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:
- 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.
Unalaska ranks as the 1st best place in Alaska for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.
Unalaska has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Unalaska’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $92,083 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
Cordova had the 3rd lowest unemployment of any place in our research (4.3%) and the 3rd lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Cordova is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
Sitka ranks 3rd on our list of best places to live in Alaska thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.
Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Alaska that we examined.
People have been flocking to Sitka over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Valdez takes 4th place on our list of best places in Alaska for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (18th overall) and things to do.
Valdez 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 $189,000 at the median.
Let’s take a look at why Juneau is a great place to call home for 2019.
There’s low crime in Juneau, and the residents here are gainfully employed (4.9% unemployment rate).
You can make Juneau your home for only $329,500 which won’t be too hard on a $87,436 household salary.
Seward has a strong showing in our best places to live in Alaska analysis, coming it at 6th best.
It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.
If you’re thinking of moving to Alaska, Seward is a great option.
Homer 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 Homer has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 7.4% and lowering. And the Homer police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 8th lowest in the state here.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?
We think the motto in Dillingham should be “Everything is greater in Dillingham,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Dillingham has some of the highest home values in Alaska, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Dillingham only has 890.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Dillingham a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
North Pole 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 7th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 12th highest median income of any place in our analysis.
However, it only has the 19th shortest average commute time of any place in Alaska.
Taking its place as the 10th best place in Alaska is Soldotna. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Alaska.
It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.
An unemployment rate of only 9.2% helps thing too.
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 For 2018
- 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