What Is The Cost Of Living In Juneau, Alaska?
Juneau is a coastal city located in Alaska with a population of about 32,000 people. Juneau is also the capital of Alaska and the third largest community in the state. The city also has a large tourist population, as people often visit while on Alaskan cruises.
On the overall cost of living index, Juneau is 121.5, much higher than the national average of 100. The median home value is $371,147. Rental prices vary by neighborhood, but the average rent is higher than the state and national averages.
Get ready to look at the costs of taxes, utilities, groceries, and healthcare. Use these factors to determine the financial impact moving to Juneau, Alaska, will have on your bank account.
Housing Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Housing costs in Juneau, Alaska, are above the state and national averages. With a population of 31,974, the median home value is $371,147. The cost of living index of housing in Juneau is 168.7, and Alaska’s is 134.3.
Homeowners make up a large portion of those living in Juneau, about 63%. Over the last 10 years, Juneau’s appreciation rate has been above average at 37.03%, ranking in the top 40% nationwide. This means that annually, on average, houses appreciate at a rate of 3.20%.
Appreciation rates are strong in Juneau despite a nationwide downturn in the housing market. Juneau real estate has continued to appreciate faster than most communities. Because the city is one of the nation’s highest-appreciating communities, moving to Juneau is an excellent investment.
Median Home Prices in Juneau, Alaska
|Home Price||Percentage of Homes|
|$866,001 – $1,154000||1.3%|
|$577,001 – $866,000||11.1%|
|$462,001 – $577,000||18.3%|
|$346,001 – $462,000||31.3%|
|$231,001 – $346,000||22.2%|
|$116,001 – $231,000||6.8%|
|$58,001 – $116,000||2.8%|
|$0 – $58,000||5.5%|
Rental Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau’s rental market makes up 37.2% of the city’s population. The average apartment in Juneau, Alaska, is $1,706 per month. Juneau’s average monthly rent is much higher compared to four other large cities in Alaska.
Average Rent in Alaska’s 5 Largest Cities
|City||Average Rent Per Month|
Furthermore, rent per month in Juneau is more expensive than the state and national averages.
Average Rental Cost by Bedroom Size in Juneau
|Housing Size||Juneau||Alaska||United States|
Rental prices can vary by neighborhood. The most popular communities in Juneau are Mendenhall Valley, Auke Bay, and Downtown Juneau.
The average rent in Mendenhall Valley is more affordable than the citywide average at $975 per month. Downtown Juneau is a mid-priced neighborhood with an average monthly rent of $1,143. Auke Bay is most expensive, so expect to pay, on average, $1,242 per month.
Tax Rates in Juneau, Alaska
Alaska has the lowest taxes in the nation. It is the only state that does not collect sales tax or levy an individual income tax. While residents do need to file a federal tax return, no state paperwork is required.
Residents receive an annual payment each year from the state from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. This is an investment fund that invests capital from surplus revenue from Alaska’s oil and gas reserves.
Juneau, Alaska Sales Taxes
Alaska is the only state that does not have a statewide sales tax but does have local taxes. In Juneau, the city rate is 5%.
The table below shows the total sales tax rates for the five largest cities in Alaska.
Sales Tax Rates in Alaska’s 5 Largest Cities
|City||Borough + City Rate (Total Sales Tax)|
Juneau, Alaska Property Taxes
The most significant tax on Alaska’s residents is the property tax. On average, homeowners pay roughly $3,325 in property taxes. This amount is equivalent to an effective property tax rate of 1.18%
However, rates vary widely between boroughs. In some, like the Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, the average effective rate is 0.44%. Conversely, other areas, like Fairbanks North Star, have a property tax rate of about 1.18%. Anchorage has an effective property tax rate of 1.32%.
For those thinking about buying property in Alaska, weigh your mortgage options carefully to find the best deals. Working with a professional real estate agent is a good idea if you’re buying a home in the Last Frontier.
Other Taxes in Juneau, Alaska
Other taxes in Alaska include a gas tax, alcohol tax, and cigarette tax. Alaska has the lowest gas tax in the country. The state tax on regular gasoline and diesel is 8.95 cents per gallon.
On the contrary, Alaska has the highest alcohol excise taxes in the country. The state’s excise tax on beer is $1.07 per gallon or 10 cents per beer. This is the second-highest tax on beer in the United States.
Liquor is also taxed heavily. Any beverage with higher than 21% alcohol by volume features a tax of $12.80 per gallon. You’ll pay a tax of $2 per pack of 20 for cigarettes or 10 cents per cigarette.
Utility Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Utilities in Juneau are lower than the state and national averages. On the cost of living index, Juneau is 82.5, Alaska is 169.8, and the United States is 100. Utilities include heating, cooling, electricity, and natural gas.
For a 915 square foot apartment, utilities will cost you, on average, about $167 per month. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage. Internet access will be an additional expense of about $95 per month, and your phone bill will be another $215.
If you are utility-conscious, you can save money by purchasing or renting a small condo or an energy-efficient home. You can also take advantage of the cool weather during the summer months and turn off your air conditioning unit. These small tips can save you money in the long run.
Child Care Costs in Juneau
The cost of child care in Juneau can put families in a real pickle. For all that parents joke about the cost of paying for college, in Juneau, child care actually costs more than college. This is due to a shocking shortage of child care in Juneau; there is only enough for about 20 percent of children younger than Kindergarten age.
The average annual cost for child care is $10,370, which is about $3,000 more than a year’s tuition at a state college. This puts Juneau at 148 on the cost of living index for child care.
Food Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Food costs in Juneau are more expensive than the national average but cheaper than the state average. On the cost of living index, Juneau is 134.4, Alaska is 141.7, and the United States is 100.
Usually, your food budget should be about 11% of your annual income, 6% for groceries, and 5% for dining out. Juneau’s median income is $88,213, so your food budget should be about $9,800 per year.
You can compare grocery costs in Juneau to similar cities in the state in the table below.
Comparison of Grocery Costs in Juneau to Other Cities in Alaska
|Milk (1 gallon)||$2.78||$2.39||$2.44||$2.44|
|Bread (1 loaf)||$4.78||$4.11||$4.18||$4.18|
|Eggs (1 dozen)||$2.60||$2.23||$2.27||$2.27|
|Bananas (1 bunch)||$4.82||$4.14||$4.22||$4.22|
Healthcare Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Healthcare costs in Juneau are higher than the national average but slightly lower than the state average. On the cost of living index, Juneau is 112.3, Alaska is 113, and the United States is 100. You can compare average healthcare costs in Juneau by visit type in the table below.
Average Healthcare Costs in Juneau, Alaska
Costs of Entertainment and Recreation in Juneau
Juneau is both remote and full of activities and options for entertainment. These lifestyle options are the big draw to Juneau despite its expensive cost of living.
|Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center||Free|
|Tracy Arm Fjord – Trip By Boat||$40+|
|Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway||$33|
|Alaska State Museum||$9-$14|
|Skiing at Eaglecrest||$30-59|
The outdoors makes Juneau a tourist destination, and residents will want to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities to experience the nearby natural beauty.In the vicinity, you can find skiing, heliskiing, whale sightseeing tours, kayaking, hiking, camping, ziplining, fishing, and so much more.
Education Costs in Juneau
Juneau’s educational offerings are not as varied as in other hub cities, but they are tailored to the needs of the students they serve.
The University of Alaska Southeast is Juneau’s premier postsecondary education opportunity. The university offers traditional degree opportunities, but it also has several programs tailored to the needs and interests of Alaska, including mining, power technology, and Alaska Native arts, languages, and studies.
Annual in-state tuition there is $6,696.Out-of-state students will have to dig deep in their pockets; annual tuition for them is $20,832.
UAS offers technical programs through the UAS Technical Education Center, which is a much-needed course catalog given the lack of a community college in the area. There, students can get certifications in fisheries or construction technology, health sciences, welding, and more.Tuition varies depending on the program.
What do most people earn in Juneau?
The per person median income for people living in Juneau is $43,680. The household median income is $88,390. About 6.3 percent of Juneau residents live at or below federal poverty guidelines. Thirty-eight percent of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
What is the weather like in Juneau, Alaska?
In Juneau, Alaska, summers are cool, and the winters are long, cold, wet, and windy. The warm season typically lasts about three and a half months, from May to September. The cold season lasts about four months, from November to March. Over the year, the temperature varies from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It will rarely drop below 7 degrees Fahrenheit or be warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re looking for an excellent time to visit Juneau, early July to mid-August is best. It rarely rains during these months and the weather averages between 65 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is there public transportation in Juneau, Alaska?
Juneau is one of only two capital cities in America that you can’t reach by car. When traveling to Juneau, you must arrive by plane or ferry. Once you reach the city, Capital Transit is the public transportation provider in Juneau, Alaska. The Capital City Transit has 11 bus routes in Juneau with 174 stops, covering North Juneau to South Juneau. The most western stop is Glacier Highway at Auke Bay. Furthermore, the most eastern stop is Savikko Road at Treadwell Ice Arena.If you’re looking for a great view of Juneau, the Juneau Tram is for you. It’s the most vertical tramway in the world, with cars rising 1,800 feet through the rainforest. In addition, there are pathways for walking as well as biking throughout Juneau.
Summing It Up
Due to the cost of living, Juneau, Alaska, is a great city for those who are already well-established. Like most places, Juneau can be as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. Moving to Juneau, Alaska, is a decision that is well worth it due to the low taxes and utility costs.
Expect to encounter pricey homes, big grocery bills, and sticker shock at daycare costs. In return, you will someplace so beautiful that a single trip there is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure for most people.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall