10 Best Places To Live In Alaska For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Alaska.

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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.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska For 2019

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

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.

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

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, 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 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.

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

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, 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 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.

Review Of Juneau by HomeSnacks User

Going to Juneau and not seeing the Mendenhall is like visiting Rome and skipping the Colosseum. The most famous of Juneaus ice floes, and the citys most popular attraction, flows 13 miles from its source, the Juneau Icefield, and has a half-mile-wide face. It ends at Mendenhall Lake, the reason for all the icebergs.

Mendenhall Glacier welcomes more than 400,000 visitors each year, and it's easy to see why: aside from its stunning arctic beauty, the glacier is only 12 miles outside Juneau and it's the only glacier in Southeast Alaska accessible by road. When you're not gazing at the icebergs, the Coast Mountains will likely grab your attention. Upon arrival, your first stop should be at the visitors center, where you can watch a 15-minute film describing the changing landscape, talk with forest rangers and relax in the warmth of the glacier observation area. You can also pick up a map detailing the various hiking paths around the glacier.

Seward, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/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

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, 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

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.

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

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, 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

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, 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 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'.

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 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

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

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

  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:

Where Are 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

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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