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 38 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Alaska for 2019? 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.
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 2019
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 2013-2017 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 – 38 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.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $82,200 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.1% (4th worst)
More on Chevak: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $185,000 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (22nd worst)
More on Willow: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $122,600 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.6% (3rd worst)
More on Metlakatla: Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $207,000 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (8th worst)
More on Cohoe: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $148,300 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.9% (7th worst)
More on Tok: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $119,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (37th worst)
More on King Cove: Data
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:
- Goldstream (Pop. 3,987)
- Farm Loop (Pop. 1,113)
- Cordova (Pop. 3,175)
For more Alaska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska
- 10 Safest Places In Alaska
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Alaska
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Alaska
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Alaska