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:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alaska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live 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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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!
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 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 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 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.
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!
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 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.
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 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
- 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:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska
- 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