The 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.

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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 Unalaska has the 1st lowest unemployment rate in Alaska. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Unalaska is higher than the national average and households make $92,083 per year.

We’d move to Unalaska if we could in a heart beat.

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

Cordova is another great city in Alaska with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Cordova. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

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 offers an impressive amount to do while maintaining a small town’s charm.

The unemployment rate sits as the 4th lowest in Alaska and incomes are the 10th highest.

When you come into town be sure to check out the parks as they are a good time for people of all ages.

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

Well, I guess technically 10.7% of Valdez residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 18th closest of any city in Alaska.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Valdez also ranked well for crime (4th) and median income ($80,357).

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 has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Alaska.

The unemployment rate is the 6th lowest in the state at 4.9%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $87,436, and the average cost of a home is $329,500. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Juneau one of America’s gems.

Review Of Juneau by HomeSnacks User

the weather is very cold, and the winds are fast, it’s hard to be there

It was pleasant, although the weather is very cold.

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 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 Seward has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 8.0% and lowering. And the Seward police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 9th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

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 Town of Homer might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Homer isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $269,200 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Alaska.

If Homer can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.4% is the 9th highest in the state.

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

Looks like little Dillingham might be a hidden gem in Alaska. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($255,500) and crime is really low (13th lowest in the state).

Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.

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

In North Pole, everyone loves to call North Pole home! The median home value is the 12th highest in Alaska.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 7th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Last Frontier.

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

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Soldotna. Statistically the 19th safest place in the state, there were only 34 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Soldotna, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $67,434 a year, and homes are valued at more than $223,000.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?

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 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

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