These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alaska For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Alaska have the most for people looking to make the move to Alaska.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Alaska a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Alaska.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Last Frontier based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Alaska, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 17 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Last Frontier for 2018:

  1. Juneau City and Borough (Photos)
  2. Sitka City and Borough (Photos)
  3. Skagway Municipality
  4. Aleutians West Census Area (Photos)
  5. Valdez-Cordova Census Area (Photos)
  6. Haines Borough (Photos)
  7. Fairbanks North Star Borough (Photos)
  8. Ketchikan Gateway Borough (Photos)
  9. Wrangell City and Borough (Photos)
  10. Kodiak Island Borough (Photos)

Juneau City And Borough is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Alaska. And you might want to avoid Northwest Arctic Borough if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Alaska, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Alaska and the best places to raise a family in Alaska.

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How do you determine which Alaska county is the best?

To give you the best county in Alaska, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Alaska across each of the criteria from one to 17, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Alaska’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Last Frontier.

Read on to see why Juneau City And Borough is the best county, while Northwest Arctic Borough is probably in contention for being the worst county in Alaska.

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1. Juneau City And Borough

Juneau, AK

Biggest Place: Juneau
Population: 32,524
Median Income: $87,436 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $329,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (5th best)
More on Juneau City And Borough: PhotosData

2. Sitka City And Borough

Sitka, AK

Biggest Place: Sitka
Population: 8,921
Median Income: $70,160 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $341,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (4th best)
More on Sitka City And Borough: PhotosData

3. Skagway Municipality

Skagway, AK

Biggest Place: Skagway
Population: 1,014
Median Income: $64,853 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $305,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (6th best)
More on Skagway Municipality: Data

4. Aleutians West Census Area

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Unalaska
Population: 5,714
Median Income: $86,964 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $211,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.1% (1st best)
More on Aleutians West Census Area: PhotosData

5. Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Valdez
Population: 9,522
Median Income: $82,511 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $227,900 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (11th best)
More on Valdez-Cordova Census Area: PhotosData

6. Haines Borough

Haines, AK

Biggest Place: Haines
Population: 2,528
Median Income: $53,125 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $198,400 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (3rd best)
More on Haines Borough: PhotosData

7. Fairbanks North Star Borough

Eielson Afb, AK

Source: Wikipedia User |

Biggest Place: Fairbanks
Population: 100,150
Median Income: $73,831 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $224,000 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (9th best)
More on Fairbanks North Star Borough: PhotosData

8. Ketchikan Gateway Borough

Ketchikan, AK

Biggest Place: Ketchikan
Population: 13,715
Median Income: $64,162 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $257,100 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (8th best)
More on Ketchikan Gateway Borough: PhotosData

9. Wrangell City And Borough

Wrangell, AK

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Wrangell
Population: 2,401
Median Income: $52,986 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $183,300 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (7th best)
More on Wrangell City And Borough: PhotosData

10. Kodiak Island Borough

Kodiak, AK

Biggest Place: Kodiak
Population: 13,918
Median Income: $73,068 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $266,700 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (2nd best)
More on Kodiak Island Borough: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Alaska To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Alaska can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Alaska according to the data:

  1. Northwest Arctic Borough
  2. Bethel Census Area
  3. Nome Census Area

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Alaska

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Juneau City And Borough 1 32,524 $87,436 $329,500
Sitka City And Borough 2 8,921 $70,160 $341,600
Skagway Municipality 3 1,014 $64,853 $305,700
Aleutians West Census Area 4 5,714 $86,964 $211,400
Valdez-Cordova Census Area 5 9,522 $82,511 $227,900
Haines Borough 6 2,528 $53,125 $198,400
Fairbanks North Star Borough 7 100,150 $73,831 $224,000
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 8 13,715 $64,162 $257,100
Wrangell City And Borough 9 2,401 $52,986 $183,300
Kodiak Island Borough 10 13,918 $73,068 $266,700
Matanuska-Susitna Borough 11 98,679 $73,908 $230,100
Kenai Peninsula Borough 12 57,637 $64,891 $229,200
Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area 13 6,374 $51,887 $171,100
Dillingham Census Area 14 4,980 $56,055 $196,400
Nome Census Area 15 9,879 $51,563 $138,300
Bethel Census Area 16 17,885 $53,296 $151,400
Northwest Arctic Borough 17 7,723 $61,341 $146,400

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