Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Alaska.

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It's that time of year again, HomeSnacks has ranked the best places for families in Alaska; and this year, Alaska's most family friendly places really brought their A-game. But, before we let you in on Alaska's top ten best places for families, we should tell you a little bit about how we determined the state's most family friendly places for 2020.

First, we consulted the US Census on places in The Last Frontier with more than 2,000 residents. We looked at several factors including crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We then entered it into our snackability formula and ended up with 20 family friendly Alaska places that any family would be lucky to call home. Are we at all surprised that some of Alaska's best places to raise a family are also Alaska's safest? Not at all. In true Alaskan fashion, the most family friendly places had to be pretty strong in safety, education, job security, and overall infrastructure: not just anyone can live in Alaska, and the same goes for families.

And speaking of education, we know that Alaska seems like it's located in the middle-of-nowhere USA, but it does have some pretty top notch universities and colleges, like Anchorage's University of Alaska and Alaska Pacific University. Both schools offer competitive degrees in sustainable living with an emphasis on ocean and river farming, engineering, and forestry. And educating the future of Alaska is a good thing, because Alaska has a lot to offer.

More importantly, if you're looking for safe, family friendly cities and neighborhoods, amazing schools, large green spaces, and just overall good family friendly fun, keep reading.

Hey, folks, let's not forget the Alaska kick-back: AKA Permanent Fund Dividend check. It will feel like Christmas in September when your family gets a little extra cash from the Alaska fund. We think that's just one more reason to move to Alaska's best place to raise a family, Seward.

So if you want to be a part of the cool group, Alaska's 220,000 other families, take a look at the list below to see where you can find them. And if you don't see your favorite there head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Alaska and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska For 2020

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,770
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 31.8%
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

6
/10

Population: 6,978
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 38.9%
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.

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,055
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 26.9%
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.

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,870
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 25.1%
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.

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,589
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 25.1%
More on Soldotna: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Homer, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,607
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 27.3%
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."

Dillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,250
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 37.9%
More on Dillingham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,781
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 40.4%
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.

Wrangell, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,484
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 23.6%
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.

Kodiak, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,107
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Anchorage
Households with kids: 33.2%
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.

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. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family 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. Juneau
  2. Ketchikan
  3. North Pole

For more alaska reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Alaska?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Seward, AK 2,770 63
2 Palmer, AK 6,978 39
3 Cordova, AK 3,055 54
4 Valdez, AK 3,870 35
5 Soldotna, AK 4,589 43
6 Homer, AK 5,607 51
7 Dillingham, AK 2,250 62
8 Unalaska, AK 4,781 38
9 Wrangell, AK 2,484 59
10 Kodiak, AK 6,107 53

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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