These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Alaska For 2019


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Alaska are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Alaska, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Last Frontier and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Alaska based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Alaska ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Alaska for 2019:

  1. Cordova (Photos | Homes)
  2. Haines (Photos | Homes)
  3. Farm Loop (Homes)
  4. Diamond Ridge (Homes)
  5. Goldstream (Homes)
  6. Unalaska (Photos | Homes)
  7. Ester (Photos | Homes)
  8. Seward (Photos | Homes)
  9. Healy (Homes)
  10. Soldotna (Photos | Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like Cordova, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Last Frontier check out:

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Alaska

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 39 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 39, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Alaska. Top of that list — Cordova.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Alaska.

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,175
Median Income: $95,227 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $319,500 (2nd Best)
More on Cordova: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Haines, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,837
Median Income: $76,506 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $235,300 (13th Best)
More on Haines: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,113
Median Income: $95,833 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $255,000 (8th Best)
More on Farm Loop: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,193
Median Income: $83,750 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $273,200 (4th Best)
More on Diamond Ridge: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,987
Median Income: $84,293 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $228,800 (15th Best)
More on Goldstream: Data | Homes For Sale

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,809
Median Income: $91,635 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $347,800 (1st Best)
More on Unalaska: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,889
Median Income: $70,431 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $257,700 (6th Best)
More on Ester: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,748
Median Income: $74,397 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $228,900 (14th Best)
More on Seward: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,098
Median Income: $90,750 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $256,800 (7th Best)
More on Healy: Data | Homes For Sale

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,516
Median Income: $68,662 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $219,500 (17th Best)
More on Soldotna: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

North Pole, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,319
Median Income: $73,807 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $216,700 (18th Best)
More on North Pole: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Dillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,209
Median Income: $75,764 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $254,900 (9th Best)
More on Dillingham: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,921
Median Income: $94,003 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $201,600 (26th Best)
More on Valdez: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,195
Median Income: $96,705 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $246,400 (10th Best)
More on Ridgeway: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,871
Median Income: $80,563 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $245,600 (12th Best)
More on Butte: Data | Homes For Sale

Nome, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,793
Median Income: $81,389 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $210,100 (22nd Best)
More on Nome: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,635
Median Income: $83,500 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $246,000 (11th Best)
More on Deltana: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,732
Median Income: $72,679 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $269,400 (5th Best)
More on Lazy Mountain: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,036
Median Income: $69,583 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $279,300 (3rd Best)
More on Fritz Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,080
Median Income: $80,500 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $212,800 (20th Best)
More on Salcha: Data | Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in Alaska are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Alaska:

  1. Houston
  2. Willow
  3. Hooper Bay

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Alaska

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Cordova 3,175 $95,227.0 $319,500.0
2 Haines 1,837 $76,506.0 $235,300.0
3 Farm Loop 1,113 $95,833.0 $255,000.0
4 Diamond Ridge 1,193 $83,750.0 $273,200.0
5 Goldstream 3,987 $84,293.0 $228,800.0
6 Unalaska 4,809 $91,635.0 $347,800.0
7 Ester 1,889 $70,431.0 $257,700.0
8 Seward 2,748 $74,397.0 $228,900.0
9 Healy 1,098 $90,750.0 $256,800.0
10 Soldotna 4,516 $68,662.0 $219,500.0
11 North Pole 2,319 $73,807.0 $216,700.0
12 Dillingham 2,209 $75,764.0 $254,900.0
13 Valdez 3,921 $94,003.0 $201,600.0
14 Ridgeway 2,195 $96,705.0 $246,400.0
15 Butte 3,871 $80,563.0 $245,600.0
16 Nome 3,793 $81,389.0 $210,100.0
17 Deltana 2,635 $83,500.0 $246,000.0
18 Lazy Mountain 1,732 $72,679.0 $269,400.0
19 Fritz Creek 2,036 $69,583.0 $279,300.0
20 Salcha 1,080 $80,500.0 $212,800.0
21 Barrow 4,383 $82,964.0 $181,200.0
22 Craig 1,285 $62,826.0 $216,300.0
23 Kotzebue 3,276 $88,047.0 $207,000.0
24 Wrangell 2,475 $56,094.0 $194,000.0
25 Sand Point 1,332 $67,917.0 $132,500.0
26 King Cove 1,003 $66,923.0 $119,000.0
27 Salamatof 1,055 $60,000.0 $212,000.0
28 Funny River 1,026 $61,156.0 $226,600.0
29 Bear Creek 1,512 $64,655.0 $117,900.0
30 Anchor Point 2,057 $56,118.0 $179,200.0
31 Nikiski 4,728 $56,722.0 $204,400.0
32 Tok 1,197 $60,441.0 $148,300.0
33 Cohoe 1,288 $63,984.0 $207,000.0
34 Metlakatla 1,639 $54,250.0 $122,600.0
35 Chevak 1,271 $40,855.0 $82,200.0
36 Big Lake 3,136 $65,927.0 $190,600.0
37 Hooper Bay 1,153 $30,972.0 $75,500.0
38 Willow 2,121 $54,620.0 $185,000.0
39 Houston 2,068 $52,888.0 $169,700.0

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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