People Are Leaving 7 Seven Alaskan Towns As Quickly As Possible


Alaska is a state with an abundance of wildlife, diverse cultures, and breathtaking natural beauty. But not all of its communities are the best locations to live, particularly in light of the effects of social issues, economic decline, and climate change. Serious issues that certain towns are dealing with include thawing permafrost, deteriorating land, increasing sea levels, high rates of crime, low salaries, inadequate education, and a lack of opportunity. Many people have left these communities as quickly as possible in search of greater opportunities elsewhere as a result of these considerations. These are the top seven most infamous communities in Alaska that residents are emigrating from.

1. Newtok


Newtok is a settlement that played a significant part in the Yupik culture and history, being the site of the first meeting between the Yupik and the Russian explorers in the 18th century. The town’s permafrost is thawing, nevertheless, as a result of global warming, and the Ninglick River’s rise is destroying the coastline and riverbank at a rate of about 70 feet per year. By 2025, the town should be totally buried. The first Yupik began relocating in 2019 to their new settlement, Mertarvik, which is situated on an island covered in volcanic hills. There have been numerous funding sources, military support, and logistical difficulties during the protracted and difficult relocation process.

2. Kivalina


The Inupiat people, who have inhabited the area for more than a millennium, reside in Kivalina. But the town is also in danger due to coastal erosion, melting sea ice, and rising sea levels, which have increased the area’s susceptibility to storms and flooding. By 2025, the community should be uninhabitable. Since 1992, the people have been attempting to move to a safer area, but they have encountered obstacles in obtaining money, land, and support. Additionally, the town has filed lawsuits against multiple oil and gas corporations, claiming that their operations and way of life are at risk due to global warming.

3. Galena


During World War II and the Cold War, Galena was a major military installation and a thriving trading center. Nonetheless, the town has experienced natural calamities, population loss, and economic deterioration. Ninety percent of the town’s infrastructure and buildings were destroyed or severely damaged in the disastrous flood that struck in 2013. The Yukon River ice jam, which was made worse by permafrost thawing and altered river flow, was the primary cause of the flood. Following the flood, a large number of people either temporarily or permanently fled the town, and some chose not to return since there were insufficient opportunities, resources, or services available.

4. Tanana


One of the first towns in Alaska is Tanana, which is situated at the meeting point of the Tanana and Yukon rivers. The town can only be reached by air, boat, or snowmobile, which isolates it from the rest of the state. The community offers a low standard of living, a high crime rate, and an expensive cost of living. The murder of two Alaska State Troopers in 2014 following a dispute with a local resident horrified the area. The incident brought to light the town’s pervasive social unrest and difficulties, including drug misuse, spousal abuse, and mental health concerns. A large number of the town’s citizens have moved away to safer and wealthier areas.

5. Cordova


The fishing sector of Cordova is well-known, particularly for its salmon and halibut. Nevertheless, the town also depends on the fishing sector, which leaves it open to changes in the environment, laws, and the market. The town has recently had to deal with a number of issues, including the depletion of fish stocks, competition from foreign goods, the effects of oil spills, and the threat posed by invasive species. Since 2011, the single route connecting the town to the rest of the state was devastated by a series of avalanches, cutting the town isolated from the rest of the road system. Because of the town’s seclusion, uncertainty, and economic difficulty, many citizens have moved elsewhere.

6. Whittier


Situated at the entrance of the Passage Canal, Whittier is a well-liked vacation spot for travelers and cruise ships. The town is particularly well-known for its peculiar and cramped living arrangements because the majority of its citizens lives in the Begich Towers, a single, 14-story structure that was constructed by the military in the 1950s. In addition, the police station, grocery shop, post office, hospital, and school are housed in the same structure. The town is also well-known for its severe weather, with 250 inches of rain and 150 inches of snowfall on average annually, along with frequent cloud and fog cover. The lack of amenities, diversity, and privacy has caused many residents to leave the area.

7. Barrow


The largest and oldest Inupiat settlement is in the town of Barrow, which is situated at the northernmost point of the United States. The village faces extended stretches of darkness and sunshine, severe temperatures, and little access to the outside world, making it one of the most isolated and harsh places to live. The community is also seeing the effects of climate change, which include wildlife migration, shoreline erosion, melting sea ice, and changes to traditional culture. In addition, the town has seen societal issues including violence, drunkenness, and suicide that have been connected to a loss of purpose, identity, and culture. Many of the town’s citizens have moved away to pursue lives that are more comfortable and rewarding.

Statistical Data:

Town Key Challenges and Characteristics Projected Future
Newtok Thawing permafrost, coastal erosion, relocation to Mertarvik 2025: Town buried
Kivalina Coastal erosion, melting sea ice, rising sea levels, legal battles 2025: Uninhabitable
Galena Flood damage, permafrost thawing, population loss, economic decline Population decline
Tanana Isolation, low standard of living, high crime rate, social issues Population decline
Cordova Fishing sector dependence, depletion of fish stocks, economic challenges Population decline
Whittier Unique living arrangements, severe weather, lack of amenities, population decline Population decline
Barrow Climate change impacts, wildlife migration, societal issues, population decline Population decline

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In summary

Alaska is a state full with chances and attractions, but it’s also full of obstacles and hurdles. Some of its communities have become unattractive places to live because they are more impacted by these problems than others. With the hope of moving on to better lives abroad, many people have left these places as quickly as possible. But some people have also chosen to remain in these areas, or have been forced there, and they have made an effort to adapt and get over the difficulties. These villages serve as illustrations of the effects of social problems, economic downturn, and climate change, but they also demonstrate the tenacity, resiliency, and diversity of the Alaskan people.

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