Moving to Alaska A Complete Relocation Guide 2022

This is a complete guide for Moving to Alaska
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Alaska

Are you mulling over moving to Alaska?

If you love adventure, canoeing, kayaking, river rafting, mountain climbing, camping, fishing and the likes, moving to Alaska is perfect for you. The state is home to about 3 million lakes and 3000 rivers.

Alaska is the largest state by area in the U.S. with lots of breathtaking landscapes, mountains, rivers, and lakes to be explored.

Known as the Last Frontier, Alaska’s cold weather makes it a perfect spot for all sorts of snow related recreations and sports including snowboarding, skiing, and dog sledding etc.

If you’re considering moving to Alaska and wondering if the state is right for you or not, this guide contains all the key information you need to know to make the right decision.

facts of Alaska

Quick facts to know about moving to Alaska

  • There is no income tax in Alaska
  • Commuting time in Alaska is shorter than the United States average
  • On average, Alaska gets 74 inches of snow in a year. U.S. average is 28
  • More than 65% of Alaskans are homeowners
  • The average annual pay for the average job in Alaska is $69,751
  • There are over 3 million lakes and 3,000 rivers in Alaska

What’s the population of Alaska?

Alaska is home to 724,357 people. The Last Frontier is rated 48th in the United States in terms of population. Alaska stretches across 665,384 square miles. Check out the following key stats about the state’s population since you’re considering moving to Alaska:

  • Alaska has an average density of 1.2 people per square mile
  • Anchorage is the largest and most populated city in Alaska
  • Alaska is the most sparsely populated state in the union
  • Alaska’s median age is 33.6 years
  • In Alaska, there are 52.2% males and 47.7% identified as females

How is the weather like in Alaska?

Alaska gets 121 sunny days per year. The national average is 205 sunny days a year. The weather is most likely one of the key things you’ll have to mull over before making up your mind about moving to Alaska. Here are key stats of the Last Frontier’s weather:

  • Alaska gets 74 inches of snow in a year. National average is 28 inches
  • On average, Alaska gets 31 inches of rain a year. National average is 38 inches
  • Alaska’s summer high in July is around 64 degrees
  • Alaska’s winter low in January is around 3 degrees

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How fast can you commute in Alaska?

Alaska’s average one-way commute time is 18.8 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. That means commuting time in Alaska is shorter than the national average. If you’d like to spend less time commuting on the road, with less stress and stay more productive, moving to Alaska is right for you.

Here’s how Alaskans commute to work:

  • Around 68.5% of Alaskans drive their own car alone
  • Up to 12.4% of Alaskans carpool with others
  • About 4.4% work from home
  • Around 1.5% take mass transit
moving to Alaska

Top 10 Reasons to move to Alaska

Why are people moving to Alaska? If you love adventure, you’ll most likely like Alaska

But there’s more to Alaska than snow, mountains, and wildlife. The following are some of the key reasons people are moving to Alaska:

  • Get the chance to explore wild lands and mountains

    With massive tracts of wild open spaces, ancient forests, soaring mountains, and salmon-filled rivers, Alaska is the last frontier of the US. The unspoiled wildlands of Alaska are home to some of the best wildlife habitats in the country, including eagles, salmon, caribou, and grizzly bears.

  • Enjoy delicious seafood cuisine

    Alaska is the best and the last place to savor the best wild-caught seafood. And, with strict federal and state management ensuring sustainable harvests, this dining experience is guilt-free. Alaska salmon, in particular, is abundant and healthy, if not an outright “superfood.

    Some of the outstanding seafood in Alaska to relish includes:

    • Sockeye salmon
    • Coho salmon
    • Chinook salmon
    • King crab
    • Wild-caught shrimp and scallops
    • Pink salmon
    • Chum salmon
    • Pacific halibut
    • Pacific cod, black cod (sablefish), and lincod

  • If you love cold winters, you’d love Alaska

    Alaska is meant for people who are crazy about winter. The state is notorious for long, cold winters, and cool summers, and in some parts of northern Alaska, snow is possible year-round.

  • Lots of water related recreations to enjoy

    There’s no shortage of water in Alaska, which means there’s no shortage of fun water-sport experiences to be had. While kayaking is the most popular water activity, scuba diving, kitesurfing, and sailing are also highly popular.

  • If you enjoy working remotely, welcome to Alaska

    Situated hundreds of miles away from the mainland of the US, bordering the north of Canada, Alaska is a perfect destination if you love working in remote areas. The largest state of the US, Alaska is rich in minerals but is extremely cold in climate.

  • There’s no state income tax in Alaska

    A big plus of living in Alaska is the absence of income tax. As the state does not impose a tax on your income, your paycheck will be fatter every month

  • You’ll enjoy the great outdoors in Alaska

    Alaska is too big and too beautiful. Highly breathtaking, Alaska has no shortage of outdoor fun. Along with state and national parks, the state also has many museums to explore.

    We’ve compiled some of the best places to explore Alaska outdoors.

    • Denali National Park
    • Tracy Arm Fjord
    • Kenai Fjords National Park
    • Alaska Highway
    • University of Alaska Museum of the North
    • Inside Passage
    • Dalton Highway
    • Alaska Native Heritage Center
    • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
    • Iditarod National Historic Trail
    • Totem Bight State Historic Park

  • If you love ice related sports, welcome to Alaska

    Alaska’s winter season is the perfect playground for winter sports of all types. From Nordic skiing to alpine skiing, from snowshoeing to snowboarding, from ice fishing to ice climbing, Alaska is the best turf to play winter sports.

  • Alaska is rich in culture

    While the state is known for pristine nature, snowy mountains, and abundant wildlife, Alaska also has a rich traditional culture that is preserved intact. Visiting the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center or Hammer Museum helps you learn more about the rich past of Alaska.

  • Alaska is the perfect place to enjoy a new lifestyle

    Moving to Alaska is the best way to catch up with a different lifestyle. There is a strong Russian orthodox influence in Alaska and even the Native American lifestyle is still visible. The people are more laidback and the geography is highly serene

Alaska pros and cons

Pros & Cons of moving to Alaska

Taking a look at the pros and cons of living in the Last Frontier can make it easier for you to decide if moving to Alaska is right for you or not.

Here’s a list of the key pros and cons of living in Alaska:

Pros of living in Alaska Cons of living in Alaska
You’ll get the chance to enjoy the Great Outdoors on earthEarthquake is a constant risk in Alaska
Alaska is the perfect spot to enjoy snow related sportsThe weather can be extremely cold in Alaska even during summer
Life moves slower in AlaskaAlaska’s cost of living is higher than the U.S. average
You’ll enjoy lots of small-town charm even in the big citiesFuel prices are a lot higher in Alaska
Summer is cherished in AlaskaAlaska is far from the rest of the United States
Alaska has a booming job marketYou’ll have to budget for heating during winter months
You may be eligible to get paid to live in AlaskaYou’ll have to put up with snow removal almost every day
You may be able to save some money by moving to AlaskaYou’ll have to be a business to be self-employed
You may get the chance to see lots of wildlife face-to-face
Alaska is a business-friendly state
place in Alaska

Best places to live in Alaska

Alaska is home to several beautiful cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Moving to Alaska means you can live in any of these neighborhoods. So, to make your house hunting easier, we’ve made a list of the ten best neighborhoods to live in Alaska. Check out the list below:

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1Cordova2,8292.2%$330,600
2Unalaska4,7241.9%$368,000
3Valdez3,8471.9%$168,600
4Juneau32,2274.6%$345,900
5Sitka8,6405.0%$358,600
6North Pole2,7406.2%$226,000
7Homer5,7094.6%$282,400
8Soldotna4,6492.8%$211,400
9Nome3,8509.6%$258,100
10Kodiak6,0223.6%$255,000

Tip: When you’ve got a home to move in Alaska, getting the best moving quote will be your goal. Request moving company quotes to save on moving cost.

cost of living in Alaska

Cost of living in Alaska

The cost of living in Alaska is 125.8. The national average is 100.

That means the average cost of living in Alaska is higher than the U.S. average. Since you’re considering moving to Alaska, check out the various items that makes up the cost of living in the state:

Cost of living Alaska United States
Overall125.8100
Grocery141.7100
Health113100
Housing134.3100
Median Home Cost$310,600$231,200
Utilities169.8100
Transportation98.2100
Miscellaneous119.5100

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Alaska’s housing market

If you’re considering buying a home after moving to Alaska, you should be aware that up to 65% of Alaskans are homeowners. That means buying a property in the Last Frontier is a good idea. The following are key stats about the state’s housing market:

  • Alaska’s median home cost is $310,000
  • Over the last ten years, home values in Alaska have increased by 15.5%
  • About 33% of Alaskans are renters
  • Around 2.1% of homes and apartments in Alaska are open to rent
  • Currently, home prices in Alaska are up by 1.6%

Rental homes average costs in Alaska

If you’re interested in renting a home after moving to Alaska, we’ve collated key prices about the state’s rental market. Check out the average costs of renting various homes and apartments in Alaska:

  • The average cost of a studio apartment in Alaska is $891
  • The average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in Alaska is $984
  • The average cost of a 2-bedroom home or apartment in Alaska is $1,272
  • The average cost of a 3-bedroom home or apartment in Alaska is $1,792
  • The average cost of a 4-bedroom home or apartment in Alaska is $2,136
jobs in Alaska

How is the job market in Alaska?

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and other related factors, presently, Alaska’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

Here’s key stats of the state’s job market:

  • Alaska’s unemployment rate is 7.1%. The national average is 6.0%
  • Job growth is Alaska has been negative so far
Employment Information Alaska United States
The income per Cap$35,065$31,177
Household Income$76,114$57,652
Unemployment Rate7.16.0%
Recent Job Growth-4.34%-6.18%
Future Job Growth16.45%33.51%

What’s the median salary in Alaska?

Whether you’re interested in getting a job after moving to Alaska or not, you’ll most likely be interested in the average salary and income in the state. Check out this breakdown of average pay in Alaska:

  • The average annual pay for the average job in Alaska is $69,751
  • The average hourly rate for the average job in Alaska is $33.53 an hour
  • The average weekly rate of the average job in Alaska is $1,341 a week
  • The average monthly rate of the average job in Alaska is $5,813 per month
  • Alaska’s minimum wage is $10.34

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Top career options in Alaska

Looking for the highest paying jobs in the Last Frontier? We’ve made a list of the top career options to give you a glimpse of what to expect if you’re moving to Alaska:

Rank Job Title Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1General Internal Medicine Physicians$282,730$145,25090
2Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$266,200$124,470660
3Family Medicine Physicians$264,010$157,240420
4Pediatricians, General$263,390$148,03030
5Dentists, General$242,850$137,940220
6Airline Pilots, Copilots, And Flight Engineers$180,100$65,1901,370
7Chief Executives$166,360$66,8001,080
8Psychiatrists$166,180$53,15040
9Judges, Magistrate Judges, And Magistrates$153,880$91,210150
10Physician Assistants$150,430$100,890430

Top industries in Alaska

Alaska is home to several large industries running the state’s economy. Since you’re considering moving to Alaska, you should be aware of these industries. The following are the leading industries in Alaska:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality
  • Government
  • Fishing
  • Logistics & Moving
taxes in Alaska

Alaska taxes

Taxes are most likely part of the key things you’ll have to take into account before making up your mind about moving to Alaska.

Here’s a breakdown of the key taxes in the Last Frontier:

  • There is no income tax in Alaska.
  • Alaska’s sales tax is 0% - 9.50%
  • Alaska’s property tax is 1.18% average effective rate
  • Gas tax in Alaska is 8.95 cents per gallon of regular diesel and gasoline
Alaska

Best things to do in Alaska

There are tons of things you can do to have fun in Alaska.

The Last Frontier is home to several different rare gems and the number of things you can do to have fun depends on how adventurous you are. If you’re moving to Alaska, here are some of the best things to do in the Last Frontier:

  • Cross-country skiing

    Once it snows in Alaska, the skiing trails across the state get packed. There may be no other U.S. city laced with so many groomed trails open to the public without a mandatory user’s fee.

    Here are some best skiing trails in Frontier State to explore cross-country skiing.

    • Kincaid Ski Trails
    • Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
    • Refuge Ski Trails
    • Eagle River Nature Center
    • Eaglecrest Ski Area
    • Alyeska Resort Downhill
    • Tsalteshi Trails
    • Bartlett Ski Trails
    • Mirror Lake & Coyote Trails

  • Snowmobiling

    Alaska has unlimited options to explore the backcountry on a swift machine. The frozen lakes and wooded trails in winter offer plenty of thrills and spectacular treks. Snowmobile tours are a fantastic way to escape into Alaska’s chilly wild.

  • Visit the Denali National Park and Preserve

    The 6,045,153-acre Denali National Park and Preserve is a mix of forest at the lowest elevations, including deciduous taiga, with tundra at middle elevations, and glaciers, snow, and bare rock at the highest elevations.

  • Enjoy river floating

    Nothing can beat the river floating in Alaska. The rivers here are huge bodies of water that move fast, run deep, and are cold. You can float through the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, without the physical exertion of hiking or climbing.

  • Flightsee over an Alaska Mountain Range

    Drift into the wind in Alaska and watch the breathtaking scenic beauty of the state from the sky from the air – in Alaska, this is one of the common ways to explore the state. There are dozens of flight tours over the state to explore the beauty from height.

  • Watch a Tidewater Glacier Crash into the Ocean

    Alaska promises the golden opportunity to watch glaciers from the close. You can walk to any glacier in the state as Alaska boasts about glaciers covering an estimated 34,000 square miles of area. There are also guided tours to glaciers.

  • Feel Alaska’s Vastness by Driving One of its Highways

    Pick one of the many highways in Alaska to experience the scenic and wild beauty of Alaskan landscapes. Each highway and road takes you through different historic Alaskan towns and provides plenty of recreational and entertaining stops along the way.

    We’ve got a list of 6 highways in Alaska to explore the grandeur scenery of the state.

    • Taylor Highway to Top of the World Highway
    • Steese Highway
    • Copper River Highway
    • Walden Point Road
    • Sterling Highway
    • Richardson Highway

  • Watch a Glacial River Go By

    The 12-mile Glacier River rises in a remote valley from a glacial meltwater lake from a Twentymile glacier and flows out into a large, wide valley where it receives the water of the Carmen River.

  • See Alpenglow at Midnight

    Watch an alpenglow, a stunning natural phenomenon in Alaska, in which a glowing horizontal red band is observed along the horizon line, opposite to the sun. The hues are usually soft and subtle pink, purple and red colors which pop out against a clear backdrop

  • Watch a Whale Shatter the Surface

    Perhaps there is no place better than Alaska to watch whales. The state has many whale-watching points that attract millions of people every year. You watch here humpback whales, beluga whales, killer whales, and grey whales, hundreds in number.

    To help you narrow your options, here are some of the best places in Alaska to see whales:

    • Prince William Sound
    • Inside Passage
    • Turnagain Arm
    • Seward
    • Kodiak Island

  • View the Northern Lights

    Alaska is one of the best places on earth to see the northern lights, colorful bands of light that dance in the night sky. It is possible to see northern lights in Alaska from mid–August to mid-April, in the winter.

  • Visit the Museum of the North

    The University of Alaska Museum of North displays many wonders, including diverse wildlife and Arctic dinosaurs along with collections relating to the natural, artistic, and cultural heritage of Alaska and the Circumpolar North. In summer, the museum also hosts performances and programs to promote science and research.

How safe is Alaska?

If you’re moving to Alaska, you’d most likely be interested in the Last Frontier’s crime rate. To make it easier for you to decide if moving to Alaska is right for you, we’ve collated key stats about the state’s crime rate to help you get started. Check out the stats below:

  • Violent crime rate in Alaska is 42.4. The national average is 22.7
  • Property crime rate in Alaska is 50.5. The national average is 35.4
  • Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime (68%) in Alaska
  • Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Alaska
  • Alaska has the second highest violent crime rate in the U.S.

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Alaska crime rate by the numbers

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1Cordova, AK2,1500325
2Wrangell, AK2,48980441
3Unalaska, AK4,513155864
4Valdez, AK3,8161311,048
5Sitka, AK8,5121871,973
6Haines, AK2,441368532
7Homer, AK5,9132022,469
8Palmer, AK7,4902802,723
9Soldotna, AK4,7562732,985
10Petersburg, AK3,1813142,766
schools in Alaska

Best Schools & Universities in Alaska

If you’re moving to Alaska, you may be interested in the best schools in the Last Frontier.

We’ve made a list of the best schools in the state to give you a head start. Check out the list below:

Best Elementary Schools in Alaska

  • Hydaburg School
    Hydaburg City School District, Public, PK-12 | 93 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nuniwarmiut School
    Lower Kuskokwim School District, Public, PK-12 | 51 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nanwalek School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 75 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hope School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 17 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Susan B English School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 32 students, Rating: 10/10

Best Middle Schools in Alaska

  • Hydaburg School
    Hydaburg City School District, Public, PK-12 | 93 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nuniwarmiut School
    Lower Kuskokwim School District, Public, PK-12 | 51 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nanwalek School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 75 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hope School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 17 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Susan B English School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 32 students, Rating: 10/10

Best High Schools in Alaska

  • Hydaburg School
    Hydaburg City School District, Public, PK-12 | 93 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nuniwarmiut School
    Lower Kuskokwim School District, Public, PK-12 | 51 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nanwalek School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 75 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hope School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 17 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Susan B English School
    Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Public, PK-12 | 32 students, Rating: 10/10

Best universities and colleges in Alaska

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks - Fairbanks

  • University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage

  • Alaska Pacific University - Anchorage

  • University of Alaska Southeast - Juneau

  • Alaska Bible College - Palmer

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