These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Alaska For 2018


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

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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 152 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:

  1. Tetlin
  2. Mentasta Lake
  3. Tanacross
  4. Gambell
  5. Tuntutuliak
  6. Kokhanok
  7. Minto
  8. Alakanuk
  9. Tununak
  10. Nikolai

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.

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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 crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 152 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.

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1. Tetlin


Population: 116
Median Income: $21,250
Median Home Value: $85,000

2. Mentasta Lake


Population: 181
Median Income: $33,750
Median Home Value: $113,600

3. Tanacross


Population: 164
Median Income: $19,125
Median Home Value: $97,000

4. Gambell


Population: 690
Median Income: $31,667
Median Home Value: $68,100

5. Tuntutuliak


Population: 447
Median Income: $35,208
Median Home Value: $57,500

6. Kokhanok


Population: 145
Median Income: $35,000
Median Home Value: $87,000

7. Minto


Population: 213
Median Income: $35,938
Median Home Value: $91,000

8. Alakanuk


Population: 737
Median Income: $32,000
Median Home Value: $103,800

9. Tununak


Population: 315
Median Income: $33,333
Median Home Value: $75,000

10. Nikolai


Population: 120
Median Income: $37,083
Median Home Value: $47,500

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. Best: Kachemak
  2. 2nd Best: Moose Creek
  3. 3rd Best: Skagway

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alaska
  • These Are The 10 Safest Places In Alaska
  • These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Alaska
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Alaska

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Tetlin 1 116 $85,000
    Mentasta Lake 2 181 $113,600
    Tanacross 3 164 $97,000
    Gambell 4 690 $68,100
    Tuntutuliak 5 447 $57,500
    Kokhanok 6 145 $87,000
    Minto 7 213 $91,000
    Alakanuk 8 737 $103,800
    Tununak 9 315 $75,000
    Nikolai 10 120 $47,500
    Northway 11 140 $69,000
    Nulato 12 286 $65,000
    Savoonga 13 932 $61,800
    Tyonek 14 293 $26,700
    Grayling 15 165 $133,300
    Goodnews Bay 16 216 $68,600
    Kasigluk 17 635 $63,800
    Nightmute 18 233 $73,800
    Chalkyitsik 19 120 $54,400
    Ruby 20 214 $129,200
    Brevig Mission 21 417 $83,300
    Chuathbaluk 22 109 $116,100
    Kipnuk 23 682 $95,000
    Selawik 24 807 $93,100
    Circle 25 116 $237,500
    Holy Cross 26 216 $87,500
    Napakiak 27 404 $71,700
    Allakaket 28 105 $57,000
    Stebbins 29 513 $131,700
    St. Michael 30 446 $66,000
    Mekoryuk 31 191 $78,300
    Ouzinkie 32 189 $107,100
    Teller 33 163 $103,100
    Newtok 34 403 $70,800
    Russian Mission 35 401 $117,200
    Old Harbor 36 302 $76,300
    Nondalton 37 186 $137,500
    Ambler 38 295 $100,000
    Shungnak 39 290 $96,000
    Trapper Creek 40 349 $127,100
    Tuluksak 41 431 $65,000
    Koyuk 42 261 $80,000
    Kobuk 43 137 $97,500
    Nunapitchuk 44 642 $56,300
    New Stuyahok 45 566 $121,600
    Pilot Station 46 600 $105,400
    Shishmaref 47 539 $80,600
    Quinhagak 48 729 $112,500
    Kivalina 49 671 $91,300
    Marshall 50 343 $117,200
    Akiak 51 407 $83,300
    Kongiganak 52 446 $93,300
    St. Mary’S 53 521 $121,100
    Akiachak 54 584 $89,300
    Akutan 55 782 $95,700
    Noorvik 56 605 $115,000
    Kiana 57 342 $88,100
    Point Lay 58 306 $85,000
    Hydaburg 59 291 $88,600
    Buckland 60 616 $87,500
    Lower Kalskag 61 286 $189,100
    Kotlik 62 662 $72,200
    Anaktuvuk Pass 63 273 $112,500
    Pitkas Point 64 128 $116,700
    Toksook Bay 65 503 $80,000
    Golovin 66 132 $107,800
    Noatak 67 403 $120,800
    Napaskiak 68 424 $90,000
    Fox River 69 625 $187,500
    Scammon Bay 70 521 $92,900
    White Mountain 71 168 $100,000
    Eek 72 472 $57,700
    Elim 73 300 $80,000
    Fort Yukon 74 568 $88,300
    Mountain Village 75 838 $74,600
    Togiak 76 771 $122,800
    Emmonak 77 808 $104,900
    Nanwalek 78 216 $162,500
    Nunam Iqua 79 118 $115,600
    Angoon 80 448 $137,500
    Tanana 81 279 $52,500
    Port Graham 82 197 $128,800
    Kwethluk 83 787 $93,100
    Kwigillingok 84 332 $184,400
    Point Hope 85 604 $89,500
    Huslia 86 435 $103,700
    Manokotak 87 787 $87,500
    Atqasuk 88 167 $122,500
    Deering 89 150 $63,800
    Wainwright 90 488 $97,900
    Aleknagik 91 189 $198,800
    Glennallen 92 192 $59,100
    Nikolaevsk 93 257 $112,500
    South Van Horn 94 566 $21,000
    St. Paul 95 525 $86,800
    Upper Kalskag 96 264 $169,400
    Adak 97 122 $21,700
    Nenana 98 373 $93,800
    Kaktovik 99 166 $100,000
    Nuiqsut 100 347 $85,000

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