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
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.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska For 2019
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Unalaska. Statistically the 2nd safest place in the state, there were only 16 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Unalaska, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $92,083 a year, and homes are valued at more than $339,900.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?
Cordova is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 2nd best place in Alaska?
Homes are priced around $299,500 and residents have the 13th shortest commute in Alaska.
Sitka had the 4th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (4.5%) and the 5th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Sitka is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
Valdez 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 18th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 5th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 11th shortest average commute time of any place in Alaska.
At an unemployment rate of 4.9%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Juneau. And the residents command high salaries ($87,436 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($329,500 each).
We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Alaska. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you don’t have a job in Seward, you’re most likely not trying very hard. The unemployment rate here is almost as low as you can get — 8.0%. In fact, there are probably enough butler and landscaping jobs available here to put every single unemployed resident to work, what with a median income of $70,000.
That’s actually not a bad idea…
Homer comes in at a close 7th. They have the 9th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 18th highest median income as well, which means the people in Homer are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 5th best in the state.
Dillingham has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.
Just about everyone who wants a job in Dillingham has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 4.8% and lowering. And the Dillingham police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 13th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call North Pole one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of North Pole.
The Town of Soldotna 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 Soldotna ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Soldotna are the 11th most expensive in the state of Alaska, with the average home worth a whopping $223,000. 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 Soldotna if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Soldotna residents have the 14th highest income in the state, and the 19th lowest crime numbers in Alaska.
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
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Alaska