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10 Most Dangerous Cities In Alaska 2024: The Dark Side of the Last Frontier

Alaska Danger Cities

Alaska, recognized as the largest U.S. state by landmass, matches the collective size of Texas, Montana, and California. Known as the Last Frontier State, it was the penultimate state to join the Union, just before Hawaii. Juneau, its capital, doubles as its second most populous city.

Its inhabitants and visitors alike are often captivated by its stunning natural beauty and sprawling wilderness. The most populated region is the south-central area, hosting Anchorage – Alaska’s most populous city, and housing nearly half of the state’s residents.

Alaska comprises 355 diverse municipalities, including towns, cities, boroughs, and others. Out of these, 148 are incorporated cities. The state’s violent crime rate towers above the national average at 8.23 per 1,000 residents, while its property crime rate aligns more closely with national figures.

Top 10 Unsafe Places In 2024

Rank City Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
1 Anchorage 288,121 11.40 per 1,000 residents 34.55 per 1,000 residents
2 Juneau 31,973 8.69 per 1,000 residents Above the state average by approximately 25%
3 Bethel 6,642 14.00 per 1,000 residents Over 5% above the national average
4 Fairbanks 32,702 7.77 per 1,000 residents Double the national rate
5 Kodiak 5,458 9.53 per 1,000 residents Below both state and national averages
6 Wasilla 9,456 6.66 per 1,000 residents 28.55 per 1,000 residents
7 North Pole 2,285 6.13 per 1,000 residents 26.70 per 1,000 residents
8 Kenai 7,590 4.48 per 1,000 residents 17.79 per 1,000 residents
9 Ketchikan 8,037 3.11 per 1,000 residents Four times higher than the state average per square mile
10 Sitka 8,407 1.78 per 1,000 residents 15.46 per 1,000 residents

10. Sitka

Sitka Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
8,407 1.78 per 1,000 residents 15.46 per 1,000 residents

Sitka, located in the southeastern part of Alaska, is the state’s second most densely populated city, home to 8,407 people as of 2021. The city’s economic landscape, marked by high unemployment rates, has led to property crime rates that exceed both state and national averages, standing at 15.46 per 1,000 residents.

Despite a relatively low violent crime rate of 1.78 per 1,000 residents, certain sections of the city, like the City Center, are recognized as more prone to criminal activity.

9. Ketchikan

Ketchikan Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
8,037 3.11 per 1,000 residents Four times higher than the state average per square mile

Housing a population of 8,037 (as of 2021), Ketchikan is globally acknowledged as the “Salmon Capital of the World”. This city is well celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes, abundant fishing prospects, and the vibrant indigenous culture that thrives in the area.

Although Ketchikan’s violent crime rate of 3.11 per 1,000 residents falls below Alaska’s average, it still exceeds the national average. Furthermore, when it comes to the crime per square mile statistic, Ketchikan has a rate four times higher than the state average.

8. Kenai

Kenai Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
7,590 4.48 per 1,000 residents 17.79 per 1,000 residents

Kenai, a quaint coastal city on the Kenai Peninsula, is home to 7,590 residents (2021). Located about 150 miles from Anchorage, Kenai is the state’s fifteenth-largest city. However, it also contends with its share of crime.

Areas like Kalifornsky and City Center are known to be less safe. Kenai’s violent crime rate of 4.48 per 1,000 is about half the state average, but still noticeably above the national median. Meanwhile, its property crime rate stands at 17.79 per 1,000 residents.

7. North Pole

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
2,285 6.13 per 1,000 residents 26.70 per 1,000 residents

The small Alaskan city of North Pole, known for its year-round Christmas decorations, has a population of 2,285 (2021). Despite the city’s festive charm, it grapples with a property crime rate of 26.70 per 1,000 residents, surpassing the state average.

However, its violent crime rate of 6.13 per 1,000 falls below the state median. Certain areas, like Clear Creek Park, Badger East, and Newby Road, are known to be more prone to crime.

6. Wasilla

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
9,456 6.66 per 1,000 residents 28.55 per 1,000 residents

Wasilla, Alaska’s fourth most populous city, is home to 9,456 residents (2021 data). It lies in the southcentral part of the state, nestled on the Cook Inlet. The construction of a highway has transformed Wasilla into a bustling commuter town for Anchorage.

While property crime poses a notable concern for residents, with a rate of 28.55 per 1,000, the city’s violent crime rate of 6.66 per 1,000 is also significantly higher than the national average. Wasilla’s crime per square mile is three times the state average, with Meadow Lakes and Colonial Park being among the less safe neighborhoods.

5. Kodiak

Kodiak Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
5,458 9.53 per 1,000 residents Below both state and national averages

As the principal city on Kodiak Island and a crucial commercial port city, Kodiak is home to a population of 5,458 (2021). The city’s neighborhoods of Kodiak West and Mill Bay are known for higher crime rates. With a violent crime rate of 9.53 per 1,000 residents, Kodiak’s violent crime exceeds the state average and is over twice the national rate.

On the other hand, its property crime rate of 13.01 per 1,000 residents is below both state and national averages. However, when it comes to crime per square mile, Kodiak’s rate is a staggering six times the Alaskan average.

4. Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
32,702 7.77 per 1,000 residents Double the national rate

Home to 32,702 people (2021) and the University of Alaska’s founding campus, Fairbanks is the largest city in Alaska’s interior. Visitors and residents alike should remain vigilant, particularly in downtown locales like North Lake View and Van Horn Industrial Park.

The city’s violent crime rate of 7.77 per 1,000 residents is less than the state average, but still notably above the national average. Fairbanks’ property crime rate is a particular concern, being double the national rate, and marking the city as having some of the highest property crime rates in Alaska.

3. Bethel

Bethel Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
6,642 14.00 per 1,000 residents Over 5% above the national average

Nestled along the Kuskokwim River, Bethel is the western gem of Alaska, with a population of 6,642 as of 2021. However, its crime rates paint a less idyllic picture. With a violent crime rate of 14.00 per 1,000 residents, Bethel possesses one of the highest rates in the state – nearly double the state average, in fact. This is especially noteworthy given the city’s relatively small size. Overall, Bethel’s total crime rate exceeds the national average by over 5%.

2. Juneau

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
31,973 8.69 per 1,000 residents Above the state average by approximately 25%

Resting comfortably in the Alaskan panhandle, is home to 31,973 residents (2021) and serves as the state’s capital. Surpassing 3,200 square miles, Juneau’s vast land area outstretches states like Delaware and Rhode Island.

The less safe precincts of Juneau include its downtown areas and Lemon Creek, known for higher crime rates. In terms of violent crime, Juneau’s rate of 8.69 per 1,000 residents aligns with the state average. However, property crime is a more pressing issue here, with rates soaring about 25% higher than the rest of Alaska.

1. Anchorage

Anchorage Alaska

Population (2021) Violent Crime Rate Property Crime Rate
288,121 11.40 per 1,000 residents 34.55 per 1,000 residents

With its impressive population of 288,121 (2021), is undeniably Alaska’s most populous city. The city’s accolades include winning the National Civic League’s All-American City Award on four separate occasions and being highlighted by Kiplinger’s Magazine as one of the most tax-friendly urban hubs in the U.S.

Unfortunately, its violent crime rate, standing at 11.40 per 1,000 residents, is 50% above the state’s norm and nearly triple the national median. Even the property crime statistics, with a rate of 34.55 per 1,000 residents, overshoot both state and national averages, painting a grim picture of safety in the city.

5 Safety Tips

  1. Prior to embarking on your Alaskan journey, ensure to communicate your travel plans to a few reliable friends or family members. It’s wise to let a few loved ones know about the specifics of your travel schedule and locations when visiting the vast expanse of Alaska.

In case of any unforeseen circumstances, they will have an idea of how and where to reach you during your holiday.

  1. Given Alaska’s wild and rocky landscape, it’s crucial to wear suitable clothing. The weather in Alaska can be extremely unpredictable, fluctuating from severe cold in the winters to relatively mild temperatures in July – averaging around 67 degrees.

Remember, the temperature difference between day and night can also be substantial.

  1. Be conscious of your environment and maintain awareness of your movements. When navigating unfamiliar areas or walking alone, project an air of assurance and intent.
  2. Prior to setting out for any outdoor excursion, verify the weather forecast to avoid any unexpected adverse weather conditions at your chosen destination. The convenience of smartphones provides real-time weather updates, enabling visitors to experience Alaska’s beauty while staying well-prepared and safe.
  3. It’s important to note that most high-crime locations in Alaska are concentrated in larger cities and major urban centers but there also has some safe cities u can see here. However, if your travel plans include remote areas, understand that while exploring less traveled regions can offer a stunning and unique adventure, it also comes with its own set of risks.

In these remote areas, medical facilities may be significantly distant, so being self-reliant is essential.

FAQ

What factors contribute to the high crime rates in certain Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Bethel?

The reasons for high crime rates in Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Bethel are multifaceted. In many cases, socio-economic factors play a significant role. These include poverty, unemployment, and lack of education.

In addition, the widespread use of alcohol and drugs, a lack of mental health resources, and the isolation of many communities can also contribute to higher crime rates. In cities like Anchorage, rapid urbanization and population growth may strain public resources and lead to increased crime.

In contrast, in smaller, more isolated cities like Bethel, a lack of law enforcement presence can result in higher crime rates.

Why does Kodiak have a high crime rate per square mile despite having a lower population?

A2: Kodiak’s high crime rate per square mile despite its lower population can be attributed to several factors. One reason could be the city’s compactness, with more people living in closer proximity, potentially leading to higher crime rates.

The concentration of resources and wealth within a small area might also attract criminals. Additionally, Kodiak’s strategic location as a commercial port city could contribute to higher levels of property crime, such as theft.

How does the property crime rate in Wasilla compare to Anchorage, and why might this be the case?

The property crime rate in Wasilla stands at 28.55 per 1,000 residents, which is lower than in Anchorage, where the rate is 34.55 per 1,000 residents.

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily imply that Wasilla is safer. The rate of crime per capita can be influenced by various factors, including population size and density, economic conditions, and the level of law enforcement.

The transformation of Wasilla into a bustling commuter town for Anchorage due to highway construction might also play a role, with increased commuting leading to a higher possibility of property crimes such as burglary, theft, and vandalism.

Why do some Alaskan cities have higher violent crime rates compared to others, and what efforts are being taken to address this?

Differences in violent crime rates across Alaskan cities can be attributed to a variety of factors, including socio-economic conditions, population density, availability of law enforcement resources, and community engagement.

For instance, cities with higher levels of poverty and unemployment, or those with more densely populated areas, often witness higher rates of violent crime. To address this, efforts are being made at multiple levels.

These include community policing initiatives, increased funding for law enforcement, social programs aimed at poverty reduction and increasing educational opportunities, and initiatives to improve mental health resources.

Are there any specific measures being taken to curb crime in high-risk neighborhoods like downtown Juneau and Lemon Creek?

In high-risk neighborhoods like downtown Juneau and Lemon Creek, efforts to curb crime are often multifaceted and tailored to the unique needs of the community.

These can include increased police patrols, community outreach programs, and efforts to improve lighting and security in these areas. Crime prevention programs that engage local residents, such as Neighborhood Watch groups, are also an effective measure.

Additionally, social initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of crime, such as poverty reduction programs and improved access to mental health resources, are also crucial in these areas.

How does the crime situation in North Pole, despite its small population, reflect the broader issues of crime in Alaska?

The crime situation in North Pole, despite its small population, reflects some of the broader challenges faced by Alaska in combating crime. The city’s high property crime rate, for instance, mirrors a statewide issue, with many Alaskan

cities reporting property crime rates above the national average. This can be attributed to factors such as the state’s vast and remote geography, which can make law enforcement challenging, and socio-economic issues like poverty and unemployment.

The fact that North Pole’s violent crime rate is lower than the state median, however, suggests that the nature of crime can vary significantly even within the same state.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Alaska’s crime landscape is as diverse as its geographical terrain. From bustling cities like Anchorage with notably high crime rates to smaller towns like North Pole grappling with property crime, the state faces unique challenges in maintaining law and order.

The causes of these high crime rates are multifaceted, encompassing socio-economic conditions, the availability of law enforcement resources, and geographical factors.

However, efforts are underway to address these issues. Through increased funding for law enforcement, community policing initiatives, and social programs aimed at reducing poverty and improving education, Alaska continues to strive towards a safer environment for its residents.

Moreover, public awareness and preparedness are crucial in mitigating these challenges, with individuals being encouraged to stay vigilant, particularly in known high-crime areas.

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