Article Table Of Contents
Alaskans are lucky.
Whether it's on the side of Alaska's Denali or a quintessential bay town like Sand Point, the last state to join the lower fifty US states has an affordable place that will fit any budget. And that's where HomeSnacks comes in, folks. We took a look at the US Census data and cost of living data for The Last Frontier and created a list of the cheapest places to live in Alaska for 2020.
Now, just because these places in Alaska are affordable, doesn't mean they're not nice. Many of the cities on Alaska's most affordable list are also on its safest list. It's not rocket science, folks. When you save money on your cost of living in Alaska, you're usually in a better place to invest in your community.
If you ask any Alaskan, they will say, hands down, that their corner of the frontier is the best. But if you're the good people in our most affordable place in Alaska for 2020, you know you live in Alaska's best of the best.
So, want to know where your income will go the furthest in Alaska? Where you can beat Alaska at their 'cost of living' game? Keep reading.
Did we mention the Alaska kick back? Yes, every Alaskan gets a certain percentage of the state's oil revenue--it's called the Alaska Permanent Fund. Probably why Alaska's statewide median income is close to $73,000.
So, want to know where the Alaska Permanent Fund will let you live like Exxonmobil's CEO on a fisherman's budget? The most affordable place to live in Alaska would be King Cove.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Alaska and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alaska For 2020
The median income in King Cove comes in at $75,000 and the median home value is $116,700 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Valdez comes in at $95,847 and the median home value is $189,700 for 2020.
The median income in Sand Point comes in at $69,063 and the median home value is $139,100 for 2020.
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.
The median income in North Pole comes in at $79,301 and the median home value is $222,100 for 2020.
The median income in Hooper Bay comes in at $31,528 and the median home value is $64,000 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Seward comes in at $76,410 and the median home value is $235,000 for 2020.
The median income in Chevak comes in at $38,250 and the median home value is $66,200 for 2020.
The median income in Kotzebue comes in at $84,559 and the median home value is $214,900 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Wrangell comes in at $57,583 and the median home value is $212,600 for 2020.
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.
The median income in Palmer comes in at $60,350 and the median home value is $204,300 for 2020.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Last Frontier For 2020
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Alaska to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 27 places in Alaska that have more than 1,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Alaska according to the data is King Cove. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Alaska Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Alaska, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Alaska for 2020.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Alaska according to the data:
For more Alaska reading, check out:
Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In Alaska?