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Where are the best places in the state of Alaska?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They're the places in Last Frontier where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don't trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Alaska.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it's hard to argue against.
After analyzing 22 places in Alaska, we came up with this list of the best places.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Alaska for 2019:
- Unalaska (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cordova (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sitka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Valdez (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Juneau (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Seward (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Homer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dillingham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- North Pole (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Soldotna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Unalaska if you're thinking of moving to Alaska -- it's the best the Last Frontier has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Alaska.
For more Alaska reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alaska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alaska
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska
The 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska For 2019
The Town of Unalaska consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let's see why Unalaska ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Unalaska are the 2nd most expensive in the state of Alaska, with the average home worth a whopping $339,900. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Unalaska if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Unalaska residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 2nd lowest crime numbers in Alaska.
Taking a similar route to the top ten as many others on this list, Cordova ranked highly for adjusted median income (1st), crime (3rd), and unemployment (3rd).
With a population of 3,047 it was one of the smaller in the top ten and its government website actually goes to pains to say that it's a "community though not a city".
But don't listen to what they say people of Cordova, you can be anything you want.
Sitka isn't just the nicest place to live in Alaska - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.
It's got the 4th lowest unemployment rate, the 10th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.
When you're looking at science and data, Sitka definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.
In Valdez, everyone loves to call Valdez home! The median home value is the 19th highest in Alaska.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 18th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Last Frontier.
Juneau makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Alaska mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.9% of folks are jobless, you can bet Juneau residents are glad to live where they do.
Seward is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.
It's quite a gem tucked away in Alaska.
Homer takes 7th place on our list of best places in Alaska for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (9th overall) and things to do.
Homer is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $269,200 at the median.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Dillingham so high on the list. Unless you live in Dillingham.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 4.8%, Dillingham residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Alaska. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Dillingham is doing quite well.
Let's be honest -- Dillingham is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
North Pole's unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 12th highest, making North Pole a great place to work and settle down if you're look for a stable job with a stable income.
Additionally, North Pole has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.
Soldotna broke into the top ten best places to live in Alaska on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.
It placed 13th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 14th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 16th shortest average commute time of any place in Alaska.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Alaska
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Juneau with a population of 32,524 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities -- Populations over 2,000
- Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
- Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000
This left us with 22 cities, 42 towns, and 192 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be 'the best'.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Alaska
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Alaska across a number of criteria from one to 22, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Alaska".
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Alaska? That would be Unalaska.
If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Alaska.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Unalaska at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Alaska
If you're looking at areas in Alaska with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Unalaska made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Alaska for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Alaska
- Farmers Loop (Pop. 4,517)
- Haines (Pop. 1,838)
- Goldstream (Pop. 3,960)
- Cordova (Pop. 3,047)
- Farm Loop (Pop. 1,119)
- Unalaska (Pop. 4,710)
- Diamond Ridge (Pop. 1,201)
- Healy (Pop. 1,115)
- Dillingham (Pop. 2,296)
- Ridgeway (Pop. 2,338)
Best Small Towns To Live In Alaska
- Skagway (Pop. 972)
- Kachemak (Pop. 537)
- Port Alsworth (Pop. 156)
- Moose Creek (Pop. 739)
- Elfin Cove (Pop. 26)
- Chignik Lagoon (Pop. 59)
- Tenakee Springs (Pop. 172)
- Seldovia (Pop. 247)
- Crown Point (Pop. 108)
- Naknek (Pop. 544)
If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Alaska according to the data:
- Barrow (Pop. 4,316)
- Kotzebue (Pop. 3,288)
- Houston (Pop. 2,028)
For more Alaska reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Alaska
- 10 Safest Places In Alaska
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Alaska