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 for 2019:
- Kotzebue (Photos)
- Anchorage (Photos)
- Juneau (Photos)
- Kenai (Photos)
- Soldotna (Photos)
- Dillingham (Photos)
- Fairbanks (Photos)
- Wasilla (Photos)
- Kodiak (Photos)
- Ketchikan (Photos)
After analyzing 24 cities in Alaska, 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.
For more Alaska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Alaska
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alaska
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Alaska
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Alaska
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Alaska for 2019?
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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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.
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 26 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 18.3 chance of incident for Kotzebue residents.
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 83 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Anchorage, and property crime has seen a rise from 2015-17.
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.
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.
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 142 chance is fairly good.
Dillingham is one of the most crime-ridden cities in Alaska.
Violent crime and property crime have become an issue between 2015-17, which left Dillingham’s residents with a 1 in 60 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 39.5 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
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.
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 21.8 chance of being burnt by property crime, although violent crime in Wasilla is below the state average.
Kodiak was once the capital of Russian Alaska, but now it’s known as “Alaska’s Emerald Isle.”
Kodiak is also the 9th most violent city in the most violent state in the country, with residents facing a 1 in 103 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 29.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Ketchikan might be one of the smallest city to make this list, but it proves that small towns can be every bit as dangerous as big cities.
Ketchikan has seen their property crime statistics drop by over 10% from 2015-17.
Still, for every year you’re within Ketchikan city limits, you face a greater than 1 in 24.1 chance of being robbed.
Locking It All Up In Alaska
The latest FBI crime data shows that Kotzebue ranks as the most dangerous city in Alaska for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Kotzebue and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Alaska:
- Unalaska (Pop. 4,449)
- Haines (Pop. 2,472)
- Cordova (Pop. 2,199)
For more Alaska reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alaska
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alaska For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Alaska
- 10 Safest Places In Alaska
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Alaska
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Alaska
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