The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alaska For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Alaska that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Alaska.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Alaska does this very well. Families love the Last Frontier's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Alaska that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Alaska for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Alaska? That would be Ketchikan.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 26 places in Alaska with more than 1,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Alaska for 2021:

  1. Ketchikan
  2. Homer
  3. Sitka
  4. Bethel
  5. Unalaska
  6. Juneau
  7. Wasilla
  8. Anchorage
  9. Dillingham
  10. Kodiak

What's the most expensive place to live in Alaska? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Ketchikan is the most expensive place to live in Alaska.

So hopefully King Cove (the cheapest place to live in Alaska) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Alaska and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Alaska For 2021

1. KetchikanKetchikan, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,228
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.5x (4th most expensive)
More on Ketchikan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Ketchikan comes in at $61,419 and the median home value is $255,600 for 2021.

2. HomerHomer, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,709
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.8x (10th most expensive)
More on Homer: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Homer comes in at $60,993 and the median home value is $282,400 for 2021.

3. SitkaSitka, AK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,640
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.1x (16th most expensive)
More on Sitka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Sitka comes in at $73,682 and the median home value is $358,600 for 2021.

4. BethelBethel, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,472
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.7x (2nd most expensive)
More on Bethel: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bethel comes in at $83,367 and the median home value is $280,400 for 2021.

5. UnalaskaUnalaska, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 4,724
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.3x (17th most expensive)
More on Unalaska: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Unalaska comes in at $94,750 and the median home value is $368,000 for 2021.

6. JuneauJuneau, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 32,227
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.5x (18th most expensive)
More on Juneau: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Juneau comes in at $88,390 and the median home value is $345,900 for 2021.

7. WasillaWasilla, AK

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,071
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.7x (7th most expensive)
More on Wasilla: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Wasilla comes in at $63,587 and the median home value is $243,400 for 2021.

8. AnchorageAnchorage, AK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 293,531
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.3x (14th most expensive)
More on Anchorage: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Anchorage comes in at $84,928 and the median home value is $314,800 for 2021.

9. DillinghamDillingham, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,215
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.6x (11th most expensive)
More on Dillingham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Dillingham comes in at $74,524 and the median home value is $266,200 for 2021.

10. KodiakKodiak, AK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,022
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.7x (9th most expensive)
More on Kodiak: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Kodiak comes in at $73,310 and the median home value is $255,000 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Last Frontier For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Alaska
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Alaska to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 26 places in Alaska that have more than 1,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Alaska according to the data is Ketchikan. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Alaska For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Alaska that have the highest cost of living, with Ketchikan ranking as the most expensive city in the Last Frontier.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Alaska according to the data:

  1. King Cove
  2. Hooper Bay
  3. Valdez

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Alaska

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Ketchikan 5.67 8,228 4.2x 55.5x
2 Homer 6.0 5,709 4.6x 59.8x
3 Sitka 6.33 8,640 4.9x 65.1x
4 Bethel 8.0 6,472 3.4x 53.7x
5 Unalaska 8.0 4,724 3.9x 66.3x
6 Juneau 8.67 32,227 3.9x 67.5x
7 Wasilla 9.0 10,071 3.8x 58.7x
8 Anchorage 9.33 293,531 3.7x 64.3x
9 Dillingham 9.67 2,215 3.6x 63.6x
10 Kodiak 11.0 6,022 3.5x 59.7x
11 Wrangell 11.0 2,502 4.0x 63.9x
12 Fairbanks 11.0 31,551 3.4x 45.1x
13 Nome 11.67 3,850 3.1x 56.4x
14 Kenai 12.67 7,742 3.7x 64.6x
15 Soldotna 12.67 4,649 3.5x 59.4x
16 Kotzebue 13.33 3,287 2.9x 55.9x
17 Cordova 14.0 2,829 3.5x 84.3x
18 Houston 15.0 1,977 3.1x 54.5x
19 Palmer 16.67 7,131 3.3x 63.9x
20 Seward 17.67 2,773 3.3x 74.9x
21 Craig 19.67 1,189 3.3x 70.8x
22 North Pole 20.33 2,740 2.8x 72.2x
23 Sand Point 22.33 1,309 1.9x 68.3x
24 Valdez 22.33 3,847 2.0x 71.4x
25 Hooper Bay 24.0 1,141 1.7x 69.0x
26 King Cove 25.33 1,147 1.7x 79.3x

How Is The Area In ?

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.