Safest Cities in Alaska

Alaska is often regarded as one of the most mysterious yet beautiful states in the U.S.A. It is the largest state, with the longest coastline, but has a population that ranks 48th amongst the U.S. States and territories. There is no state income tax or state sales tax in Alaska, but cities and boroughs may (and do) impose their own taxes. Alaska has a deep literary presence throughout history from White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London to the biography of Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. Alaska is also home to beautiful landscapes and impressive mountains including Denali, the highest peak in North America.

.01% of U.S. population
2x above average U.S. violent crime rate
17% above average U.S. property crime rate

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  SITKA

In the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, Sitka is often regarded as Alaska's most beautiful seaside town; and also one of the safest. With a population of 8,850 people, Sitka has the lowest crime rate of any town in the state. When Alaska was colonized by Russia, Sitka was their only outpost and used as a trading post. It's also home to St. Michael's, the first Russian Orthodox cathedral in North America. 

8,850 Population
14 Violent Crimes
147 Property Crimes

2. PALMER

Palmer started in 1935 as a tent city for families fleeing droughts in the midwest. Each family was given 40 acres, and a farming colony was established. To this day, the unique microclimate in Palmer is ideal for producing giant vegetables which are often on display at the Alaska State Fair. Palmer is now home to 6,652 residents. You'll find mountains, rivers, a visitor center with museum and gardens, and a world-class 18-hole golf course. 

6,652 Population
22 Violent Crimes
121 Property Crimes

3. NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH

North Slope Borough is 95,000 square miles across northern Alaska and is, by area, the largest county-level political subdivision in the United States. Their population is 9,707. The borough seat is Barrow. Barrow is 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle, making it the northernmost city in the United States. Barrow spends an average of 160 days per year below freezing temperatures. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Inupiat people lived here as far back as 500 CE. 

9,707 Population
80 Violent Crimes
102 Property Crimes

4. HOMER

Homer is located in south-central Alaska on the Kenai peninsula. It has a population of 5,511 people. Homer was named after con man Homer Pennock; he promoted gold mining in the area. But it was coal that turned out to be the more successful resource until a dip in the market caused the town to be nearly abandoned in 1902. The town recovered - in 1985 they got their first McDonald’s. 

5,511 Population
7 Violent Crimes
193 Property Crimes

5. KETCHIKAN

Ketchikan began as a Tlingit fish camp at the mouth of Ketchikan creek. The Tongass Packing Company was established in 1887 by businessmen from Portland, Oregon. From that time onward, Ketchikan became a cannery town, a mining center, and a fishing hub. It has a population of 8,286 people and has collected several nicknames including “The Wickedest City in Alaska” and “The Salmon Capital of the World”.

8,286 Population
31 Violent Crimes
285 Property Crimes

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The Top 10 Safest Cities in Alaska, 2017

1. Sitka

2. Palmer

3. North Slope Borough

4. Homer

5. Fairbanks

6. Kodiak

7. Kenai

8. Juneau

9. Bethel

10. Anchorage

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Alaska, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

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