16 Pros and Cons of Living in Anchorage, AK

Updated On November 7, 2023

Are you considering moving to Alaska?

If so, you may be curious to know which town would be the most ideal for you.

Anchorage may be perfect due to its population and culture.

It’s also the most popular city in the state, which means there’s something for everyone.

While there are several activities for the entire family to enjoy, there are also some disadvantages to living in Anchorage.

This guide will help you decide whether moving to Anchorage is the most ideal town for you after weighing both the pros and cons.


Pros of Living in Anchorage, AK

Here is a list of the pros of living in Anchorage, AK.

1. Plenty of Diversity

Anchorage is known as one of the most diverse towns in the United States.

Anchorage ranks number 55 as the national average for diverse cities in the country.

If diversity is important to you, you should be happy to know that it is also the most diverse town in Alaska.

This is one of the main reasons people from all over the world choose to move to Alaska.

2. Excellent Job Market

The job market in Anchorage continues to thrive.

It’s also a lot better compared to other cities in Alaska.

Anchorage’s unemployment rate may be slightly higher than other surrounding cities.

However, the residents living in Anchorage have a higher income than they do in other parts of Alaska.

So, if you’re looking for more opportunities for careers, Anchorage may be the perfect location for you to relocate to.

3. Great for Public Transportation

The People Mover bus system is a popular mode of public transportation in Anchorage.

If you rely on public transit, this may be ideal for you.

It transports residents to almost anywhere in the city.

Some of these stops include downtown and other popular destinations.

Besides public transportation, Anchorage also has substantial highway systems all over the town.

Additionally, there’s an international airport located right in Anchorage.

This is great for those who travel often.

4. Pleasant Weather

Compared to other cities in Alaska, Anchorage has better weather.

Other cities in Alaska see a lot of snow and cold temperatures.

Anchorage on the other hand has milder winters and comfortable summers compared to other surrounding cities.

The average summer temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

For winter, the average temperature usually hangs steady around 25 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can get much colder.

On average, it’s normal to see at least 78 inches of snowfall throughout the year, which is slightly lower compared to other cities in Alaska.

5. No Sale Taxes

Currently, Alaska doesn’t have any sales or state income taxes.

However, property tax assessments increase yearly.

Alaska is one of five states that do not inflict these taxes on their residents.

What this means is that you will pay less money out of pocket for all purchases that you make.

This comes in handy when purchasing clothing, food, and other necessities.

However, there are some areas that do still charge sales taxes in Alaska such as Kodiak, Homer, and Bethel.

6. A Variety of Stores

While many people don’t relocate to Anchorage because of the shopping, it’s still beneficial to be able to access a variety of stores.

Anchorage has the largest selection of shops compared to other cities in the state.

You will even find some of the most popular store names here in Anchorage such as Home Depot, Kohl, and Walmart.

Furthermore, the popular Anchorage Market is located in downtown Anchorage and has more than 200 vendors that sell food, arts, and crafts.

7. A lot of Freedom

Alaska as a whole gives its residents a lot of personal freedom to live as they wish.

This means that you can enjoy these same benefits in Anchorage.

You’ll be able to carry a gun, without a permit.

They don’t require a permit to purchase firearms or register them.

Conceal and carry is legal in Alaska.

Furthermore, you may enjoy the personal freedom of not having a neighbor for many miles.

If any of these things are essential to you, you may find moving to Anchorage beneficial.

8. Naturally Beautiful

Anchorage, just like many other parts of the state is naturally beautiful.

Anchorage may just very well be the best area to relocate to if you are looking for a breath of fresh air.

Anchorage has various parks that you can explore such as Wrangell-Saint Elias, Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, and Katmai.

Soon after moving here, you’ll be able to discover your favorite spot to relax and unwind.

Cons of Living in Anchorage, AK

Here is a list of cons of living in Anchorage, AK.

1. High Crime Rate

Believe it or not, Anchorage has one of the highest crime rates in the United States.

Their crime rate is 2.3 times higher than the national average.

If you live in Anchorage, the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 80.

But, remember there’s a much higher probability in places such as Memphis, TN, Cleveland, OH, and Wilmington, DE.

Above all else, remember that Anchorage is a town that offers plenty of benefits and amenities.

2. Weather

While the weather in Anchorage may be comfortable and pleasant for many, it could be a downside for others.

Alaska winters can get very cold.

If you don’t like a lot of snow, Anchorage is not the best place to live, as they see an average of 79 inches of snowfall each year.

The average sunlight in Anchorage on the shortest day of the year is 5 hours and 28 minutes.

During the summer they will see only 22 hours of sunlight, which can make it difficult for some to fall asleep.

3. Shipping Issues

When shopping online, you will find that many businesses simply won’t ship to Alaska.

It could come as a disappointment for many, especially if you are unable to find what you’re looking for elsewhere.

But, there still are some businesses that will ship to Anchorage, AK.

However, the shipping costs may be much higher.

Additionally, there are some stores that will provide free shipping, but you may have to wait several weeks to receive your products.

4. Expensive Travel

If you travel outside of Alaska often, you may find that the expensive prices to travel are too much.

If you don’t travel frequently, this may not be an issue for you.

Overall, rental cars, airplane tickets, hotels, and other travel expenses can begin to pile up over time.

This means that you should carefully budget your finances and consider alternatives for traveling.

You may want to consider having your family and friends come visit you in Anchorage instead, as the travel expenses into the city are cheaper.

5. Higher Cost of Living

Anchorage can be quite pricey to live in. Alaska has been ranked as the 6th most expensive state to live in, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

This also means that the cost of food can be higher compared to other cities in the country.

Overall, Anchorage is more expensive than Tampa, FL, Phoenix, AZ, and Dallas, TX.

Fortunately, there are some perks for people living in Anchorage to take advantage of to counteract the cost of living.

6. Reduction in Population

Over the past several years, Anchorage has experienced a small reduction in the number of residents living there.

The cause of this decline can be due to several different things.

For example, it may be due to the economy as there isn’t as much of a demand for some businesses such as hotels, and shopping centers.

It may also be due to the cost of living.

7. Traffic

Even though Anchorage has a small population, the road infrastructure is restricted.

During rush hour, this could mean much more congestion on the town’s main streets.

This could be frustrating for many people as they commute to work, etc.

Additionally, this could create more problems during the winter when the weather is more severe.

Snow and ice can make roads extremely treacherous.

8. Seclusion

Moving to Anchorage may make you feel secluded from the rest of the country as it is located in a remote area.

Indeed, it really is isolated within extensive areas of wilderness.

This can make it challenging to gain access to stores and other resources promptly compared to other towns in Alaska.

Anchorage is located 350 miles from Fairbanks and 850 miles from Juneau.


Pros and Cons of Living in Anchorage, AK – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Anchorage, AKCons of Living in Anchorage, AK
1. Plenty of Diversity1. High Crime Rate
2. Excellent Job Market2. Weather
3. Great for Public Transportation3. Shipping Issues
4. Pleasant Weather4. Expensive Travel
5. No Sale Taxes5. Higher Cost of Living
6. A Variety of Stores6. Reduction in Population
7. A lot of Freedom7. Traffic
8. Naturally Beautiful8. Seclusion

Anchorage Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Anchorage Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Anchorage, AK a good place to live?

Depending on what you are looking for in a city, Anchorage may or may not be a great place for you to live.

If you can settle for beautiful scenery, plenty of outdoor adventure options, and a magnificent arts and culture scene, then Anchorage may be ideal for you.

Can I take advantage of the Permanent Fund Dividend if I move to Anchorage?

Yes, you can take advantage of the Permanent Fund Dividend if you relocate to Anchorage.

Every year, you will receive a payout from this fund, as long as you are an Alaskan resident.

Past payouts have been between $992 and $1,606.

What makes living in Anchorage difficult?

Since Anchorage is an isolated town, it will take you some time to travel to different places, especially if you want to visit friends and family outside the state.

All cities in Alaska are of a good distance from one another.

Do earthquakes occur in Anchorage, AK?

It’s not unusual for Anchorage to see earthquakes.

They do occur here, with the latest one being in 2018.

The earthquake that occurred in 2018 had a magnitude of 7.1.

Fortunately, there is an early warning system that helps to reduce the natural force of the earthquake.

Warnings will be sent out via emergency broadcasts, smartphones, and radio/television.

What are some of the best neighborhoods to live in Anchorage?

Anchorage has several neighborhoods that are considered “the best.”

South Addison is one of the best neighborhoods to live in Anchorage because of the number of amenities it has to offer.

Turnagain is a great neighborhood because it is family-friendly and has an excellent public school system.

Finally, North Star is another great area to live in Anchorage.

It’s perfect for new families and younger adults just starting off in their careers.

2 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Anchorage, AK

  1. Of course, there are also some challenges to living in Anchorage. The weather can be extreme, with long winters and short summers. And the city can be quite spread out, which can make it difficult to get around without a car. On the other hand, the air is clean, the water is safe, and the crime rate is low so you really can’t complain. I’m also able to live comfortably on my retirement income, and I still have plenty of money left over to enjoy my hobbies.

  2. H
    Harrison says:

    I’m a millennial who has lived in Anchorage for five years, and I absolutely love it. The city has a lot to offer young people, from its outdoor activities to its arts and culture scene. People are usually very friendly and welcoming, and they’re always up for an adventure. I’ve also found that Anchorage is a very diverse city, with people from all over the world calling it home. And I never ever miss a week without my Anchorage Farmers Market, all from May to September.

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