Top 15 Safest Cities In Alaska For 2018

We used data and science to determine the places in Alaska where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list.

For a lot of people who live in the fine state of Alaska, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Wrangell.

The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Last Frontier. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.

In all, we analyzed 24 cities in Alaska with a population of more than 2,000 using the latest FBI crime data.

Here's the list of the safest cities in Alaska for 2018:

  1. Wrangell (Photos | Homes)
  2. Haines (Photos | Homes)
  3. Sitka (Photos | Homes)
  4. Unalaska (Photos | Homes)
  5. Valdez (Photos | Homes)
  6. Cordova (Photos | Homes)
  7. Homer (Photos | Homes)
  8. North Pole (Photos | Homes)
  9. Petersburg (Homes)
  10. Palmer (Photos | Homes)
  11. North Slope Borough (Photos | Homes)
  12. Ketchikan (Photos | Homes)
  13. Nome (Photos | Homes)
  14. Seward (Photos | Homes)
  15. Kenai (Photos | Homes)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. Or for more reading on safe places to live and Alaska, check out:

How we calculated the safest cities in Alaska

Safest Cities in Alaska Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2017) in Alaska.

Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
10 Best Places To Live In Alaska

For example, there were a total of 21 crimes committed in Wrangell which had a reported population of 2,380. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0088 which translates into a 1 in 113 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 2,000 people reported to the FBI in 2016. This left us with a total of 24 of the biggest cities in Alaska to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 24 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Alaska".

The safest city, based on our criteria, is Wrangell. The most dangerous city in Alaska? Kotzebue, where residents had a 1 in 10 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

1. Wrangell

Wrangell, AK
Source: Public domain

Population: 2,380
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 882 (2nd safest)
More on Wrangell: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

2. Haines

Haines, AK

Population: 2,535
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 157 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 946 (3rd safest)
More on Haines: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Haines is a census-designated place located in Haines Borough, Alaska, United States. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

3. Sitka

Sitka, AK

Population: 8,836
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 135 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,686 (8th safest)
More on Sitka: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

4. Unalaska

Unalaska, AK
Source: Public domain

Population: 4,517
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 354 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 642 (1st safest)
More on Unalaska: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

5. Valdez

Valdez, AK

Population: 3,847
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 181 (6th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,637 (7th safest)
More on Valdez: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

6. Cordova

Cordova, AK
Source: Public domain

Population: 2,186
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 228 (7th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,189 (6th safest)
More on Cordova: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

7. Homer

Homer, AK

Population: 5,613
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 178 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,975 (13th safest)
More on Homer: PhotosReal Estate | 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."

8. North Pole

North Pole, AK

Population: 2,201
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 181 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,998 (16th safest)
More on North Pole: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole is home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, is a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.

9. Petersburg

Petersburg, AK

Population: 3,162
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 411 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,182 (9th safest)
More on Petersburg: Photos

Petersburg is a census-designated place in Petersburg Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 2,824 according to 2009 Census Bureau estimates. The borough encompasses Petersburg and Kupreanof, plus mostly uninhabited areas stretching to the Canadian--American border and the southern boundary of the City and Borough of Juneau. While the city of Petersburg ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity, the tiny city of Kupreanof remains separate within the borough.

10. Palmer

Palmer, AK
Source: Public domain

Population: 6,959
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 373 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,414 (10th safest)
More on Palmer: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

11. North Slope Borough

North Slope Borough, AK

Population: 9,710
Rank Last Year: 10 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 854 (17th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,091 (5th safest)
More on North Slope Borough: PhotosReal Estate | Data

12. Ketchikan

Ketchikan, AK

Population: 8,221
Rank Last Year: 12 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 364 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,186 (14th safest)
More on Ketchikan: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Ketchikan is a city in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost city in Alaska. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included.

13. Nome

Nome, AK

Population: 3,846
Rank Last Year: 13 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,274 (21st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 988 (4th safest)
More on Nome: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Nome is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. The city is located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. In 2014 the population was estimated at 3,788, a rise from the 3,598 recorded in the 2010 Census. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most-populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, which is headquartered in Nome. The city of Nome claims to be home to the world's largest gold pan, although this claim has been disputed by the Canadian city of Quesnel, British Columbia.

14. Seward

Seward, AK
Source: Public domain

Population: 2,813
Rank Last Year: 11 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 853 (16th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,417 (11th safest)
More on Seward: PhotosReal Estate | 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.

15. Kenai

Kenai, AK

Population: 7,770
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 308 (8th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,405 (23rd safest)
More on Kenai: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Kenai is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Last Frontier

Looking at the data, you can tell that Wrangell is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most Alaska residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Alaska according to the data:

  1. Kotzebue
  2. Anchorage
  3. Bethel
For more reading, check out:

List Of Safest Cities In Alaska For 2018

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Wrangell, AK 2,380 0 882
2 Haines, AK 2,535 157 946
3 Sitka, AK 8,836 135 1,686
4 Unalaska, AK 4,517 354 642
5 Valdez, AK 3,847 181 1,637
6 Cordova, AK 2,186 228 1,189
7 Homer, AK 5,613 178 2,975
8 North Pole, AK 2,201 181 3,998
9 Petersburg, AK 3,162 411 2,182
10 Palmer, AK 6,959 373 2,414
11 North Slope Borough, AK 9,710 854 1,091
12 Ketchikan, AK 8,221 364 3,186
13 Nome, AK 3,846 1,274 988
14 Seward, AK 2,813 853 2,417
15 Kenai, AK 7,770 308 5,405
16 Fairbanks, AK 32,456 687 4,159
17 Dillingham, AK 2,419 2,108 2,521
18 Wasilla, AK 9,585 605 5,080
19 Juneau, AK 32,964 855 4,838
20 Soldotna, AK 4,619 736 5,087
21 Kodiak, AK 6,274 988 4,239
22 Bethel, AK 6,522 2,161 3,327
23 Anchorage, AK 299,097 1,144 4,897
24 Kotzebue, AK 3,290 3,373 6,261

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