 2,296 46
13 Nome 3,782 62
14 Juneau 32,524 74
15 Wasilla 8,972 36
16 Fairbanks 32,578 65
17 Kenai 7,551 66
18 Kotzebue 3,288 44
19 North Pole 2,300 37
20 Bethel 6,365 52

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