The 10 Best Small Towns In Alaska For 2021


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Alaska are the best of the best..

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our seventh time ranking the best small places to live in Alaska.

You've seen these lists before: Best places to live in Alaska, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Last Frontier and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that's all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Alaska based on numbers--not opinions or hearsay.

We'll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Alaska ranked the based--you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here's a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Alaska for 2021.

The 10 Best Small Towns To Live In Alaska For 2021

  1. Diamond Ridge
  2. Cordova
  3. Unalaska
  4. Farm Loop
  5. Goldstream
  6. Haines
  7. Skagway
  8. Ridgeway
  9. North Pole
  10. Ester

What's the best small town in Alaska? Diamond Ridge is the best small town in Alaska based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Diamond Ridge, chances are, you're not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you--keep reading and we'll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Last Frontier check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Alaska For 2021

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,245
Median Income: $96,406 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $291,800 (5th Best)
More on Diamond Ridge: Data | Homes For Sale

Cordova, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,829
Median Income: $94,625 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $330,600 (3rd Best)
More on Cordova: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Unalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,724
Median Income: $94,750 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $368,000 (1st Best)
More on Unalaska: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,170
Median Income: $89,000 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $263,000 (8th Best)
More on Farm Loop: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,592
Median Income: $81,750 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $269,700 (6th Best)
More on Goldstream: Data | Homes For Sale

Haines, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,863
Median Income: $61,842 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $250,700 (14th Best)
More on Haines: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Skagway, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,059
Median Income: $73,393 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $343,100 (2nd Best)
More on Skagway: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,702
Median Income: $91,029 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $257,400 (12th Best)
More on Ridgeway: Data | Homes For Sale

North Pole, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,740
Median Income: $81,042 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $226,000 (18th Best)
More on North Pole: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,622
Median Income: $65,664 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $232,500 (17th Best)
More on Ester: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Nome, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,850
Median Income: $84,574 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $258,100 (11th Best)
More on Nome: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,006
Median Income: $70,486 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $170,500 (31st Best)
More on Salcha: Data | Homes For Sale

Valdez, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,847
Median Income: $85,085 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $168,600 (32nd Best)
More on Valdez: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Dillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,215
Median Income: $74,524 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $266,200 (7th Best)
More on Dillingham: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Soldotna, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,649
Median Income: $60,491 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $211,400 (23rd Best)
More on Soldotna: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Alaska

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census's 2015-2019 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot - 40 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 40, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Alaska. Top of that list -- Diamond Ridge. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Alaska.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we'll say it again -- this list: it's just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Alaska are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you're curious, here are the worst small towns in Alaska:

  1. Sutton-Alpine
  2. Susitna North
  3. Big Lake

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Alaska

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Diamond Ridge, AK 1,245 $96,406.0 $291,800.0
2 Cordova, AK 2,829 $94,625.0 $330,600.0
3 Unalaska, AK 4,724 $94,750.0 $368,000.0
4 Farm Loop, AK 1,170 $89,000.0 $263,000.0
5 Goldstream, AK 3,592 $81,750.0 $269,700.0
6 Haines, AK 1,863 $61,842.0 $250,700.0
7 Skagway, AK 1,059 $73,393.0 $343,100.0
8 Ridgeway, AK 2,702 $91,029.0 $257,400.0
9 North Pole, AK 2,740 $81,042.0 $226,000.0
10 Ester, AK 1,622 $65,664.0 $232,500.0
11 Nome, AK 3,850 $84,574.0 $258,100.0
12 Salcha, AK 1,006 $70,486.0 $170,500.0
13 Valdez, AK 3,847 $85,085.0 $168,600.0
14 Dillingham, AK 2,215 $74,524.0 $266,200.0
15 Soldotna, AK 4,649 $60,491.0 $211,400.0
16 Butte, AK 4,015 $79,583.0 $254,400.0
17 Seward, AK 2,773 $73,611.0 $243,500.0
18 Fritz Creek, AK 2,074 $71,042.0 $299,500.0
19 Deltana, AK 2,430 $95,174.0 $197,900.0
20 Talkeetna, AK 1,237 $71,389.0 $222,200.0
21 Kotzebue, AK 3,287 $81,188.0 $236,500.0
22 Lazy Mountain, AK 1,650 $65,833.0 $259,700.0
23 Point Mackenzie, AK 1,264 $90,536.0 $262,500.0
24 Craig, AK 1,189 $63,438.0 $208,200.0
25 Sand Point, AK 1,309 $67,500.0 $127,200.0
26 King Cove, AK 1,147 $73,229.0 $121,000.0
27 Tok, AK 1,289 $64,398.0 $161,800.0
28 Wrangell, AK 2,502 $53,894.0 $216,200.0
29 Funny River, AK 1,331 $56,364.0 $221,900.0
30 Cohoe, AK 1,223 $69,219.0 $209,700.0
31 Nikiski, AK 4,316 $54,583.0 $214,900.0
32 Anchor Point, AK 2,129 $58,636.0 $189,000.0
33 Metlakatla, AK 1,654 $56,188.0 $155,100.0
34 Chevak, AK 1,037 $40,625.0 $60,700.0
35 Hooper Bay, AK 1,141 $36,250.0 $60,000.0
36 Houston, AK 1,977 $52,955.0 $163,900.0
37 Willow, AK 1,987 $52,768.0 $193,200.0
38 Big Lake, AK 2,678 $54,324.0 $207,000.0
39 Susitna North, AK 1,071 $48,824.0 $186,600.0
40 Sutton-Alpine, AK 1,458 $49,375.0 $164,500.0

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.