These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alaska For 2018


We used science and data to determine which cities in Alaska that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Alaska does this very well. Families love the Last Frontier’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Alaska that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Alaska for 2018:

  1. Fairbanks (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Ketchikan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Barrow (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Kotzebue (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Bethel (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Dillingham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Craig (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Kodiak (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Anchorage (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Homer (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So hopefully Hooper Bay (the cheapest place to live in Alaska) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out the best places to live in Alaska or the cheapest.

1. Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Population: 31,656
Services: 124
Groceries: 123
Health Care: 148
Housing: 115
Transportation: 138
Utilities: 245
More on Fairbanks: Homes For Sale | Data
Fairbanks is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.

2. Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska

Population: 8,097
Services: 112
Groceries: 125
Health Care: 149
Housing: 127
Transportation: 155
Utilities: 142
More on Ketchikan: Homes For Sale | 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.

3. Barrow

Barrow, Alaska

Population: 4,222
Services: 124
Groceries: 123
Health Care: 148
Housing: 108
Transportation: 138
Utilities: 245
More on Barrow: Homes For Sale | Data

4. Kotzebue

Kotzebue, Alaska

Public domain

Population: 3,240
Services: 124
Groceries: 123
Health Care: 148
Housing: 104
Transportation: 138
Utilities: 245
More on Kotzebue: Homes For Sale | Data

5. Bethel

Bethel, Alaska

Public domain

Population: 6,140
Services: 117
Groceries: 143
Health Care: 137
Housing: 127
Transportation: 167
Utilities: 141
More on Bethel: Homes For Sale | Data
Bethel is a city located near the west coast of the U.S. state of Alaska, approximately 400 miles west of Anchorage, in the Bethel Census Area. Accessible only by air and river, Bethel is the main port on the Kuskokwim River and is an administrative and transportation hub for the 56 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

6. Dillingham

Dillingham, Alaska

Public domain

Population: 2,161
Services: 117
Groceries: 143
Health Care: 137
Housing: 127
Transportation: 167
Utilities: 141
More on Dillingham: Homes For Sale | Data

7. Craig

Craig, Alaska

Population: 1,268
Services: 112
Groceries: 125
Health Care: 149
Housing: 84
Transportation: 155
Utilities: 142
More on Craig: Homes For Sale | Data

8. Kodiak

Kodiak, Alaska

Population: 6,196
Services: 117
Groceries: 143
Health Care: 137
Housing: 113
Transportation: 167
Utilities: 141
More on Kodiak: Homes For Sale | Data
Kodiak is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.

9. Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska

Population: 291,470
Services: 121
Groceries: 123
Health Care: 138
Housing: 144
Transportation: 124
Utilities: 109
More on Anchorage: Homes For Sale | Data
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016, it is Alaska’s most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state’s total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state’s population.

10. Homer

Homer, Alaska

Population: 5,050
Services: 121
Groceries: 123
Health Care: 138
Housing: 130
Transportation: 124
Utilities: 109
More on Homer: Homes For Sale | 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.”

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Last Frontier For 2018

Cheapest And Most Expensive Places To Live In Alaska Map
There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Alaska to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 14 places in Alaska that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Alaska that have the highest cost of living, with Fairbanks ranking as the most expensive city in the Last Frontier.

If you’re curious, here are the least expensive cities in Alaska:

  1. Hooper Bay
  2. Kenai
  3. Houston

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Alaska

Rank City Population Services Groceries Health Care
1 Fairbanks 31,656 124 123 148
2 Ketchikan 8,097 112 125 149
3 Barrow 4,222 124 123 148
4 Kotzebue 3,240 124 123 148
5 Bethel 6,140 117 143 137
6 Dillingham 2,161 117 143 137
7 Craig 1,268 112 125 149
8 Kodiak 6,196 117 143 137
9 Anchorage 291,470 121 123 138
10 Homer 5,050 121 123 138
11 Cordova 2,441 121 123 138
12 Houston 1,957 121 123 138
13 Kenai 7,152 121 123 138
14 Hooper Bay 1,195 121 123 138

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