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Would You Live in Alaska If They Paid You? (Hint: They Do)

Would you believe it if I told you they pay you to live in Alaska? Some people might say it’s impossible, but it’s true. I grew up in the state and part of my college fund came directly from the state.

A program pays residents thousands of dollars each year for living there. But how much does Alaska pay you to live there and why? The answer depends on how much money the Alaskan government has available in a special fund.

So would you move to Alaska if they paid you? Lets take a look at this interesting program and learn more.

welcome to alaska sign

What Is Alaska Known for?

People know Alaska as the largest state in the US, with its rugged mountains and wild rivers, and abundant wildlife. However, there’s more to Alaska than its size and natural beauty. There are quite a few things that make Alaska unique.

Alaska is home to more than half of the world’s glaciers. It has the northernmost point in the United States. It is the only state where you can find all three species of North American bears: Polar bears, black bears, and grizzly bears.

Despite its reputation as a cold and snowy place, Alaska has many climates, from temperate rainforests to arctic tundra.

Alaska is also known for the oil it produces in the most northern region called the north slope. A famous pipeline moves the oil hundreds of miles to a ice-free port for year-round shipping. Its this oil that has been so profitable to the state that they give some back to the residents.

How Many People Live in Alaska?

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, but it is also one of the most sparsely populated. According to the most recent census, the state has only over 730,000 people. 

This might seem like a lot, but when you consider that Alaska is nearly 700,000 square miles, it works out to an average of one person for every square mile. In comparison, the state of Rhode Island has a population density of over 1,000 people per square mile. If you’re considering moving because of how much Alaska can pay you to live there, prepare for a more remote lifestyle.

So, even though Alaska is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, its vast size means that there are often more animals than people.

salmon glacier Alaska
We spent many months exploring Alaska and were so impressed with all the state has to offer.

Do You Get Paid to Live in Alaska?

Some people might say you don’t get paid to live in Alaska, but we would argue that it is a matter of semantics. The state doesn’t directly offer money in return for you moving to Alaska, but there are several financial incentives for state residents. These programs can make it cheaper to live in the state, and some may even provide a small income.

For example, the Permanent Fund Dividend program provides every eligible resident a share of the state’s oil revenue each year. While it’s not enough to live on, it can help offset the high cost of living in Alaska.

Additionally, many communities in Alaska offer tax breaks or subsidies for things like utilities and property taxes. In that way, Alaska can pay you to live there.

Homes in Alaska along the water
Alaska pays its residents a few thousand dollars each year through the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend program.

What Is the Permanent Fund Dividend?

Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend is a program that gives Alaskan residents a share of the state’s annual oil revenues. The size of the dividend varies every year, but residents can typically expect to receive somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 per person.

The Alaska Permanent Fund pays the dividend, a savings account that the state’s oil revenues fund. Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation manages the fund, which invests the money in various assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

The dividend goes out to residents every October. To be eligible for the dividend, residents must have lived in Alaska for at least one calendar year and have intentions to stay in the state. Residents also must maintain certain amount of time in the state, preventing people from collecting if they dont actually live there.

How Much Does Alaska Pay You to Live There?

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) is usually between $1,000 and $2,000 per resident annually. The lowest payment from PDF in the 2000s was $845 in 2005. The top payment was $2,072 in 2017.

The Alaska legislature is blowing the top payment out of the water in 2022 with an additional reliefe payment. Alaskan residents filing for the PFD in 2022 may receive $3,200, according to reports.

Pro Tip: If you’re considering moving to Alaska, you may be wondering Does Alaska Have Earthquakes? Find out what natural disasters you may encounter when living in Alaska.

Caitlin from Mortons on the Move driving through stunning Alaskan scenary.
Getting paid to live in Alaska ensures you are always surrounded with breathtaking views.

Are There Other States That Pay You to Live There?

There are a few states other than Alaska that will pay you to live there. They use some of the incentives to lure remote workers or first-time homebuyers.

For example, Arkansas had a program that requires that you move to either Benton or Washington County and live there for at least 12 months. In return, you get $10,000 in cash or cryptocurrency, and you can receive a mountain or road bike.

Maine offers up to $40,000 in student loan forgiveness as an incentive. There are a few stipulations, however, such as you must be a first-time homebuyer from out of state and purchase a home in Maine. The house must also be within a specific price range, and you must remain in the home for five or more years.

Vermont and West Virginia are trying to lure remote workers by offering cash incentives. The catch for both is that you have to live in their state but work remotely for an employer outside that state.

Alaskan home in the snow with the northern lights above it.
Living in Alaska comes with its pros and cons. Really consider if an Alaskan lifestyle will be right for you before you make the move.

What Are the Advantages of Living in Alaska?

While it’s true that Alaska pays you to live there, that’s not the only advantage of living in this beautiful state. For starters, Alaska is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts. With its vast forests, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife, there is no shortage of opportunities for exploration and adventure. Moreover, the long summer days and relatively mild winters make it possible to enjoy these activities year-round.

In addition to its natural beauty, Alaska is also home to a rich cultural heritage. From the native peoples who have called this land home for centuries to the Russian settlers who arrived in the 18th century, Alaska has a diverse and fascinating history.

With its vibrant cities and towns, there is always something new to discover.

Pro Tip: Check out our ‘Go North’ Alaska Itinerary for help planning your own Alaskan adventure.

What Are the Disadvantages of Living in Alaska?

People often consider Alaska a land of opportunity, offering vast open spaces and abundant natural resources. However, living in Alaska also has its challenges.

The state is remote and challenging to reach, making it difficult to access essential goods and services. The climate is also extreme, with long winters and short summers. This can make it tricky to grow crops or engage in many outdoor activities.

In addition, the cost of living in Alaska is high, due primarily to the cost of shipping goods to the state.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind, the cost of living in Alaska is high! Can you guess what the Average Price Of Gas in Alaska is?

Northern Lights In Alaska, Chena Hot Springs & Ice Museums | Go North Ep 17

Would You Move to Alaska If They Paid You?

Moving to Alaska is an exciting proposition, and how much they pay you to live there might be the incentive you need to make the jump. Of course, there are also many other factors to consider before making such a big decision. However, now you know that moving to Alaska could be a pretty sweet bonus.

Would you move to Alaska if they paid you? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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