The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 5 Safest Cities in Alaska for 2020. See if your city made the list.
If you call Alaska home, chances are you’re less worried about your safety on a daily basis than people who live in other states. And if you live in one of Alaska’s safest cities, you may worry even less.
Just 42% of Alaska’s2020 State of Safety survey respondents said their daily concern about safety was high or very high. That’s four percentage points below the national average of 46% but a jump of eight points year over year.
Despite the perception of safety (and lack of high concern), Alaska’s crime rates are higher than national averages.
The violent crime rate in Alaska is 8.9 incidents per 1,000—that’s more than double the national rate of 3.7. Alaska’s property crime rate is 33 per 1,000, compared to the national average of 22.0.
Alaska's violent crime rate is 8.9 per 1,000 people, one of the highest crime rates in the country.
Not surprisingly, we found that people in Alaska have experienced more crime in the past 12 months than the rest of the country. The state had the highest number of respondents who reported experiencing a property crime in the past year (44% versus 26% nationwide) and the second-highest experience of violent crime (22% versus 12% nationally).
Violent Crime in Alaska: Fear vs. Reality
Being physically assaulted by a stranger was the top violent crime fear reported by Alaska residents. In the State of Safety study, 34% named it their biggest concern, compared to 40% across the country.
Physical assault is the top fear in Alaska, and there were 74 assaults reported by the five safest cities in 2018.
Aggravated assault made up 79% of the total violent crimes among the state’s safest cities, and it accounted for 67% statewide.
Murder by a stranger is the violent crime Alaskans feel is most likely to happen, but there were no murders in the safest cities.
Across the state, there was a total of 47 murders reported, making up 0.7% of all violent crime in Alaska.
The number of Alaskans who reported experiencing a violent crime in the past year jumped from 8% in 2019 to 22% in 2020.
Property Crime in Alaska: Fear vs. Reality
Property crime happens more often in the Last Frontier state, at 33 incidents per 1,000 versus 22 across the country—but Alaskans are still less worried than the rest of the country.
57% of State of Safety respondents reported highest concern about a break-in when they’re not home, versus 62% across the US.
There were 66 total burglaries among Alaska’s safest cities—that’s just over 7% of the total property crimes reported.
Even though break-ins are the top concern, only 22% of respondents to the State of Safety study use a home security system and 26% use security cameras.
A full 24% reported using no form of property protection or security, while 32% use a dog and 46% rely on firearms.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime, taking up 86% of all property crimes reported with 779 total incidents among the safest cities.
A Closer Look at Alaska’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
Unalaska moved from the fourth spot to rank number one in Alaska this year.
Soldotna is the only city to break into the top five this year—moving up four spots from number nine last year.
The middle three cities—Sitka, Homer, and Palmer—all dropped one spot this year. Ketchikan dropped out of the top five to number six.
All of the safest cities are below the state’s violent crime rate of 8.9 incidents per 1,000 people, but Soldotna (3.8) is the only city that’s above the national violent crime rate of 3.7.
Homer had the fewest number of violent crimes (12) but its higher property crime rate put it at number three overall.
Every city reported zero murders, even though that’s the crime people feel is most likely to happen.
Only one city on the list is below the national property crime rate of 22—Unalaska boasts a rate of 10.8 incidents per 1,000 people.
Unalaska is also the only city to report fewer than 100 property crimes. It only had 49 incidents in 2018.
60% of the cities reported more than 200 property crimes.
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more