This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.
Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Alaska?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Alaska — and anyone looking to move to Alaska — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Last Frontier:
- Anchorage (Photos)
- Bethel (Photos)
- Kodiak (Photos)
- Juneau (Photos)
- Wasilla (Photos)
- Fairbanks (Photos)
- Kenai (Photos)
Why did Kotzebue take the top spot? For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on. Or learn more about the safest places in Alaska.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Alaska for 2018?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released of 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 2,000 in population. That left us with 24 cities in Alaska.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 24 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Alaska — Kotzebue. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Alaska.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Alaska.
Population: 3,290Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 3,373
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,261
Known as the Gateway to the Arctic, Kotzebue is also the gateway to the most serious crime center in the most crime ridden state in the country.
As the most violent city in Alaska, residents of Kotzebue face a whopping 1 in 29 chance of being the victim of a violent crime — more than 4 times more likely than the state average.
The property crime statistics aren’t encouraging either, with a 1 in 16.0 chance of incident for Kotzebue residents.
Population: 299,097Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,144
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,897
By far the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage contains 40% of the state’s population — a number only topped by New York City.
And while it’s been an All-America City winner 4 times, Anchorage is also the 2nd most dangerous city in Alaska.
There’s a 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Anchorage, and property crime has seen a rise from 2014-16.
Population: 6,522Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,161
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,327
Located on Alaska’s western coast, Bethel is only accessible by air or river, which means you might get stuck in a city with a 1 in 46 chance of being the victim of a violent crime for a bit.
The violent crime stats are 30% higher than the most violent state’s average, and while the property crime numbers are better, they’ve gone up in recent years.
Population: 6,274Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 988
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,239
Kodiak was once the capital of Russian Alaska, but now it’s known as “Alaska’s Emerald Isle.”
Kodiak is also the 4th most violent city in the most violent state in the country, with residents facing a 1 in 101 chance of being the victim of violence.
This number has gone down recently, but property crime has been on the rise, with the most recent numbers showing a 1 in 23.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Population: 32,964Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 855
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,838
Juneau is the capital of Alaska, and is also the second largest city in the US by area (largest is Sitka, Alaska, which happens to be one of the safest places in Alaska).
The good news for Juneau residents and tourists alike is the both violent and property crime are down in recent years.
Population: 4,619Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 736
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,087
Soldotna is located along the Kenai river, which CNN has named in the top 15 rivers for travelers.
It’s also home to pretty bad crime, but the good news is that property crime fell over the last 2 years for which data is available.
Violent crime has remained pretty consistent, but by Alaskan standards, the 1 in 135 chance is fairly good.
Population: 9,585Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 605
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,080
Located in south central Alaska, Wasilla has the distinct honor of being city where Sarah Palin was once the mayor.
The property crime numbers for Wasilla are the worst in the whole state, with the numbers rising recently.
Current numbers show a very likely 1 in 19.7 chance of being burnt by property crime, although violent crime in Wasilla is below the state average.
Population: 2,419Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,108
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,521
Dillingham is certainly lively when it comes to nighttime activities. This tiny city ranks 39.7 in the state for property crimes.
Residents here in Dillingham have a 1 in 21.6 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2016, which was the last reporting year. That means if you live in Dillingham, someone you know was likely the victim of a theft, home break-in or arson.
Population: 32,456Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 687
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,159
The largest city in the interior of Alaska, Fairbanks, is nicknamed “the Golden Heart City” — it’s also quite dangerous.
Violent crime has seen a moderate rise in recent years, while property crime statistics have remained consistent at a 1 in 26 chance.
Population: 7,770Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 308
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,405
Kenai’s motto is “Village with a Past — City with a Future,” which makes sense for a city that’s seen its population increase by 1000% since 1960.
But population isn’t the only thing going up in Kenai — Violent crime is up in recent years, and property crime is also on the way up.
It may not be the most dangerous on the list, but, in Alaska, that’s not saying much.
Locking It All Up In Alaska
The latest FBI crime data shows that Kotzebue ranks as the most dangerous city in Alaska for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Kotzebue’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Alaska:
For more Alaska reading , check out:
- If You’re From Alaska This Will Be The Most Jaw-Dropping Thing You See Today. Guaranteed.
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alaska
- 30 Other-wordly Images You Can Only See In Alaska
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Alaska
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