Worst Small Towns In Alaska For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in AK are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Alaska.

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Most Americans have never been to Alaska. However, as the people who live there know, Alaska is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Alaska has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Last Frontier. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 37 of Alaska's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Alaska where you'd never want to live:

These are the worst small towns in Alaska for 2020:

  1. Hooper Bay (Photos)
  2. Chevak
  3. Sutton-Alpine
  4. Willow
  5. Big Lake (Photos)
  6. Houston (Photos)
  7. Metlakatla
  8. Tok
  9. King Cove
  10. Nikiski

So what is the worst small town to call home in alaska for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Hooper Bay is the worst small town to live in Alaska.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Alaska has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Alaska or the worst places to live in Alaska.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Alaska For 2020

Hooper Bay, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,101
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $64,000 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 38.0% (1st worst)
More on Hooper Bay:  Data | Photos

Chevak, AK

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,144
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $66,200 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.3% (5th worst)
More on Chevak:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,586
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $177,600 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (20th worst)
More on Sutton-Alpine:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,126
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $198,400 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (18th worst)
More on Willow:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,765
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $187,500 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (6th worst)
More on Big Lake:  Data | Photos

Houston, AK

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,172
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $169,100 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.0% (4th worst)
More on Houston:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,635
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $143,100 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.4% (3rd worst)
More on Metlakatla:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,160
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $159,900 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (14th worst)
More on Tok:  Data

King Cove, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,074
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $116,700 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (35th worst)
More on King Cove:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,575
Rank Last Year: 11 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $214,400 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (16th worst)
More on Nikiski:  Data

Nikiski is a census-designated place in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 4,327 at the 2000 census.

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Alaska, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in Alaska for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 37 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Alaska

If you're analyzing teeny places in the Last Frontier with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Alaska, according to science:

  1. Diamond Ridge (Pop. 1,285)
  2. Haines (Pop. 1,870)
  3. Farm Loop (Pop. 1,137)

For more Alaska reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Alaska

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hooper Bay 1,101 38.0% $64,000
2 Chevak 1,144 16.3% $66,200
3 Sutton-Alpine 1,586 7.6% $177,600
4 Willow 2,126 7.9% $198,400
5 Big Lake 2,765 12.0% $187,500
6 Houston 2,172 17.0% $169,100
7 Metlakatla 1,635 20.4% $143,100
8 Tok 1,160 8.6% $159,900
9 King Cove 1,074 4.2% $116,700
10 Nikiski 4,575 8.2% $214,400
11 Kotzebue 3,288 10.2% $214,900
12 Anchor Point 2,093 9.7% $178,000
13 Sand Point 1,372 5.8% $139,100
14 Wrangell 2,484 5.6% $212,600
15 Salamatof 1,015 7.8% $218,500
16 Cohoe 1,217 7.1% $209,800
17 Craig 1,263 7.2% $221,100
18 Fritz Creek 1,956 9.9% $297,600
19 Delta Junction 1,053 9.2% $218,300
20 Lazy Mountain 1,800 10.0% $274,600
21 Deltana 2,613 10.2% $230,900
22 Dillingham 2,250 6.8% $260,200
23 Nome 3,813 9.5% $239,800
24 Healy 1,022 3.9% $232,700
25 Valdez 3,870 8.6% $189,700
26 Seward 2,770 7.6% $235,000
27 Unalaska 4,781 1.8% $342,600
28 Skagway 1,005 6.0% $322,200
29 Ridgeway 2,617 7.6% $256,800
30 Butte 3,929 5.7% $245,000
31 Soldotna 4,589 3.3% $210,800
32 North Pole 2,660 6.3% $222,100
33 Goldstream 4,389 5.5% $248,500
34 Cordova 3,055 2.5% $316,200
35 Diamond Ridge 1,285 3.9% $279,200
36 Haines 1,870 4.6% $250,800
37 Farm Loop 1,137 6.6% $264,200

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