These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska For 2018


These are the cream of the crop when it comes to places to live in the Last Frontier.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Unalaska (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Cordova (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Sitka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Valdez (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Juneau (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Seward (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Homer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Dillingham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. North Pole (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Alaska reading, check out:

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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,710
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $339,900 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.9% (1st best)
More on Unalaska: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Little Unalaska has it made. It has the 1st lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for Alaska.

Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living

We’d recommend you start saving up!

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,047
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $299,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (3rd best)
More on Cordova: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Cordova, everyone loves to call Cordova home! The median home value is the 4th highest in Alaska.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 3rd lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Last Frontier.

Cordova should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

Sitka, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,921
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $341,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (4th best)
More on Sitka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sitka 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 4th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 10th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 12th shortest average commute time of any place in Alaska.

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,930
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $189,000 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (18th best)
More on Valdez: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Valdez 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 18th lowest unemployment rate, the 5th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Valdez definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.

Juneau, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 32,524
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $329,500 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (6th best)
More on Juneau: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Juneau 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.

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,714
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $192,500 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (10th best)
More on Seward: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 10th lowest in Alaska and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Seward.

Plus, the crime rate is the 9th lowest in the state!

Homer, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,418
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $269,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (9th best)
More on Homer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The tiny town of Homer may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Alaska residents know, Homer is a great central spot for making the most of life.

Dillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,296
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $255,500 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (5th best)
More on Dillingham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dillingham comes in at a close 8th. They have the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 9th highest median income as well, which means the people in Dillingham are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 6th best in the state.

North Pole, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 2,300
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $217,000 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (7th best)
More on North Pole: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Alaska, North Pole came in 9th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, North Pole has an impressive history for a place of just over 2,300 people. The median home costs a cool $217,000 and households make $69,806 which is good for 12th in Alaska.

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,471
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $223,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (13th best)
More on Soldotna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Soldotna ranks as the 10th best place in Alaska for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.

Soldotna has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Soldotna’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $67,434 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

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 2018.

Best Towns To Live In Alaska

  1. Farmers Loop (Pop. 4,517)
  2. Haines (Pop. 1,838)
  3. Goldstream (Pop. 3,960)
  4. Cordova (Pop. 3,047)
  5. Farm Loop (Pop. 1,119)
  6. Unalaska (Pop. 4,710)
  7. Diamond Ridge (Pop. 1,201)
  8. Healy (Pop. 1,115)
  9. Dillingham (Pop. 2,296)
  10. Ridgeway (Pop. 2,338)

Best Small Towns To Live In Alaska

  1. Skagway (Pop. 972)
  2. Kachemak (Pop. 537)
  3. Port Alsworth (Pop. 156)
  4. Moose Creek (Pop. 739)
  5. Elfin Cove (Pop. 26)
  6. Chignik Lagoon (Pop. 59)
  7. Tenakee Springs (Pop. 172)
  8. Seldovia (Pop. 247)
  9. Crown Point (Pop. 108)
  10. Naknek (Pop. 544)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Alaska according to the data:

  1. Barrow (Pop. 4,316)
  2. Kotzebue (Pop. 3,288)
  3. Houston (Pop. 2,028)

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Alaska

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Unalaska 4,710 0.9% $339,900
2 Cordova 3,047 4.3% $299,500
3 Sitka 8,921 4.5% $341,600
4 Valdez 3,930 10.7% $189,000
5 Juneau 32,524 4.9% $329,500
6 Seward 2,714 8.0% $192,500
7 Homer 5,418 7.4% $269,200
8 Dillingham 2,296 4.8% $255,500
9 North Pole 2,300 7.1% $217,000
10 Soldotna 4,471 9.2% $223,000
11 Ketchikan 8,189 8.5% $232,500
12 Nome 3,782 10.2% $209,700
13 Kodiak 6,272 2.4% $234,000
14 Wrangell 2,401 7.2% $183,300
15 Fairbanks 32,578 9.8% $200,200
16 Palmer 6,572 10.4% $194,100
17 Wasilla 8,972 11.3% $231,700
18 Bethel 6,365 9.7% $255,100
19 Kenai 7,551 8.7% $209,400
20 Barrow 4,316 16.1% $177,800
21 Kotzebue 3,288 13.8% $194,900
22 Houston 2,028 17.7% $175,200

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