The 20 Worst Places to Live in Alaska

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While finding out the best places to live in a state is essential when relocating, it is just as important to find out about the worst places to live. Doing so will help you to decide the best areas to avoid. Although many factors dictate whether somewhere is a good place to live or not, safety and crime rates are two of the most important. Other factors that contribute to a location’s desirability are the performance of the schools, the properties, and the range of amenities and leisure facilities for residents to enjoy. If you are looking for a new place to call home in Alaska, then here are the 20 worst places to live in Alaska to help you choose a location.

Unalaska

20. Unalaska

Located on an island of the same name, Unalaska is a city with a population of 4,546 people. It has the 14th most reported violent crimes in Alaska and the 18th most reported property crimes. Therefore, it is generally considered a dangerous place to live. The location means that access to medical facilities is limited. A further issue of living in this city is the lack of leisure and entertainment options. On the plus side, there are decent schools in the area.

Petersburg

19. Petersburg

Petersburg makes it into the 20 worst places to live in Alaska as it ranks in the top 20 for both violent and property crimes. It is the 15th worst city for property crimes and the 16th worst city for violent crimes. According to Niche, crime rates are not the only issue in Petersburg. Another problem is that there is a lack of amenities and leisure activities in the area. On the plus side, the schools in the area are above average.

Homer

18. Homer

Property crimes are one of the biggest issues in Homer, which is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that is home to just over 5,000 people. It is the ninth-worst city in Alaska for property crimes. Violent crimes are less of an issue, as Homer is only the 21st worst place to live for violent crimes. However, that is still bad enough to put a lot of people off living in the area. An interesting fact about Homer is that it is known as the halibut fishing capital of the world, and fishing is one of the biggest industries in the area.

North Slope Borough

17. North Slope Borough

An interesting fact about North Slope Borough is that it is the northernmost borough in the United States. It is the largest city in Utqiagvik and has a population of 9,872 people. In 2019, there were 148 violent crimes and 89 property crimes. Therefore, the city ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in Alaska for violent crimes and the 20th most dangerous in terms of property crime rates.

North Pole

16. North Pole

Located in the Fairbanks North Star Borough of Alaska, North Pole is a small city with a population of just over 2,000 residents. It is not the same place as the Earth’s geographic North Pole, and there are 1,700 miles between these two locations. North Pole is famous for featuring Christmas decorations around the city all year round. Despite the sense of fun created by the decorations, the crime rates show a different side to North Pole. It is both the 12th most dangerous place to live for violent crime and the 12th most dangerous place to live for property crime.

Soldotna

15. Soldotna

Soldotna is the 12th most dangerous place to live in Alaska. It ranks in the tenth position for property crimes and in the 13th position for violent crimes. Located in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Soldotna has a population of under 5,000 people. The low property prices and the low cost of living are indicators of a poor economy in this area.

Nome

14. Nome

Nome is another location that seems to combine beauty with danger. This city has a population of under 4,000 people, and it is surrounded by natural features that make it a picturesque setting. Despite the pretty setting, the crime rates in Nome are staggeringly high. Since 2017, both property and violent crimes have almost tripled, meaning it is now the tenth most dangerous place to live in Alaska. With a one in 37 chance of experiencing violent crime, Nome has the state’s second-highest violent crime rates. In terms of property crime, it is the 19th most dangerous with a one in 104.7 chance of becoming a property crime victim.

Fairbanks

13. Fairbanks

In terms of population, Fairbanks is almost as large as Juneau, as it is home to more than 31,000 people. Due to the inks between larger populations and higher crime rates, it is not all that surprising that Fairbanks is the seventh-most dangerous place to live in Alaska, which is why it is also one of the worst places to live. Violent crime rates have unfortunately risen in recent years, and residents of this city now have a one in 163 chance of becoming a violent crime victim. Property crime rates have held steady, and there is a one in 26 chance of experiencing property crime.

Juneau

12. Juneau

Juneau is the capital of Alaska, and it is home to almost 32,000 people. There is often a link between the number of people living in an area and the crime rates. Therefore, it may not surprise you to learn that Juneau is the fourth-most dangerous place to live in Alaska, which is why it makes it onto this list of the worst places to live in the state. Residents have a one in 120 chance of becoming a violent crime victim and a one in 20 chance of a property crime against them. The good news is that both types of crime have fallen in recent years.

Anchorage

11. Anchorage

According to Only in Your State, Anchorage is one of the worst places to live in Alaska as it is one of the most dangerous due to the high crime rates. It is the second-most dangerous city in terms of violent crime, as the residents of Anchorage have a one in 76 chance of becoming a violent crime victim. Property crime is also high, with a one in 20 chance of people becoming a victim of a property crime.

Sitka

10. Sitka

Sitka is the second-most densely populated city in Alaska. Two of the factors that contribute to this city ranking in the top ten worst places to live in Alaska are the unemployment and the crime rates. Sitka is the 15th most dangerous place to live in Alaska, and it has the 17th highest unemployment rate.

Bethel

9. Bethel

The low property prices in Bethel reflect the lack of demand, and there are many reasons that people would not want to live there. Education and the economy are the two main issues. The schools in Bethel are underfunded, so it is no wonder that their performance is poor. In terms of the economy, the unemployment rate is the sixth highest in the state, with nine percent of the population out of work. Another big issue in this area is the lack of amenities and leisure activities to enjoy.

Dillingham

8. Dillingham

The positive feature of Dillingham is its beauty, as it is located at the top of the Aleutian Islands along a gulf. However, its location is also one of the town’s biggest issues. There is a lack of employment opportunities in the area, and there is a long commute to work in other areas. These are issues that contribute to high unemployment in the area. Another issue is health care, which is expensive in Dillingham and the surrounding area. It may also surprise you to learn that this pretty area has high crime rates, with a one in 70 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime.

Kodiak

7. Kodiak

Kodiak is the main city and island in the Kodiak Island Borough, and it has a population of 6,107. It is the sixth most dangerous place to live in the state, with a one in 25 chance of property crime and a one in 125 chance of becoming a victim of violent crimes. The economy is also poor, and approximately 9.5 percent of the residents are living below the poverty line. Suddenly, an island lifestyle seems less appealing.

Ketchikan

6. Ketchikan

Ketchikan is another city that has a reputation for being a bad place to live, and with good reason. Property crimes are high, and residents have a one in 20.1 chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime. Property prices are significantly below the state average, which is evidence of a lack of demand. Unemployment is also quite high, at 8.1 percent. It is also not a great place to raise a family, as the schools are underfunded, and it shows in their performance.

Palmer

5. Palmer

At first sight, Palmer would seem a wonderful place to live. It sits on the Matanuska River and is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Talkeetna Mountains and the Pioneer and Twin Peaks in the Chugach Range. Although Palmer is a beautiful place to live, its aesthetic qualities are just about all the town has in its favor. Its economy is one of the worst in the state, which is reflected in the low median household income and low property prices. It also has the third-highest unemployment rate in Alaska at 10.8 percent. While the residents can enjoy living in a beautiful area, many are having a hard time making ends meet.

Kotzebue

4. Kotzebue

Kotzebue is a city that is a tale of two halves. On the one hand, the unemployment rate is high at 10.2 percent. It is also the most dangerous city in which to live in Alaska, as there is a one in 30 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime and a one in 23 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. On the other hand, the median household income is reasonable, and the schools in the area are decent. Therefore, there are pros and cons to living in this city.

Wasilla

3. Wasilla

Crime is a big issue in Wasilla, which has a population of 9,675. The city is the fourth most dangerous place to live in Alaska. There is a one in 15.2 chance of being a victim of property crime and a one in 158 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. The crime rates are not the only issue in this city, as it has the state’s second-highest unemployment rate, with 10.9 percent of residents out of work. Also, the city has the 12th-cheapest homes in the state, which shows there is a lack of demand to live in Wasilla.

Kenai

2. Kenai

Kenai is a city with a population of 7,687, and it is located on the same peninsula as Anchorage. Its location means that residents of the city struggle to reach good medical care, so it is a bad option for anyone with long-term health problems. The unemployment rate is almost nine percent, which is the seventh-worst in the state, while the median home value is the ninth-worst in the state.

Houston

1. Houston

According to Road Snacks, the worst place to live in Alaska is Houston. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why Houston has consistently ranked as one of the worst places to live in recent years. Starting with poor safety, Houston has the fourth highest crime rate in Alaska. However, that is not the city’s biggest issue. It has the lowest house value, which is a sign that the economy is not good. Houston also has the worst unemployment rate at 17 percent. A further issue is commuting, as residents of Houston have the longest average commute time.


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