Located west of Canada and in the Arctic Circle, Alaska is famous for its sweeping mountains, glaciers and wildlife. Alaska boasts more than half of the total national park lands in the U.S, including the Denali National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias and the Kenai Fjords. Alaska is home to more than 731,500 people, making it the 49th largest state in the country by population. Despite this, Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. by land area at 665,384 square miles.
That makes for plenty of room to spread out in its remote wilderness areas, but there are still many major urban areas in Alaska. Which of Alaska’s cities are the safest?
How We Determined the Safest Cities in Alaska
We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories: crime rates and financial safety. First, we evaluated each city’s crime rate using a number of public safety factors including the number of violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated the city’s financial safety using socioeconomic factors like household income, average rent and health insurance.
In addition to data on each of the cities, we also provided safety data for the state itself. We examined how each state ranks for natural disaster risks and public health ratings compared to all other states. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources on our methodology page.
Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:
- Property crime - Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Violent crime - Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Aggravated assaults - Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
- Hate crime - Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
- Officer-related incidents - Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
- Mass shootings - Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:
- Unemployment rate - The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
- Cost of living - The average annual rent and household income per city
- Poverty rate - Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
- Uninsured residents - Unemployed and employed residents that reported not having health insurance
- Access to internet - Residents that reported having access to the internet in their household
4 Safest Cities in Alaska
No. 1 Juneau
At #1 on our list of safe cities in Alaska is Juneau, which has low rates for assault, violence and property crime. Juneau, the state capital, is located between Mount Roberts and the Gastineau Channel. A bustling port city, Juneau is home to the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Admiralty Island National Monument.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 24.74782282 (3rd) 57.9537623 (3rd) 485.558549 (2nd) 0.62652716 (2nd) 0.62652716 (2nd) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 14712 (4th) 88213 (1st) 0.058 (3rd) 0.052 (4th) 0.024 (3rd) 0.449 (2nd)
No. 2 Fairbanks
Fairbanks is located around 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is the second-largest city in Alaska. Ideally placed for those looking to explore Alaskan history, Fairbanks is the end of the line for the famous Alaska Railroad. With Fairbanks city tours, visitors can explore the historic trans-Alaska oil pipeline and the Museum of the North.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 21.49517939(4th) 39.51319741 (4th) 428.0069543 (3rd) 0.948316738 (3rd) 0.948316738 (3rd) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 15672 (3rd) 83280 (3rd) 0.056 (4th) 0.073 (3th) 0.009 (4th) 0.288 (4th)
No. 3 Anchorage
Anchorage is Alaska’s biggest city and is home to almost half of Alaska’s population. Despite this, Anchorage has very low rates of crime so it’s a great place to live or visit. While Anchorage may be a busy city, it’s not too far away from nature with the Chugach State Park just on the city’s border.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 46.43962848(2nd) 84.52286364 (2nd) 492.7874736 (1st) 0.034247514 (1st) 0.034247514 (1st) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 17004 (1st) 84559 (2nd) 0.102 (1st) 0.157 (1th) 0.042 (1st) 0.69 (1st)
No. 4 Kotzebue
Located in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic region, the city of Kotzebue is just 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Kotzebue is known for its close proximity to the Noatak, Kobuk and Selawik rivers as well as the Noatak National Preserve and the Kobuk Valley National Park. While it has slightly higher rates of hate crime than other cities on the list, the overall crime rates for this city are very low.
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Total Violent Crime Society Crimes Property Crime Hate Crime Officer Incident Mass Shootings 97.76963031(1st) 226.0922701 (1st) 427.7421326 (4th) 3.055300947 (4th) 3.055300947 (4th) 0 (1st)
Annual Rent Household Income Unemployment Rate Poverty Uninsured Employed Uninsured Unemployed 16464 (2nd) 61665 (4th) 0.082 (2nd) 0.089 (2nd) 0.026 (2nd) 0.34 (3rd)
Alaska State Safety
Natural Disaster Safety
Alaska is listed as 39th in the country for natural disaster risk and has experienced 45 disasters since 1953. Some of the natural disasters that can affect Alaska include earthquakes, wildfires, heavy snowfall, floods and volcanic eruption.
Alaska is located in the “Ring of Fire,” an area surrounding the Pacific Ocean with more frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Earthquakes are fairly common in Alaska, with the state averaging 100 earthquakes per day. There are also over 40 active volcanoes in Alaska. One of the most recent eruptions occurred in 1992 when Mt. Spurr erupted with ash and debris, halting air traffic in and out of Anchorage for days.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death in Alaska is cancer, followed by heart disease, accidents and respiratory diseases. Alaska ranks 22nd in the country for drug-related deaths.
Alaska comes 29th in the country for the number of primary care physicians, with 141.2 per 100,000 people. However, Alaska ranks a bit better for mental health care. The state is ranked 5th in the country for the number of mental health providers per 100,000 people.
Alaska is also ranked 10th in the country for air pollution, making it one of the healthiest states in the U.S. in terms of air quality.
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Top 4 Safest Cities in Alaska