These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Alaska For 2019


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 . This is our fourth 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 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:

These are the worst small towns in Alaska for 2019:

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

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.

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.

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.

Hooper Bay, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,153
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $75,500 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 36.7% (1st worst)
More on Hooper Bay:  Data | Photos

Chevak, AK

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,271
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $82,200 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.1% (4th worst)
More on Chevak:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,121
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $185,000 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (22nd worst)
More on Willow:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,639
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $122,600 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.6% (3rd worst)
More on Metlakatla:  Data

Houston, AK

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,068
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $169,700 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (5th worst)
More on Houston:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,288
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $207,000 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (8th worst)
More on Cohoe:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,197
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $148,300 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.9% (7th worst)
More on Tok:  Data

King Cove, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,003
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $119,000 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (37th worst)
More on King Cove:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,136
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $190,600 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (9th worst)
More on Big Lake:  Data | Photos

Kotzebue, AK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,276
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $207,000 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (10th worst)
More on Kotzebue:  Data | Photos

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. Goldstream (Pop. 3,987)
  2. Farm Loop (Pop. 1,113)
  3. Cordova (Pop. 3,175)

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 1,153 36.7% $75,500
2 Chevak 1,271 18.1% $82,200
3 Willow 2,121 7.6% $185,000
4 Metlakatla 1,639 18.6% $122,600
5 Houston 2,068 16.1% $169,700
6 Cohoe 1,288 13.4% $207,000
7 Tok 1,197 13.9% $148,300
8 King Cove 1,003 2.3% $119,000
9 Big Lake 3,136 12.6% $190,600
10 Kotzebue 3,276 11.9% $207,000
11 Nikiski 4,728 8.4% $204,400
12 Wrangell 2,475 7.0% $194,000
13 Sand Point 1,332 4.5% $132,500
14 Barrow 4,383 14.2% $181,200
15 Salamatof 1,055 5.5% $212,000
16 Anchor Point 2,057 8.0% $179,200
17 Bear Creek 1,512 3.8% $117,900
18 Craig 1,285 7.9% $216,300
19 Fritz Creek 2,036 9.0% $279,300
20 Deltana 2,635 10.5% $246,000
21 Nome 3,793 9.6% $210,100
22 Salcha 1,080 10.1% $212,800
23 Lazy Mountain 1,732 9.3% $269,400
24 Dillingham 2,209 5.1% $254,900
25 Ridgeway 2,195 9.5% $246,400
26 Butte 3,871 8.3% $245,600
27 Valdez 3,921 9.5% $201,600
28 Unalaska 4,809 1.6% $347,800
29 Seward 2,748 5.8% $228,900
30 Soldotna 4,516 7.3% $219,500
31 Ester 1,889 7.2% $257,700
32 North Pole 2,319 6.8% $216,700
33 Healy 1,098 3.5% $256,800
34 Haines 1,837 3.5% $235,300
35 Diamond Ridge 1,193 5.3% $273,200
36 Goldstream 3,987 5.1% $228,800
37 Farm Loop 1,113 7.4% $255,000
38 Cordova 3,175 2.1% $319,500

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