The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alaska For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Alaska have the most for people looking to make the move to Alaska.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Alaska a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Alaska.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Last Frontier based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Alaska, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 29 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Last Frontier for 2021.

Juneau City And Borough is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Alaska. And you might want to avoid Kusilvak Census Area if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Alaska, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Alaska and the cheapest places to live in Alaska.

The Best Counties To Live In Alaska For 2021

1. Juneau City And Borough

Juneau, AK

Biggest Place: Juneau

Population: 32,227
Median Income: $88,390 (best)
Median Home Price: $345,900.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (6th best)
More on Juneau City And Borough: PhotosData

2. Aleutians West Census Area

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Unalaska

Population: 5,698
Median Income: $87,466 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $279,200.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (2nd best)
More on Aleutians West Census Area: PhotosData

3. Skagway Municipality

Skagway, AK

Biggest Place: Skagway

Population: 1,107
Median Income: $73,906 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $338,500.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (13th best)
More on Skagway Municipality: PhotosData

4. Sitka City And Borough

Sitka, AK

Biggest Place: Sitka

Population: 8,640
Median Income: $73,682 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $358,600.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (8th best)
More on Sitka City And Borough: PhotosData

5. Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Cordova, AK

Biggest Place: Valdez

Population: 9,243
Median Income: $79,867 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $222,200.0 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (3rd best)
More on Valdez-Cordova Census Area: PhotosData

6. Anchorage Municipality

Anchorage, AK

Biggest Place: Anchorage

Population: 293,531
Median Income: $84,928 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $314,800.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (10th best)
More on Anchorage Municipality: PhotosData

7. Petersburg Borough

Biggest Place: Aberdeen

Population: 3,257
Median Income: $69,948 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $227,400.0 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (5th best)
More on Petersburg Borough: Data

8. Haines Borough

Haines, AK

Biggest Place: Haines

Population: 2,518
Median Income: $58,059 (22nd best)
Median Home Price: $254,000.0 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (7th best)
More on Haines Borough: PhotosData

9. Kodiak Island Borough

Kodiak, AK

Biggest Place: Kodiak

Population: 13,451
Median Income: $85,839 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $282,100.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (9th best)
More on Kodiak Island Borough: PhotosData

10. Denali Borough

Biggest Place: Healy

Population: 2,246
Median Income: $81,719 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $223,000.0 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (best)
More on Denali Borough: Data

How do you determine which Alaska county is the best?

To give you the best county in Alaska, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Alaska across each of the criteria from one to 29, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In Alaska”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Last Frontier.

Read on to see why Juneau City And Borough is the best county, while Kusilvak Census Area is probably in contention for being the worst county in Alaska.

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Alaska To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Alaska can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Alaska according to the data:

  1. Kusilvak Census Area
  2. Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
  3. Lake And Peninsula Borough

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Alaska

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Juneau City And Borough 1 32,227 $88,390 $345,900.0
Aleutians West Census Area 2 5,698 $87,466 $279,200.0
Skagway Municipality 3 1,107 $73,906 $338,500.0
Sitka City And Borough 4 8,640 $73,682 $358,600.0
Valdez-Cordova Census Area 5 9,243 $79,867 $222,200.0
Anchorage Municipality 6 293,531 $84,928 $314,800.0
Petersburg Borough 7 3,257 $69,948 $227,400.0
Haines Borough 8 2,518 $58,059 $254,000.0
Kodiak Island Borough 9 13,451 $85,839 $282,100.0
Denali Borough 10 2,246 $81,719 $223,000.0
Fairbanks North Star Borough 11 99,072 $76,992 $240,000.0
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 12 13,800 $72,728 $289,900.0
Matanuska-Susitna Borough 13 105,369 $75,493 $249,000.0
Bristol Bay Borough 14 875 $79,808 $188,800.0
Wrangell City And Borough 15 2,502 $53,894 $216,200.0
Kenai Peninsula Borough 16 58,464 $66,064 $242,200.0
Yakutat City And Borough 17 649 $71,607 $202,300.0
North Slope Borough 18 9,792 $79,306 $152,500.0
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 19 6,878 $70,056 $170,900.0
Hoonah-Angoon Census Area 20 2,139 $59,803 $223,600.0
Prince Of Wales-Hyder Census Area 21 6,407 $52,379 $174,900.0
Dillingham Census Area 22 4,961 $56,898 $183,500.0
Nome Census Area 23 9,988 $61,048 $154,600.0
Aleutians East Borough 24 3,385 $69,250 $119,900.0
Northwest Arctic Borough 25 7,715 $60,906 $141,400.0
Bethel Census Area 26 18,134 $53,553 $83,600.0
Lake And Peninsula Borough 27 1,393 $44,135 $114,900.0
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 28 5,377 $41,413 $76,500.0
Kusilvak Census Area 29 8,250 $36,754 $71,500.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Alaska.

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.