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:
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 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.
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
Population: 164 Median Income: $19,125
Median Home Value: $97,000
Population: 690 Median Income: $31,667
Median Home Value: $68,100
Population: 447 Median Income: $35,208
Median Home Value: $57,500
Population: 145 Median Income: $35,000
Median Home Value: $87,000
Population: 213 Median Income: $35,938
Median Home Value: $91,000
Population: 737 Median Income: $32,000
Median Home Value: $103,800
Population: 315 Median Income: $33,333
Median Home Value: $75,000
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.
- Best: Kachemak
- 2nd Best: Moose Creek
- 3rd Best: Skagway
For more reading, check out: