Skip to content
SuperMoney logo
SuperMoney logo

Do You Get Paid To Live in Alaska (and How Much)?

Last updated 06/04/2024 by

Laura Strecker

Edited by

Fact checked by

The rumors are true: Alaska does pay you to move there! Over the past seven years, eligible Alaska residents have received between $1,000 and $3,000 annually. However, before you move there, it’s worth carefully considering all the perks and drawbacks of living in Alaska.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about relocating to someplace new, whether for financial reasons or simply for a change of scenery. If so, did you know that some U.S. cities and states pay you to live there? Alaska offers several financial perks to current and new residents, including a program called the Alaska Permanent Fund, which pays each of its residents a certain amount every year out of the oil money that the state earns. Among other perks, Alaska also offers low taxes, affordable real estate, and some breathtaking scenery!
Mount Drum, Alaska
Mount Drum, Alaska
In this article, we’ll outline what it’s like to live in Alaska, including the top financial perks and a few drawbacks to consider, to help you decide if it’s worth getting paid to move to this unique and beautiful state!

Get Competing Personal Loan Offers In Minutes

Compare rates from multiple vetted lenders. Discover your lowest eligible rate.
Get Personalized Rates
It's quick, free and won’t hurt your credit score

Financial perks of living in Alaska

Not all states will pay you to move there, so the idea of getting free money just for living someplace can be quite alluring. “Relocating for financial incentives can be a smart financial move if done correctly,” says Pedro Braz, a finance enthusiast and co-founder of Investing in the Web.
If your reasons for wanting to move to a new state are mostly related to money, it’s worth considering the following financial perks of living in Alaska:

Permanent Fund program

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program was established in 1982 with the purpose of setting aside at least 25% of the state’s oil revenue for future generations of Alaskans. The program has been providing residents with a once-a-year payment that not only supports current residents and businesses but also attracts new ones — which is beneficial to the state’s economy, given that in the past decade, more people have moved out of Alaska annually than have moved in.
The PFD amount that residents receive is based on the investment earnings of the state’s oil reserves and the number of applicants (residents must apply and prove their eligibility each year). This means that payment amounts may fluctuate from year to year. For example, in 2018, 736,239 applications were received and 670,759 were accepted, but only 639,247 people were eligible to receive a payment of $1,600.
To qualify for a payment, you need to provide proof that you have been an Alaska resident for the entire calendar year prior to applying for a dividend, and you must intend to live in Alaska indefinitely. Per the Alaska Permanent Fund website, the 2022 PFD amount is $3,284, and eligible Alaska residents will need to have finished filing their applications by the end of March.
YearPFD Amount

Pro Tip

In order to qualify for a PFD payment, an Alaskan resident cannot be absent from the state for more than 180 days, except in the case of an “allowable absence,” such as for college or military service. To establish residency, an active duty military member must arrive in Alaska and claim residency in Alaska with the military on or before December 31 of the year before the qualifying year. This can be achieved by voter registration, obtaining an Alaska driver’s license, registering a vehicle, signing a lease for non-governmental housing, or purchasing a home. The resident must then maintain Alaska residency during the qualifying year and intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely.

Tax breaks

When it comes to property, income, and sales tax, Alaska is considered the state with the lowest tax burden in the entire United States. Aside from being one of only seven states that does not collect personal income tax, Alaska also has no state sales tax. All of this makes Alaska a rather attractive place to live, especially for those who work remotely or who are self-employed.

Affordable real estate

Another reason why full-time remote workers and self-employed individuals, in particular, might consider moving to Alaska is the affordable real estate. With real estate prices going up across the country, buying a home is becoming increasingly inaccessible. The average home price in Alaska is around $287,000 (or $337,000 in the city of Anchorage), so buying a home there can be much more achievable than in other states. The larger cities also have a well-established infrastructure that supports remote workers, including fast Internet service, local coworking space, virtual offices, and virtual business addresses.
Interested in buying a home in Alaska? Use SuperMoney’s comparison tool to find the right home loan for you!

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

Loading results ...

Financial drawbacks of living in Alaska

Now, before you get all starry-eyed at the thought of getting paid to live in Alaska, keep in mind that the cost of living in Alaska is higher than in most other states. Along with the financial perks listed above, you’ll also want to consider the drawbacks of potentially higher rent, transportation, utility, and food prices that come with living in such a large and remote state.


Rent prices will depend largely on location, with an apartment in a large city like Anchorage costing much more than a small house in a small town. It is possible to find seasonal jobs that cover housing, which would save you money on rent. Kodiak, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage rank among the ten most expensive cities in Alaska to live in.


Utilities in Alaska are generally expensive, especially during the coldest six months of the year. Reliable internet is also easier to find in larger cities, which may be a deciding factor for remote workers looking to move to the state.


The weather in Alaska is not ideal for growing food locally, which means most food has to be imported. Because of this, considering the size of the state and the wide expanse of land over which food must be transported to cities and rural areas, food is more expensive in Alaska than in other states.


The highway system in Alaska is limited, so getting from one place to another will often require taking more expensive modes of transportation. Many communities in the southeast are accessible only by air or water. The remote areas in the interior of the state can only be reached by plane. Car insurance is relatively affordable, but gas is expensive and options for public transportation are limited, even in Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage.

Limited job opportunities

Those looking for full-time employment may find it challenging to get a job in Alaska. The state ranks 20th in the U.S. in per capita income, and unemployment in Alaska is above the national average. However, there are seasonal jobs available that will often include housing and offer free outdoor recreation opportunities.
Since Alaska sometimes struggles to find qualified individuals for specific jobs, if you are looking for a professional role, you may find jobs that offer bonuses or that pay for moving expenses. Some cities in Alaska also offer perks to eligible remote workers, such as paid internet and free access to a coworking space.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

Loading results ...

About Alaska

There’s a reason Alaska is known as “The Last Frontier”: the state is located in the northwesternmost region of North America, bordering British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada and sharing a western maritime border in the Bering Strait with Russia.
Alaska is by far the largest U.S. state, boasting an area of 665,400 square miles (about 2.5 times as large as the 268,597-square-mile state of Texas). However, despite all that space, it’s the second least populated state after Wyoming, with a population of only 730,000.
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Alaska is famous for its incredible natural beauty, making it especially appealing to lovers of nature and the outdoors. The state is home to more mountain peaks than any other state, including the top ten tallest mountains in the United States (with Denali being the tallest in the nation). In Alaska, you’ll also find the largest glaciers and the largest forests in the country, as well as three million lakes!
As far as cultural diversity, Alaska is home to several Native communities, as well as some remnants of Russian heritage from before the state was sold to the United States in 1867.

What some residents say about living in Alaska

Still not sure if moving to Alaska is the right decision for you? Consider the following experiences of other Alaska residents.
Jane Jones of See Sight Tours moved to Alaska for the financial perks:
Tara, a former resident who was paid to move to Alaska, says,

Pro Tip

Before you commit to moving to Alaska, you may want to visit the state first to get a sense of what living there will be like. When planning your vacation, be sure to consider the best times to visit Alaska based on weather and plane ticket prices!


Is it expensive to live in Alaska?

That depends on the area you live in, but generally, living in Alaska can be more expensive than living in other states due to the challenges presented by travel and weather.

Why do Alaskans get paid to live there?

Eligible Alaskan residents get paid an annual dividend through the Permanent Fund Dividend program to help offset the higher cost of living in the state.

How long do you have to live in Alaska before the state pays you?

In order to qualify for a PFD payment, you need to have been a resident of Alaska for an entire calendar year (among other eligibility requirements you need to meet).

Is life cheap in Alaska?

Due to the state’s size and remote location, rent, utilities, transportation, gas, and food are generally more expensive in Alaska than in other states.

Key Takeaways

  • Through its Permanent Fund Dividend program, Alaska offers free money to eligible residents simply for living in the state. Alaska residents generally receive between $1,000 and $3,000 a year from the state.
  • Other financial perks of living in Alaska include tax breaks and affordable real estate.
  • There are also a few financial drawbacks to consider before moving to Alaska, including the high costs of rent, utilities, transportation, gas, and food.
  • Whether living in Alaska is the right move for you will depend on your priorities and ability to adapt to life in the coldest U.S. state. Be sure to consider all the pros and cons of life in Alaska — such as the weather, natural beauty, and remote work opportunities — before taking the leap!

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

Loading results ...

Share this post:

You might also like