- Alaska pays its citizens up to $2,000 a year just for living there.
- The annual cheques are part of a government programme.
- Almost every citizen qualifies – there’s no catch.
If Alaska’s scenic landscapes and jaw-dropping views weren’t enough to consider a move to The Last Frontier, free money almost certainly is.
Alaska pays each of its residents up to $2,000 every year, and there are barely any conditions.
America’s largest and most sparsely populated state pays every permanent citizen a share of the state’s oil wealth as part of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, part of the Alaska Department of Revenue.
The scheme was set up in 1982 in order to make sure that future generations would get to benefit from the state’s huge oil reserves, which are a finite resource.
So far, more than $21 billion (£15.7 billion) has been handed out to the people of Alaska.
The amount paid to each citizen varies year to year, depending on the value of the state’s vast oil reserves. 2015 saw the highest ever payout of $2,072 (£1,550) per citizen. This year’s dividend is $1,100 (£820).
Although it may sound too good to be true, there’s no catch. Every permanent citizen qualifies – including children.
The only two conditions are that you must live in Alaska for at least 180 days in the year, and you haven’t been convicted of a crime in the last year.
Anyone looking to move to the state will of course also have some drawbacks to deal with – including the low temperatures, limited phone and internet connectivity in a lot of places, and higher prices of some commodities because of the cost of importing.
- Flickr/Paxson Woelber