How Much Do You Get For Living In Alaska?

Living in Alaska, the land of breathtaking wilderness, stunning landscapes, and colossal glaciers, may seem like a dream come true for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. However, before packing your bags and booking that one-way ticket to the Last Frontier, it’s essential to understand how much you can expect to get as income or assistance while living in Alaska. From Permanent Fund Dividends (PFDs) to cost of living considerations, this article explores what awaits you financially when you become an Alaskan.

Permanent Fund Dividends: The PFD Payment

One unique aspect of living in Alaska is the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program. Established in 1976 and funded by oil revenues from the state’s vast resources, PFD aims to distribute a share of oil wealth back to Alaskans annually. Citizens who meet certain residency requirements are eligible for this payment, making it a prevalent topic among those considering moving to Alaska.

Eligibility Criteria

Before we delve into the financial aspect of PFDs further, let’s discuss the eligibility criteria first. To be eligible for a PFD payment:

  • You must have resided in Alaska for at least one full calendar year.
  • You should intend on staying indefinitely or maintain an intent to return if temporarily absent.
  • You must not claim residency elsewhere.

Calculating Your PFD Payment

Now that we’ve covered who qualifies for a PFD payment let’s dive into how these payments are calculated. Each year, all eligible Alaskans receive an equal amount determined by various factors such as investment earnings from the permanent fund itself.

“Every Alaskan gets the same mental health benefits: When they hear about those dividend checks coming. ” – Gary Johnson

The exact value varies each year due to fluctuations caused by market investments but generally ranges between $1, 000-$2, 000. However, in 2020, amidst the global pandemic financial repercussions, eligible residents received an additional one-time COVID-19 Relief PFD payment of $1, 000.

Cost of Living Considerations

While the PFD program offers a unique opportunity to receive annual payments for simply being an Alaskan resident, it’s important to take into account the cost of living factors that come hand-in-hand with residing in Alaska. Many aspects contribute to Alaska’s higher-than-average cost of living, impacted primarily by its geographical location and limited accessibility.

Housing Expenses

When discussing the cost of living in Alaska, housing expenses are among primary considerations. While it is possible to find reasonably priced accommodation options depending on your location within the state, rental costs tend to be higher compared to many other U. S. regions. For example:


  • Average Monthly Rent for a 1-Bedroom Apartment: $1, 200-$1, 500
  • Average Monthly Rent for a 3-Bedroom Apartment: $2, 000-$2, 500


  • Average Monthly Rent for a 1-Bedroom Apartment: $900-$1, 300
  • Average Monthly Rent for a 3-Bedroom Apartment: $1, 600-$2, 200

Groceries and Everyday Goods

With Alaska’s remote location posing logistical challenges when it comes to transportation and distribution systems, grocery and everyday goods prices tend to be higher than national averages.

To give you an idea:
– A gallon of milk may cost around $4.
– A loaf of bread could range from $3-$5.
– Fresh produce prices might vary depending on seasonal availability but expect them to be relatively more expensive throughout the year.

“Alaska real estate can sometimes feel like playing Monopoly – except instead of building houses or hotels along Atlantic City’s Boardwalk; you’re constructing your own log cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. ” – Anonymous

Utilities and Energy Costs

Due to extreme weather conditions experienced throughout much of Alaska, utility bills, including heating expenses, can add significantly to monthly expenditures. The winter months can be particularly demanding on energy consumption needs.

Below are approximate monthly costs for utilities:
– Electricity (850 kWh): $150-$200
– Heating Oil: $3-$4 per gallon

Additional Financial Considerations

Beyond the PFD payments and cost of living concerns, there are other financial factors you should take into account when considering a move to Alaska.


Unlike many states within the U. S. , Alaska does not impose state income tax or sales tax on its residents. This means you get to keep more of your hard-earned money!

Employment Opportunities

While it’s important to research job opportunities specific to your field before moving, several industries are prominent in Alaska due to its unique natural resources and vast landscapes. These industries include:

Fishing and Seafood Processing

Alaska is renowned for its high-quality seafood industry. From commercial fishing opportunities to seafood processing plants, this sector offers jobs that contribute greatly to the state’s economy.

Oil and Gas Exploration

Given its rich oil reserves, oil and gas exploration present numerous employment possibilities in various capacities along with competitive salaries.

“You’re officially an Alaskan if you’ve ever had a jog while watching wildlife – because life is never too dull up here!” – Anonymous

Crude Petroleum Extraction

With vast petroleum deposits across different regions like Prudhoe Bay in North Slope Borough, working in crude petroleum extraction provides substantial career prospects as well as attractive financial rewards.

Living in Alaska offers breathtaking scenery alongside unique financial considerations. While the Permanent Fund Dividends program allows eligible residents annual payments ranging between $1, 000-$2, 000, it’s crucial also to weigh the higher cost of living in Alaska, which factors into housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation expenses.

Moreover, Alaska’s lack of state income tax and sales tax alleviate some financial burdens compared to other U. S. states. Lastly, researching employment opportunities within industries such as fishing and seafood processing or oil and gas exploration helps potential Alaskan residents gauge their earning potential.

So if you’re ready to embark on an adventure filled with stunning landscapes, wildlife encounters, outdoor activities like hiking or ice fishing (yes, that’s a thing), grab your warmest jacket and make the icy wonders of Alaska your new frontier!

FAQ: How Much Do You Get For Living In Alaska?

Q: What is the Permanent Fund Dividend in Alaska?
A: The Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) is an annual payment made to eligible Alaskan residents. It is distributed from the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund and its amount varies each year.

Q: How much money do Alaskans receive through the PFD program?
A: The specific amount of money individuals receive through the PFD program changes annually. It depends on various factors, such as oil revenues, investment returns, and legislative decisions. For more precise information, you can visit the official website of the State of Alaska.

Q: Can I apply for the PFD if I’m not an Alaskan resident?
A: No, only eligible Alaskan residents can apply for and receive the Permanent Fund Dividend.

Q: Are there any eligibility requirements to qualify for the PFD?
A: Yes, there are certain eligibility requirements to receive PFD. Generally, you must have lived in Alaska for a full calendar year before applying and intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely. Additional criteria may be applicable; it’s best to check with the official sources or contact them directly for accurate information.

Q: When is the deadline to apply for the Permanent Fund Dividend?
A: The application period for PFD opens every year around January 1st and usually closes around March 31st. However, these dates are subject to change. To ensure you have updated information regarding deadlines, refer to Alaska’s official government website or consult their resources directly.

Q: Can non-citizens of the United States who live in Alaska still receive this dividend?
A: Yes, as long as non-citizens meet all residency requirements set by law and maintain legal immigration status in accordance with relevant regulations governing state benefits.

Please note that information regarding the PFD program may change over time. It’s always advised to refer to official sources for the most accurate and up-to-date details.