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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 Cordova.
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 2019:
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 2018) 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)
For example, there were a total of 29 crimes committed in Cordova which had a reported population of 2,199. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0132 which translates into a 1 in 75 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 2017. 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 Cordova. 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.
Population: 2,199 Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 0 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,318 (7th safest) More on Cordova:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 4,449 Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 337 (10th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 651 (1st safest) More on Unalaska:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 8,736 Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 160 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,865 (9th safest) More on Sitka:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 2,395 Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 334 (9th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,169 (6th safest) More on Wrangell:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 3,842 Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 312 (8th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,327 (8th safest) More on Valdez:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 2,248 Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 222 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,935 (12th safest) More on North Pole:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 3,108 Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 128 (2nd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,410 (15th 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.
Population: 7,184 Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 278 (6th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,396 (13th safest) More on Palmer:Photos | Real 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.
Population: 5,735 Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 191 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,679 (16th safest) More on Homer:Photos | Real 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."
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Last Frontier
Looking at the data, you can tell that Cordova 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.