Best Small Towns In Alaska For 2020


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. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Alaska.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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 2020:

These are the best small places to live in Alaska for 2020:

  1. Haines (Photos | Homes)
  2. Cordova (Photos | Homes)
  3. Farm Loop (Homes)
  4. Diamond Ridge (Homes)
  5. Goldstream (Homes)
  6. Skagway (Photos | Homes)
  7. Unalaska (Photos | Homes)
  8. Ester (Photos | Homes)
  9. North Pole (Photos | Homes)
  10. Ridgeway (Homes)

What's the best small town in Alaska? Haines is the best small town in Alaska based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Haines, 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:

The 20 Best Small Towns In Alaska For 2020

Haines, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,870
Median Income: $75,833 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $250,800 (11th Best)
More on Haines: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,055
Median Income: $85,970 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $316,200 (3rd Best)
More on Cordova: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,137
Median Income: $99,167 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $264,200 (8th Best)
More on Farm Loop: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,285
Median Income: $94,028 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $279,200 (5th Best)
More on Diamond Ridge: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,389
Median Income: $80,227 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $248,500 (12th Best)
More on Goldstream: Data | Homes For Sale

Skagway, AK

Overall SnackAbility

/10

Population: 1,005
Median Income: $71,500 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $322,200 (2nd Best)
More on Skagway: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,781
Median Income: $92,273 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $342,600 (1st Best)
More on Unalaska: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,312
Median Income: $67,227 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $274,700 (6th Best)
More on Ester: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

North Pole, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,660
Median Income: $79,301 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $222,100 (18th Best)
More on North Pole: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,617
Median Income: $98,984 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $256,800 (10th Best)
More on Ridgeway: Data | Homes For Sale

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,589
Median Income: $61,723 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $210,800 (25th Best)
More on Soldotna: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Nome, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,813
Median Income: $81,449 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $239,800 (14th Best)
More on Nome: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,770
Median Income: $76,410 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $235,000 (15th Best)
More on Seward: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,870
Median Income: $95,847 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $189,700 (29th Best)
More on Valdez: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,929
Median Income: $78,571 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $245,000 (13th Best)
More on Butte: Data | Homes For Sale

Dillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,250
Median Income: $73,500 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $260,200 (9th Best)
More on Dillingham: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,022
Median Income: $87,760 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $232,700 (16th Best)
More on Healy: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,613
Median Income: $88,696 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $230,900 (17th Best)
More on Deltana: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,465
Median Income: $66,645 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $184,200 (31st Best)
More on Bear Creek: Data | Homes For Sale

Wrangell, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,484
Median Income: $57,583 (32nd Best)
Median Home Value: $212,600 (24th Best)
More on Wrangell: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

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 2014-2018 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 - 40 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 40, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Alaska. Top of that list -- Haines. You can download the data here.

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

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. Big Lake
  2. Sutton-Alpine
  3. Houston

For more alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Alaska

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Haines, AK 1,870 $75,833.0 $250,800.0
2 Cordova, AK 3,055 $85,970.0 $316,200.0
3 Farm Loop, AK 1,137 $99,167.0 $264,200.0
4 Diamond Ridge, AK 1,285 $94,028.0 $279,200.0
5 Goldstream, AK 4,389 $80,227.0 $248,500.0
6 Skagway, AK 1,005 $71,500.0 $322,200.0
7 Unalaska, AK 4,781 $92,273.0 $342,600.0
8 Ester, AK 1,312 $67,227.0 $274,700.0
9 North Pole, AK 2,660 $79,301.0 $222,100.0
10 Ridgeway, AK 2,617 $98,984.0 $256,800.0
11 Soldotna, AK 4,589 $61,723.0 $210,800.0
12 Nome, AK 3,813 $81,449.0 $239,800.0
13 Seward, AK 2,770 $76,410.0 $235,000.0
14 Valdez, AK 3,870 $95,847.0 $189,700.0
15 Butte, AK 3,929 $78,571.0 $245,000.0
16 Dillingham, AK 2,250 $73,500.0 $260,200.0
17 Healy, AK 1,022 $87,760.0 $232,700.0
18 Deltana, AK 2,613 $88,696.0 $230,900.0
19 Bear Creek, AK 1,465 $66,645.0 $184,200.0
20 Wrangell, AK 2,484 $57,583.0 $212,600.0
21 Craig, AK 1,263 $64,853.0 $221,100.0
22 Fritz Creek, AK 1,956 $69,750.0 $297,600.0
23 Lazy Mountain, AK 1,800 $69,464.0 $274,600.0
24 Delta Junction, AK 1,053 $75,833.0 $218,300.0
25 Kotzebue, AK 3,288 $84,559.0 $214,900.0
26 Sand Point, AK 1,372 $69,063.0 $139,100.0
27 King Cove, AK 1,074 $75,000.0 $116,700.0
28 Tok, AK 1,160 $62,583.0 $159,900.0
29 Salamatof, AK 1,015 $57,679.0 $218,500.0
30 Cohoe, AK 1,217 $64,911.0 $209,800.0
31 Anchor Point, AK 2,093 $58,594.0 $178,000.0
32 Nikiski, AK 4,575 $55,043.0 $214,400.0
33 Metlakatla, AK 1,635 $53,409.0 $143,100.0
34 Funny River, AK 1,251 $53,708.0 $200,600.0
35 Chevak, AK 1,144 $38,250.0 $66,200.0
36 Willow, AK 2,126 $51,932.0 $198,400.0
37 Hooper Bay, AK 1,101 $31,528.0 $64,000.0
38 Houston, AK 2,172 $50,625.0 $169,100.0
39 Sutton-Alpine, AK 1,586 $42,125.0 $177,600.0
40 Big Lake, AK 2,765 $58,000.0 $187,500.0

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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