Alaska is an expensive state to live in. Due to its remoteness and extreme weather conditions, people earn and spend more than most states in the lower US. So, where do the rich live in Alaska?
There are over 20,000 millionaire households in Alaska. Most of these households are in Unalaska, Sitka, Cordova, Kodiak, Juneau, Wasilla, Anchorage, Skagway, Fairbanks, and Sterling. The median household income in most cities is over $70,000 while the living costs are above the national average.
However, not all these cities are expensive. Some, such as Sitka and Kodiak, even have lower cost of living indices than the state average. Here, we highlight the wealthiest cities in Alaska.
Wealthiest Places in Alaska
Although Alaska is generally an expensive place to live, certain cities and towns have a higher percentage of rich households. The best way to determine this is by looking at the cost of living and the household income. Here are places where the rich in Alaska live:
Unalaska Island is the major city in the Aleutian Islands and has about 5,000 people. It’s home to the port of Dutch Harbor, which is one of the most important fishing areas in the US. This is one of the most expensive places to live in the US, with its cost-of-living index being 60.3% above the national average. The median home price in the city is $490,000, while the median household income is $90,938.
With a median household income of over $81,708 even back in 2020, Sitka is one of the richest cities in Alaska. The city is famous for its fishing ports. Although it has almost 9000 people, living here has a rural feel. The cost of living is 23.5% higher than the national average but about 2% lower than the state average.
Cordova has one of the highest median household incomes in the state, with $91,442 in 2020. The city has a population of slightly above 2000 with a sparse suburban feel to it. Living here is more expensive than in most cities in the state. The city has a large population of young professionals.
The median household income for the Kodiak Island Borough is $79,173. But it’s lower in the city itself at $69,259. Kodiak has a population of around 6,000, but with the six communities that form the borough, the population reaches over 12,000. Living here is cheaper than in most cities in Alaska.
Juneau is the capital of Alaska and one of the most expensive cities in the state. As the center of government, most of those living here work with the government. Housing is quite expensive, with the typical home value on Zillow being $458,821. But you don’t have to worry because the median household income here is $88,077.
This is the fourth largest city in Alaska and has a population of over 10,000. The city is quite lovely and more affordable than most places in Alaska. The average cost of living there is 18.2% higher than the national average. However, homes in the city are still expensive. Zillow estimates the typical value to be $276,788. But Realtor calculated the median listing price for May to be $369k.
The median household income here is $62,667.
Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska and the closest thing to a metropolitan area in the state. With almost 300,000 people, Anchorage contains about 40% of those living in Alaska. The cost of living here is quite high because it’s the center of commerce and the economy.
Anchorage’s cost of living index is 23.5% higher than the national average. The typical cost of homes here is $388,802, and it has one of the fastest-growing real estate markets in the frontier state. Fortunately, the median household income in the city is $84,813, which makes most residents here quite wealthy.
This is likely the most expensive city to live in Alaska. The median cost of homes here is $568,800. But other real estate platforms have different prices. Zillow estimates it to be $317,905, while the median listing price on Realtor based on available home prices is $412,000.
The city is 60.8% more expensive than the national average. The factors contributing to the city’s high cost of living include its grocery cost, which is 117.5% higher than the national average. Housing is also very costly here and more than double the nationwide price. The median household income in Bethel was $83,367 in 2019.
Skagway has a population of fewer than 2000 residents. Its median household income is $71,875, which makes it one of the wealthiest cities in the state. Only 3.8% of those in the city live below the poverty line. The cost of living in the state is 26.5% above the national average.
Grocery and housing costs are responsible for most of the expenses in the city. Zillow data put the typical value of the home in Skagway at $317,905. However, homes in the city are usually more expensive than Zillow estimates. So, you might expect to spend close to close to $400k on homes in the city.
Residents of Sterling are one of the wealthiest in Alaska, the city of barely over 6000 people has a median household income of $90,799 in 2020. Homes are also expensive, with Redfin putting the median home listing price at $397,000. However, average home prices differ from one platform to another. The cost of living in Sterling is 17.7% above the national average. It’s on the Kenai Peninsula, which makes it a great tourist destination due to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
This city made the list of the 20 most expensive cities in the US in 2019. It’s the second-largest city in the state and one of the coldest. But this hasn’t stopped people from moving there. Over 31,000 people live in Fairbanks, and it has a median household income of $64,397 in 2020. The income for Fairbanks North Star Borough is even higher at $76,464. According to Realtor, the median listing home price in the city is $328,000 as of May 2022, representing a 26.2% rise in home prices.
Alaska isn’t a glamorous state like California. But it has its fair share of wealthy people. There are 20,444 millionaire households in the state which accounts for 7.5% of its population. Unlike California, where the wealthiest areas usually have grand mansions and exclusive neighborhoods, most cities in Alaska have few ostentatious neighborhoods.