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Coordinates: 64°N 150°W / 64°N 150°W / 64; -150[1]

State of Alaska

Flag Seal

Nickname(s): The Last Frontier

Motto(s): North to the Future

State song(s): "Alaska's Flag"

Official language English, Inupiat, Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Aleut, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Lower Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Coast Tsimshian

Spoken languages English 86.3% Alaska Native languages 5.2% Tagalog 3.4% Spanish 2.9% Others 2.2%

Demonym Alaskan

Capital Juneau

Largest city Anchorage

Area Ranked 1st

 • Total 663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 km2)

 • Width 2,261 miles (3,639 km)

 • Length 1,420 miles (2,285 km)

 • % water 13.77

 • Latitude 51°20'N to 71°50'N

 • Longitude 130°W to 172°E

Population Ranked 48th

 • Total 741,894 (2016 est.)[2]

 • Density 1.26/sq mi  (0.49/km2) Ranked 50th

 • Median household income $75,723[3] (3rd)

Elevation

 • Highest point Denali[4] 20,310 ft (6190.5 m)

 • Mean 1900 ft  (580 m)

 • Lowest point Sea level

Before statehood Territory of Alaska

Admission to Union January 3, 1959 (49th)

Governor Bill Walker (I)

Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott
Byron Mallott
(D)

Legislature Alaska
Alaska
Legislature

 • Upper house Senate

 • Lower house House of Representatives

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski
(R) Dan Sullivan (R)

U.S. House delegation Don Young
Don Young
(R) (at-large) (list)

Time zones  

 • east of 169° 30' Alaska
Alaska
– UTC -9/-8

 • west of 169° 30' Aleutian – UTC -10/-9

ISO 3166 US-AK

Abbreviations AK

Website www.alaska.gov

Alaska
Alaska
state symbols

The Flag of Alaska

The Seal of Alaska

Living insignia

Bird Willow ptarmigan

Dog breed Alaskan Malamute

Fish King salmon

Flower Forget-me-not

Insect Four-spot skimmer dragonfly

Mammal

Land: Moose Marine: Bowhead whale

Tree Sitka Spruce

Inanimate insignia

Fossil Woolly Mammoth

Gemstone Jade

Mineral Gold

Song "Alaska's Flag"

Other Dog mushing (state sport)

State route marker

State quarter

Released in 2008

Lists of United States
United States
state symbols

Alaska
Alaska
(/əˈlæskə/ ( listen)) is a U.S. state
U.S. state
located in the northwest extremity of North America. The Canadian administrative divisions of British Columbia
British Columbia
and Yukon
Yukon
border the state to the east, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia
Russia
to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas–the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest state in the United States
United States
by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America, its population (the total estimated at 738,432 by the U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau
in 2015[5]) more than quadrupling the combined populations of Northern Canada
Northern Canada
and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy. The United States
United States
purchased Alaska
Alaska
from the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.[6]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Geography

2.1 Regions

2.1.1 South Central 2.1.2 Southeast 2.1.3 Interior 2.1.4 Southwest 2.1.5 North Slope 2.1.6 Aleutian Islands

2.2 Natural features 2.3 Land ownership 2.4 Climate

3 History

3.1 Pre-colonization 3.2 Colonization 3.3 Territory 3.4 Statehood 3.5 Good Friday
Good Friday
earthquake 3.6 Discovery of oil 3.7 Alaska
Alaska
Heritage Resources Survey

4 Demographics

4.1 Race and Ethnicity 4.2 Languages 4.3 Religion

5 Economy

5.1 Energy

5.1.1 Permanent Fund

5.2 Cost of living 5.3 Agriculture and fishing

6 Transportation

6.1 Roads 6.2 Rail 6.3 Marine transport 6.4 Air transport 6.5 Other transport 6.6 Data transport

7 Law and government

7.1 State government 7.2 State politics 7.3 Taxes 7.4 Federal politics

8 Cities, towns and boroughs

8.1 Cities and census-designated places (by population)

9 Education 10 Public health and public safety 11 Culture

11.1 Music 11.2 Alaska
Alaska
in film and on television

12 State symbols 13 See also 14 Notes 15 References 16 External links

Etymology The name "Alaska" (Russian: Аляска, tr. Alyaska) was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the peninsula. It was derived from an Aleut, or Unangam
Unangam
idiom, which figuratively refers to the mainland of Alaska. Literally, it means object to which the action of the sea is directed.[7][8][9] Geography Main article: Geography of Alaska Alaska
Alaska
is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States
United States
because the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska
Alaska
is the only non-contiguous U.S. state
U.S. state
on continental North America; about 500 miles (800 km) of British Columbia
British Columbia
(Canada) separates Alaska
Alaska
from Washington. It is technically part of the continental U.S., but is sometimes not included in colloquial use; Alaska
Alaska
is not part of the contiguous U.S., often called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system. The state is bordered by Yukon
Yukon
and British Columbia
British Columbia
in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Alaska
and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea
Chukchi Sea
to the west and the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
to the north. Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island
Little Diomede Island
are only 3 miles (4.8 km) apart. Alaska
Alaska
has a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined.[10]

Alaska's size compared with the 48 contiguous states. (Albers equal-area conic projection)

Alaska
Alaska
is the largest state in the United States
United States
by total area at 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2), over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska
Alaska
is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska
Alaska
is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas, California, and Montana. It is also larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U.S. states. Regions There are no officially defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six widely accepted regions: South Central Main article: South Central Alaska The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley
Matanuska-Susitna Valley
and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural, mostly unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range
Alaska Range
and west of the Wrangell Mountains also fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.[11] Southeast Main article: Southeast Alaska Also referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska
Alaska
closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska
Alaska
Purchase. The region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago
Alexander Archipelago
as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, and Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city.[12] The Alaska Marine Highway
Alaska Marine Highway
provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities (Haines, Hyder and Skagway) enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system.[13] Officially designated in 1963.[14] Interior Main article: Alaska
Alaska
Interior

Denali
Denali
is the highest peak in North America.

The Interior is the largest region of Alaska; much of it is uninhabited wilderness. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali
Denali
National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali
Denali
is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Main article: Southwest Alaska

Grizzly bear
Grizzly bear
fishing for salmon at Brooks Falls, part of Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Southwest Alaska
Southwest Alaska
is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles (800 km) inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast. Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island
is also located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula
Alaska Peninsula
are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
(see below). North Slope Main article: Alaska
Alaska
North Slope The North Slope is mostly tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, and contains both the National Petroleum
Petroleum
Reserve– Alaska
Alaska
and the Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
Oil Field.[15] The city of Utqiaġvik, formerly known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States
United States
and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and also containing the Kobuk River
Kobuk River
valley, is often regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the North Slope and of the Northwest Arctic seldom consider themselves to be one people[citation needed]. Aleutian Islands Main article: Aleutian Islands More than 300 small volcanic islands make up this chain, which stretches over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) into the Pacific Ocean. Some of these islands fall in the Eastern Hemisphere, but the International Date Line
International Date Line
was drawn west of 180° to keep the whole state, and thus the entire North American continent, within the same legal day. Two of the islands, Attu and Kiska, were occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. Natural features See also: Wildlife of Alaska

Augustine Volcano
Augustine Volcano
erupting on January 12, 2006

With its myriad islands, Alaska
Alaska
has nearly 34,000 miles (54,720 km) of tidal shoreline. The Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
chain extends west from the southern tip of the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula. Many active volcanoes are found in the Aleutians and in coastal regions. Unimak Island, for example, is home to Mount Shishaldin, which is an occasionally smoldering volcano that rises to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above the North Pacific. It is the most perfect volcanic cone on Earth, even more symmetrical than Japan's Mount Fuji. The chain of volcanoes extends to Mount Spurr, west of Anchorage
Anchorage
on the mainland. Geologists have identified Alaska
Alaska
as part of Wrangellia, a large region consisting of multiple states and Canadian provinces in the Pacific Northwest, which is actively undergoing continent building. One of the world's largest tides occurs in Turnagain Arm, just south of Anchorage, where tidal differences can be more than 35 feet (10.7 m).[16] Main article: List of lakes in Alaska Alaska
Alaska
has more than three million lakes.[17] Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,747 km2) (mostly in northern, western and southwest flatlands). Glacier ice covers about 28,957 square miles (75,000 km2) of Alaska.[18] The Bering Glacier is the largest glacier in North America, covering 2,008 square miles (5,200 km2) alone.[19] Land ownership

Alaska
Alaska
has more public land owned by the federal government than any other state.[20]

According to an October 1998 report by the United States
United States
Bureau of Land Management, approximately 65% of Alaska
Alaska
is owned and managed by the U.S. federal government as public lands, including a multitude of national forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges.[21] Of these, the Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
manages 87 million acres (35 million hectares), or 23.8% of the state. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the United States
United States
Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the world's largest wildlife refuge, comprising 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares). Of the remaining land area, the state of Alaska
Alaska
owns 101 million acres (41 million hectares), its entitlement under the Alaska Statehood Act. A portion of that acreage is occasionally ceded to organized boroughs, under the statutory provisions pertaining to newly formed boroughs. Smaller portions are set aside for rural subdivisions and other homesteading-related opportunities. These are not very popular due to the often remote and roadless locations. The University of Alaska, as a land grant university, also owns substantial acreage which it manages independently. Another 44 million acres (18 million hectares) are owned by 12 regional, and scores of local, Native corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
(ANCSA) of 1971. Regional Native corporation Doyon, Limited
Doyon, Limited
often promotes itself as the largest private landowner in Alaska
Alaska
in advertisements and other communications. Provisions of ANCSA allowing the corporations' land holdings to be sold on the open market starting in 1991 were repealed before they could take effect. Effectively, the corporations hold title (including subsurface title in many cases, a privilege denied to individual Alaskans) but cannot sell the land. Individual Native allotments can be and are sold on the open market, however. Various private interests own the remaining land, totaling about one percent of the state. Alaska
Alaska
is, by a large margin, the state with the smallest percentage of private land ownership when Native corporation holdings are excluded. Climate Main article: Climate of Alaska

Köppen climate types of Alaska.

Map depicting the climate zones of Alaska.

The climate in Southeast Alaska
Southeast Alaska
is a mid-latitude oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc) in the northern parts. On an annual basis, Southeast is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high precipitation throughout the year. Juneau
Juneau
averages over 50 in (130 cm) of precipitation a year, and Ketchikan
Ketchikan
averages over 150 in (380 cm).[22] This is also the only region in Alaska
Alaska
in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter months. The climate of Anchorage
Anchorage
and south central Alaska
Alaska
is mild by Alaskan standards due to the region's proximity to the seacoast. While the area gets less rain than southeast Alaska, it gets more snow, and days tend to be clearer. On average, Anchorage
Anchorage
receives 16 in (41 cm) of precipitation a year, with around 75 in (190 cm) of snow, although there are areas in the south central which receive far more snow. It is a subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc) due to its brief, cool summers. The climate of Western Alaska
Alaska
is determined in large part by the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
and the Gulf of Alaska. It is a subarctic oceanic climate in the southwest and a continental subarctic climate farther north. The temperature is somewhat moderate considering how far north the area is. This region has a tremendous amount of variety in precipitation. An area stretching from the northern side of the Seward Peninsula to the Kobuk River
Kobuk River
valley (i. e., the region around Kotzebue Sound) is technically a desert, with portions receiving less than 10 in (25 cm) of precipitation annually. On the other extreme, some locations between Dillingham and Bethel average around 100 in (250 cm) of precipitation.[23] The climate of the interior of Alaska
Alaska
is subarctic. Some of the highest and lowest temperatures in Alaska
Alaska
occur around the area near Fairbanks. The summers may have temperatures reaching into the 90s °F (the low-to-mid 30s °C), while in the winter, the temperature can fall below −60 °F (−51 °C). Precipitation is sparse in the Interior, often less than 10 in (25 cm) a year, but what precipitation falls in the winter tends to stay the entire winter. The highest and lowest recorded temperatures in Alaska
Alaska
are both in the Interior. The highest is 100 °F (38 °C) in Fort Yukon (which is just 8 mi or 13 km inside the arctic circle) on June 27, 1915,[24][25] making Alaska
Alaska
tied with Hawaii
Hawaii
as the state with the lowest high temperature in the United States.[26][27] The lowest official Alaska
Alaska
temperature is −80 °F (−62 °C) in Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971,[24][25] one degree above the lowest temperature recorded in continental North America
North America
(in Snag, Yukon, Canada).[28] The climate in the extreme north of Alaska
Alaska
is Arctic (Köppen: ET) with long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. Even in July, the average low temperature in Barrow is 34 °F (1 °C).[29] Precipitation is light in this part of Alaska, with many places averaging less than 10 in (25 cm) per year, mostly as snow which stays on the ground almost the entire year.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected locations in Alaska[30]

Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)

Anchorage 65/51 18/10 22/11 −5/–11

Juneau 64/50 17/11 32/23 0/–4

Ketchikan 64/51 17/11 38/28 3/–1

Unalaska 57/46 14/8 36/28 2/–2

Fairbanks 72/53 22/11 1/–17 −17/–27

Fort Yukon 73/51 23/10 −11/–27 −23/–33

Nome 58/46 14/8 13/–2 −10/–19

Barrow 47/34 8/1 −7/–19 −21/–28

History Main articles: Prehistory of Alaska
Prehistory of Alaska
and History of Alaska Pre-colonization Main article: Alaska
Alaska
Natives

A modern Alutiiq dancer in traditional festival garb.

Numerous indigenous peoples occupied Alaska
Alaska
for thousands of years before the arrival of European peoples to the area. Linguistic and DNA studies done here have provided evidence for the settlement of North America by way of the Bering land bridge.[31] At the Upward Sun River site in the Tanana River Valley in Alaska, remains of an six-week-old infant were found. The baby’s DNA showed that she belonged to a population that was genetically separate from other native groups present elsewhere in the New World
New World
at the end of the Pleistocene. Ben Potter, the University of Alaska
University of Alaska
Fairbanks archaeologist who unearthed the remains at the Upward River Sun site in 2013, named this new group Ancient Beringians.[32] The Tlingit people
Tlingit people
developed a society with a matrilineal kinship system of property inheritance and descent in what is today Southeast Alaska, along with parts of British Columbia
British Columbia
and the Yukon. Also in Southeast were the Haida, now well known for their unique arts. The Tsimshian
Tsimshian
people came to Alaska
Alaska
from British Columbia in 1887, when President Grover Cleveland, and later the U.S. Congress, granted them permission to settle on Annette Island
Annette Island
and found the town of Metlakatla. All three of these peoples, as well as other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
Coast, experienced smallpox outbreaks from the late 18th through the mid-19th century, with the most devastating epidemics occurring in the 1830s and 1860s, resulting in high fatalities and social disruption.[33] The Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
are still home to the Aleut people's seafaring society, although they were the first Native Alaskans to be exploited by Russians. Western and Southwestern Alaska
Alaska
are home to the Yup'ik, while their cousins the Alutiiq ~ Sugpiaq lived in what is now Southcentral Alaska. The Gwich'in people
Gwich'in people
of the northern Interior region are Athabaskan and primarily known today for their dependence on the caribou within the much-contested Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The North Slope and Little Diomede Island
Little Diomede Island
are occupied by the widespread Inupiat people. Colonization See also: Russian America

Map of Russian America
Russian America
in 1860

Some researchers believe that the first Russian settlement in Alaska was established in the 17th century.[34] According to this hypothesis, in 1648 several koches of Semyon Dezhnyov's expedition came ashore in Alaska
Alaska
by storm and founded this settlement. This hypothesis is based on the testimony of Chukchi geographer Nikolai Daurkin, who had visited Alaska
Alaska
in 1764–1765 and who had reported on a village on the Kheuveren River, populated by "bearded men" who "pray to the icons". Some modern researchers associate Kheuveren with Koyuk River.[35] The first European vessel to reach Alaska
Alaska
is generally held to be the St. Gabriel under the authority of the surveyor M. S. Gvozdev and assistant navigator I. Fyodorov on August 21, 1732, during an expedition of Siberian cossak A. F. Shestakov and Belorussian explorer Dmitry Pavlutsky (1729–1735).[36] Another European contact with Alaska
Alaska
occurred in 1741, when Vitus Bering led an expedition for the Russian Navy aboard the St. Peter. After his crew returned to Russia
Russia
with sea otter pelts judged to be the finest fur in the world, small associations of fur traders began to sail from the shores of Siberia toward the Aleutian Islands. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1784.

The Russian settlement of St. Paul's Harbor (present-day Kodiak town), Kodiak Island, 1814.

Between 1774 and 1800, Spain sent several expeditions to Alaska
Alaska
in order to assert its claim over the Pacific Northwest. In 1789 a Spanish settlement and fort were built in Nootka Sound. These expeditions gave names to places such as Valdez, Bucareli Sound, and Cordova. Later, the Russian-American Company
Russian-American Company
carried out an expanded colonization program during the early-to-mid-19th century. Sitka, renamed New Archangel
New Archangel
from 1804 to 1867, on Baranof Island
Baranof Island
in the Alexander Archipelago
Alexander Archipelago
in what is now Southeast Alaska, became the capital of Russian America. It remained the capital after the colony was transferred to the United States. The Russians never fully colonized Alaska, and the colony was never very profitable. Evidence of Russian settlement in names and churches survive throughout southeast Alaska. William H. Seward, the United States
United States
Secretary of State, negotiated the Alaska Purchase
Alaska Purchase
(also known as Seward's Folly) with the Russians in 1867 for $7.2 million. Alaska
Alaska
was loosely governed by the military initially, and was administered as a district starting in 1884, with a governor appointed by the President of the United States. A federal district court was headquartered in Sitka.

Miners and prospectors climb the Chilkoot Trail
Chilkoot Trail
during the 1898 Klondike Gold
Gold
Rush.

For most of Alaska's first decade under the United States
United States
flag, Sitka was the only community inhabited by American settlers. They organized a "provisional city government," which was Alaska's first municipal government, but not in a legal sense.[37] Legislation allowing Alaskan communities to legally incorporate as cities did not come about until 1900, and home rule for cities was extremely limited or unavailable until statehood took effect in 1959. Territory See also: Territory of Alaska Starting in the 1890s and stretching in some places to the early 1910s, gold rushes in Alaska
Alaska
and the nearby Yukon
Yukon
Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska
Alaska
was officially incorporated as an organized territory in 1912. Alaska's capital, which had been in Sitka until 1906, was moved north to Juneau. Construction of the Alaska Governor's Mansion
Alaska Governor's Mansion
began that same year. European immigrants from Norway and Sweden also settled in southeast Alaska, where they entered the fishing and logging industries.

U.S. troops navigate snow and ice during the Battle of Attu
Battle of Attu
in May 1943.

During World War II, the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
Campaign focused on the three outer Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
– Attu, Agattu
Agattu
and Kiska[38] – that were invaded by Japanese troops and occupied between June 1942 and August 1943. During the occupation, one Alaskan civilian was killed by Japanese troops and nearly fifty were interned in Japan, where about half of them died. Unalaska/ Dutch Harbor
Dutch Harbor
became a significant base for the United States
United States
Army Air Forces and Navy submariners. The United States
United States
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
program involved the flying of American warplanes through Canada to Fairbanks and then Nome; Soviet pilots took possession of these aircraft, ferrying them to fight the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The construction of military bases contributed to the population growth of some Alaskan cities. Statehood See also: Alaska
Alaska
Statehood Act Statehood for Alaska
Alaska
was an important cause of James Wickersham
James Wickersham
early in his tenure as a congressional delegate. Decades later, the statehood movement gained its first real momentum following a territorial referendum in 1946. The Alaska
Alaska
Statehood Committee and Alaska's Constitutional Convention would soon follow. Statehood supporters also found themselves fighting major battles against political foes, mostly in the U.S. Congress but also within Alaska. Statehood was approved by Congress on July 7, 1958. Alaska
Alaska
was officially proclaimed a state on January 3, 1959. In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Alaska's population as 77.2% White, 3% Black, and 18.8% American Indian and Alaska
Alaska
Native.[39]

Kodiak, before and after the tsunami which followed the Good Friday earthquake in 1964, destroying much of the townsite.

Good Friday
Good Friday
earthquake Main article: 1964 Alaska
Alaska
earthquake On March 27, 1964, the massive Good Friday
Good Friday
earthquake killed 133 people and destroyed several villages and portions of large coastal communities, mainly by the resultant tsunamis and landslides. It was the second-most-powerful earthquake in the recorded history of the world, with a moment magnitude of 9.2. It was over one thousand times more powerful than the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. The time of day (5:36 pm), time of year and location of the epicenter were all cited as factors in potentially sparing thousands of lives, particularly in Anchorage. Discovery of oil The 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
and the 1977 completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
led to an oil boom. Royalty revenues from oil have funded large state budgets from 1980 onward. That same year, not coincidentally, Alaska
Alaska
repealed its state income tax. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez
Exxon Valdez
hit a reef in the Prince William Sound, spilling over 11 million U.S. gallons (42 megaliters) of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of coastline. Today, the battle between philosophies of development and conservation is seen in the contentious debate over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the proposed Pebble Mine. Alaska
Alaska
Heritage Resources Survey The Alaska
Alaska
Heritage Resources Survey (AHRS) is a restricted inventory of all reported historic and prehistoric sites within the state of Alaska; it is maintained by the Office of History and Archaeology. The survey's inventory of cultural resources includes objects, structures, buildings, sites, districts, and travel ways, with a general provision that they are over 50 years old. As of January 31, 2012, over 35,000 sites have been reported.[40] Demographics Main article: Demographics of Alaska

Historical population

Census Pop.

1880 33,426

1890 32,052

−4.1%

1900 63,592

98.4%

1910 64,356

1.2%

1920 55,036

−14.5%

1930 59,278

7.7%

1940 72,524

22.3%

1950 128,643

77.4%

1960 226,167

75.8%

1970 300,382

32.8%

1980 401,851

33.8%

1990 550,043

36.9%

2000 626,932

14.0%

2010 710,231

13.3%

Est. 2017 739,795

4.2%

1930 and 1940 censuses taken in preceding autumn Sources: 1910–2010, US Census Bureau[41] 2016 Estimate[5]

The United States
United States
Census Bureau estimates that the population of Alaska
Alaska
was 738,432 on July 1, 2015, a 3.97% increase since the 2010 United States
United States
Census.[5] In 2010, Alaska
Alaska
ranked as the 47th state by population, ahead of North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming
Wyoming
(and Washington, D.C.).[5] Estimates show North Dakota
North Dakota
ahead as of 2017.[42] Alaska
Alaska
is the least densely populated state, and one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world, at 1.2 inhabitants per square mile (0.46/km2), with the next state, Wyoming, at 5.8 inhabitants per square mile (2.2/km2).[43] Alaska
Alaska
is the largest U.S. state
U.S. state
by area, and the tenth wealthiest (per capita income).[44] As of November 2014, the state's unemployment rate was 6.6%.[45] As of 2018, it is one of 14 U.S. states that still has only one telephone area code.[46] Race and Ethnicity

Map of the largest racial/ethnic group by borough. Red indicates Native American, blue indicates non-Hispanic white, and green indicates Asian. Darker shades indicate a higher proportion of the population.

According to the 2010 United States
United States
Census, Alaska, had a population of 710,231. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 66.7% White (64.1% Non-Hispanic White), 14.8% American Indian and Alaska
Alaska
Native, 5.4% Asian, 3.3% Black or African American, 1.0% Native Hawaiian
Native Hawaiian
and Other Pacific Islander, 1.6% from Some Other Race, and 7.3% from Two or More Races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 5.5% of the population.[47] As of 2011[update], 50.7% of Alaska's population younger than one year of age belonged to minority groups (i.e., did not have two parents of non-Hispanic white ancestry).[48]

Alaska
Alaska
racial breakdown of population

Racial composition 1970[49] 1990[49] 2000[50] 2010[51]

White 78.8% 75.5% 69.3% 66.7%

Native 16.9% 15.6% 15.6% 14.8%

Asian 0.9% 3.6% 4.0% 5.4%

Black 3.0% 4.1% 3.5% 3.3%

Native Hawaiian
Native Hawaiian
and other Pacific Islander – – 0.5% 1.0%

Other race 0.4% 1.2% 1.6% 1.6%

Multiracial – – 5.5% 7.3%

Languages Further information: Alaska
Alaska
Native languages According to the 2011 American Community Survey, 83.4% of people over the age of five speak only English at home. About 3.5% speak Spanish at home. About 2.2% speak another Indo-European language at home and about 4.3% speak an Asian language (including Tagalog) at home.[52] About 5.3% speak other languages at home.[53] The Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks claims that at least 20 Alaskan native languages exist and there are also some languages with different dialects.[54] Most of Alaska's native languages belong to either the Eskimo–Aleut or Na-Dene language families however some languages are thought to be isolates (e.g. Haida) or have not yet been classified (e.g. Tsimshianic).[54] As of 2014[update] nearly all of Alaska's native languages were classified as either threatened, shifting, moribund, nearly extinct, or dormant languages.[55] A total of 5.2% of Alaskans speak one of the state's 20 indigenous languages,[56] known locally as "native languages". In October 2014, the governor of Alaska
Alaska
signed a bill declaring the state's 20 indigenous languages as official languages.[57][58] This bill gave the languages symbolic recognition as official languages, though they have not been adopted for official use within the government. The 20 languages that were included in the bill are:

Inupiaq Siberian Yupik Central Alaskan Yup'ik Alutiiq Unangax Dena'ina Deg Xinag Holikachuk Koyukon Upper Kuskokwim Gwich'in Tanana Upper Tanana Tanacross Hän Ahtna Eyak Tlingit Haida Tsimshian

Religion

St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Sitka.

According to statistics collected by the Association of Religion Data Archives from 2010, about 34% of Alaska
Alaska
residents were members of religious congregations. 100,960 people identified as Evangelical Protestants, 50,866 as Roman Catholic, and 32,550 as mainline Protestants.[59] Roughly 4% are Mormon, 0.5% are Jewish, 1% are Muslim, 0.5% are Buddhist, and 0.5% are Hindu.[60] The largest religious denominations in Alaska
Alaska
as of 2010[update] were the Catholic Church with 50,866 adherents, non-denominational Evangelical Protestants with 38,070 adherents, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 32,170 adherents, and the Southern Baptist Convention with 19,891 adherents.[61] Alaska
Alaska
has been identified, along with Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
states Washington and Oregon, as being the least religious states of the USA, in terms of church membership.[62][63] In 1795, the First Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
was established in Kodiak. Intermarriage with Alaskan Natives helped the Russian immigrants integrate into society. As a result, an increasing number of Russian Orthodox churches gradually became established within Alaska.[64] Alaska
Alaska
also has the largest Quaker
Quaker
population (by percentage) of any state.[65] In 2009 there were 6,000 Jews in Alaska
Alaska
(for whom observance of halakha may pose special problems).[66] Alaskan Hindus often share venues and celebrations with members of other Asian religious communities, including Sikhs and Jains.[67][68][69] Estimates for the number of Muslims in Alaska
Alaska
range from 2,000 to 5,000.[70][71][72] The Islamic Community Center of Anchorage
Anchorage
began efforts in the late 1990s to construct a mosque in Anchorage. They broke ground on a building in south Anchorage
Anchorage
in 2010 and were nearing completion in late 2014. When completed, the mosque will be the first in the state and one of the northernmost mosques in the world.[73]

Religious affiliation in Alaska
Alaska
(2014)[74]

Affiliation % of population

Christian 62 62  

Protestant 37 37  

Evangelical Protestant 22 22  

Mainline Protestant 12 12  

Black church 3 3  

Catholic 16 16  

Mormon 5 5  

Jehovah's Witnesses 0.5 0.5  

Eastern Orthodox 5 5  

Other Christian 0.5 0.5  

Unaffiliated 31 31  

Nothing in particular 20 20  

Agnostic 6 6  

Atheist 5 5  

Non-Christian faiths 6 6  

Jewish 0.5 0.5  

Muslim 0.5 0.5  

Buddhist 1 1  

Hindu 0.5 0.5  

Other Non-Christian faiths 4 4  

Don't know/refused answer 1 1  

Total 100 100  

Economy Main article: Economy of Alaska See also: Alaska
Alaska
locations by per capita income

Aerial view of infrastructure at the Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
Oil Field.

The 2007 gross state product was $44.9 billion, 45th in the nation. Its per capita personal income for 2007 was $40,042, ranking 15th in the nation. According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, Alaska
Alaska
had the fifth-largest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 6.75 percent.[75] The oil and gas industry dominates the Alaskan economy, with more than 80% of the state's revenues derived from petroleum extraction. Alaska's main export product (excluding oil and natural gas) is seafood, primarily salmon, cod, Pollock and crab. Agriculture represents a very small fraction of the Alaskan economy. Agricultural production is primarily for consumption within the state and includes nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, and livestock. Manufacturing is limited, with most foodstuffs and general goods imported from elsewhere. Employment is primarily in government and industries such as natural resource extraction, shipping, and transportation. Military bases are a significant component of the economy in the Fairbanks North Star, Anchorage
Anchorage
and Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island
boroughs, as well as Kodiak. Federal subsidies are also an important part of the economy, allowing the state to keep taxes low. Its industrial outputs are crude petroleum, natural gas, coal, gold, precious metals, zinc and other mining, seafood processing, timber and wood products. There is also a growing service and tourism sector. Tourists have contributed to the economy by supporting local lodging. Energy See also: Natural gas
Natural gas
in Alaska
Alaska
and Energy law §  Alaska
Alaska
law

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline
Trans-Alaska Pipeline
transports oil, Alaska's most financially important export, from the North Slope to Valdez. The heat pipes in the column mounts are pertinent, since they disperse heat upwards and prevent melting of permafrost.

Alaska
Alaska
has vast energy resources, although its oil reserves have been largely depleted. Major oil and gas reserves were found in the Alaska North Slope (ANS) and Cook Inlet basins, but according to the Energy Information Administration, by February 2014 Alaska
Alaska
had fallen to fourth place in the nation in crude oil production after Texas, North Dakota, and California.[76][77] Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
on Alaska's North Slope is still the second highest-yielding oil field in the United States, typically producing about 400,000 barrels per day (64,000 m3/d), although by early 2014 North Dakota's Bakken Formation
Bakken Formation
was producing over 900,000 barrels per day (140,000 m3/d).[78] Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
was the largest conventional oil field ever discovered in North America, but was much smaller than Canada's enormous Athabasca oil sands
Athabasca oil sands
field, which by 2014 was producing about 1,500,000 barrels per day (240,000 m3/d) of unconventional oil, and had hundreds of years of producible reserves at that rate.[79] The Trans-Alaska Pipeline
Trans-Alaska Pipeline
can transport and pump up to 2.1 million barrels (330,000 m3) of crude oil per day, more than any other crude oil pipeline in the United States. Additionally, substantial coal deposits are found in Alaska's bituminous, sub-bituminous, and lignite coal basins. The United States
United States
Geological Survey estimates that there are 85.4 trillion cubic feet (2,420 km3) of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas from natural gas hydrates on the Alaskan North Slope.[80] Alaska
Alaska
also offers some of the highest hydroelectric power potential in the country from its numerous rivers. Large swaths of the Alaskan coastline offer wind and geothermal energy potential as well.[81]

Alaska
Alaska
proven oil reserves peaked in 1978 and have declined more than 60% since then.

Alaska
Alaska
oil production peaked in 1988 and has declined more than 65% since then.

Alaska's economy depends heavily on increasingly expensive diesel fuel for heating, transportation, electric power and light. Though wind and hydroelectric power are abundant and underdeveloped, proposals for statewide energy systems (e.g. with special low-cost electric interties) were judged uneconomical (at the time of the report, 2001) due to low (less than 50¢/gal) fuel prices, long distances and low population.[82] The cost of a gallon of gas in urban Alaska
Alaska
today is usually 30–60¢ higher than the national average; prices in rural areas are generally significantly higher but vary widely depending on transportation costs, seasonal usage peaks, nearby petroleum development infrastructure and many other factors. Permanent Fund The Alaska Permanent Fund is a constitutionally authorized appropriation of oil revenues, established by voters in 1976 to manage a surplus in state petroleum revenues from oil, largely in anticipation of the then recently constructed Trans- Alaska
Alaska
Pipeline System. The fund was originally proposed by Governor Keith Miller on the eve of the 1969 Prudhoe Bay
Prudhoe Bay
lease sale, out of fear that the legislature would spend the entire proceeds of the sale (which amounted to $900 million) at once. It was later championed by Governor Jay Hammond
Jay Hammond
and Kenai state representative Hugh Malone. It has served as an attractive political prospect ever since, diverting revenues which would normally be deposited into the general fund. The Alaska Constitution
Alaska Constitution
was written so as to discourage dedicating state funds for a particular purpose. The Permanent Fund has become the rare exception to this, mostly due to the political climate of distrust existing during the time of its creation. From its initial principal of $734,000, the fund has grown to $50 billion as a result of oil royalties and capital investment programs.[83] Most if not all the principal is invested conservatively outside Alaska. This has led to frequent calls by Alaskan politicians for the Fund to make investments within Alaska, though such a stance has never gained momentum. Starting in 1982, dividends from the fund's annual growth have been paid out each year to eligible Alaskans, ranging from an initial $1,000 in 1982 (equal to three years' payout, as the distribution of payments was held up in a lawsuit over the distribution scheme) to $3,269 in 2008 (which included a one-time $1,200 "Resource Rebate"). Every year, the state legislature takes out 8% from the earnings, puts 3% back into the principal for inflation proofing, and the remaining 5% is distributed to all qualifying Alaskans. To qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend, one must have lived in the state for a minimum of 12 months, maintain constant residency subject to allowable absences,[84] and not be subject to court judgments or criminal convictions which fall under various disqualifying classifications or may subject the payment amount to civil garnishment. The Permanent Fund is often considered to be one of the leading examples of a "Basic Income" policy in the world.[85] Cost of living The cost of goods in Alaska
Alaska
has long been higher than in the contiguous 48 states. Federal government employees, particularly United States
United States
Postal Service (USPS) workers and active-duty military members, receive a Cost of Living Allowance usually set at 25% of base pay because, while the cost of living has gone down, it is still one of the highest in the country.[citation needed] Rural Alaska
Alaska
suffers from extremely high prices for food and consumer goods compared to the rest of the country, due to the relatively limited transportation infrastructure.[citation needed] Agriculture and fishing

Halibut
Halibut
is important to the state's economy as both a commercial and sport-caught fish.

Due to the northern climate and short growing season, relatively little farming occurs in Alaska. Most farms are in either the Matanuska Valley, about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Anchorage, or on the Kenai Peninsula, about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Anchorage. The short 100-day growing season limits the crops that can be grown, but the long sunny summer days make for productive growing seasons. The primary crops are potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage. The Tanana Valley
Tanana Valley
is another notable agricultural locus, especially the Delta Junction area, about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Fairbanks, with a sizable concentration of farms growing agronomic crops; these farms mostly lie north and east of Fort Greely. This area was largely set aside and developed under a state program spearheaded by Hammond during his second term as governor. Delta-area crops consist predominately of barley and hay. West of Fairbanks lies another concentration of small farms catering to restaurants, the hotel and tourist industry, and community-supported agriculture. Alaskan agriculture has experienced a surge in growth of market gardeners, small farms and farmers' markets in recent years, with the highest percentage increase (46%) in the nation in growth in farmers' markets in 2011, compared to 17% nationwide.[86] The peony industry has also taken off, as the growing season allows farmers to harvest during a gap in supply elsewhere in the world, thereby filling a niche in the flower market.[87]

Oversized vegetables on display at the Alaska State Fair
Alaska State Fair
(left) and the Tanana Valley
Tanana Valley
State Fair (right).

Alaska, with no counties, lacks county fairs. However, a small assortment of state and local fairs (with the Alaska State Fair
Alaska State Fair
in Palmer the largest), are held mostly in the late summer. The fairs are mostly located in communities with historic or current agricultural activity, and feature local farmers exhibiting produce in addition to more high-profile commercial activities such as carnival rides, concerts and food. " Alaska
Alaska
Grown" is used as an agricultural slogan. Alaska
Alaska
has an abundance of seafood, with the primary fisheries in the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
and the North Pacific. Seafood is one of the few food items that is often cheaper within the state than outside it. Many Alaskans take advantage of salmon seasons to harvest portions of their household diet while fishing for subsistence, as well as sport. This includes fish taken by hook, net or wheel.[88] Hunting for subsistence, primarily caribou, moose, and Dall sheep
Dall sheep
is still common in the state, particularly in remote Bush communities. An example of a traditional native food is Akutaq, the Eskimo ice cream, which can consist of reindeer fat, seal oil, dried fish meat and local berries. Alaska's reindeer herding is concentrated on Seward Peninsula, where wild caribou can be prevented from mingling and migrating with the domesticated reindeer.[89] Most food in Alaska
Alaska
is transported into the state from "Outside", and shipping costs make food in the cities relatively expensive. In rural areas, subsistence hunting and gathering is an essential activity because imported food is prohibitively expensive. Though most small towns and villages in Alaska
Alaska
lie along the coastline, the cost of importing food to remote villages can be high, because of the terrain and difficult road conditions, which change dramatically, due to varying climate and precipitation changes. The cost of transport can reach as high as 50¢ per pound ($1.10/kg) or more in some remote areas, during the most difficult times, if these locations can be reached at all during such inclement weather and terrain conditions. The cost of delivering a 1 US gallon (3.8 L) of milk is about $3.50 in many villages where per capita income can be $20,000 or less. Fuel cost per gallon is routinely 20–30¢ higher than the continental United States
United States
average, with only Hawaii
Hawaii
having higher prices.[90][91] Transportation

The Sterling Highway, near its intersection with the Seward Highway.

Main article: Transportation in Alaska Roads See also: List of Alaska
Alaska
Routes

The Susitna River
Susitna River
bridge on the Denali
Denali
Highway is 1,036 feet (316 m) long.

Alaska
Alaska
Interstate Highways.

Alaska
Alaska
has few road connections compared to the rest of the U.S. The state's road system covers a relatively small area of the state, linking the central population centers and the Alaska
Alaska
Highway, the principal route out of the state through Canada. The state capital, Juneau, is not accessible by road, only a car ferry, which has spurred several debates over the decades about moving the capital to a city on the road system, or building a road connection from Haines. The western part of Alaska
Alaska
has no road system connecting the communities with the rest of Alaska.

Alaska
Alaska
welcome sign on the Klondike Highway.

One unique feature of the Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
system is the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, an active Alaska Railroad
Alaska Railroad
tunnel recently upgraded to provide a paved roadway link with the isolated community of Whittier on Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound
to the Seward Highway
Seward Highway
about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Anchorage
Anchorage
at Portage. At 2.5 miles (4.0 km), the tunnel was the longest road tunnel in North America until 2007.[92] The tunnel is the longest combination road and rail tunnel in North America. Rail

An Alaska Railroad
Alaska Railroad
locomotive over a bridge in Girdwood approaching Anchorage
Anchorage
(2007).

The White Pass
White Pass
and Yukon
Yukon
Route traverses rugged terrain north of Skagway
Skagway
near the Canada–US border.

Built around 1915, the Alaska Railroad
Alaska Railroad
(ARR) played a key role in the development of Alaska
Alaska
through the 20th century. It links north Pacific shipping through providing critical infrastructure with tracks that run from Seward to Interior Alaska
Interior Alaska
by way of South Central Alaska, passing through Anchorage, Eklutna, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks, with spurs to Whittier, Palmer and North Pole. The cities, towns, villages, and region served by ARR tracks are known statewide as "The Railbelt". In recent years, the ever-improving paved highway system began to eclipse the railroad's importance in Alaska's economy. The railroad played a vital role in Alaska's development, moving freight into Alaska
Alaska
while transporting natural resources southward (i.e., coal from the Usibelli coal mine near Healy to Seward and gravel from the Matanuska Valley
Matanuska Valley
to Anchorage). It is well known for its summertime tour passenger service. The Alaska Railroad
Alaska Railroad
was one of the last railroads in North America
North America
to use cabooses in regular service and still uses them on some gravel trains. It continues to offer one of the last flag stop routes in the country. A stretch of about 60 miles (100 km) of track along an area north of Talkeetna
Talkeetna
remains inaccessible by road; the railroad provides the only transportation to rural homes and cabins in the area. Until construction of the Parks Highway in the 1970s, the railroad provided the only land access to most of the region along its entire route. In northern Southeast Alaska, the White Pass
White Pass
and Yukon
Yukon
Route also partly runs through the state from Skagway
Skagway
northwards into Canada ( British Columbia
British Columbia
and Yukon
Yukon
Territory), crossing the border at White Pass Summit. This line is now mainly used by tourists, often arriving by cruise liner at Skagway. It was featured in the 1983 BBC
BBC
television series Great Little Railways. The Alaska
Alaska
Rail network is not connected to Outside. In 2000, the U.S. Congress authorized $6 million to study the feasibility of a rail link between Alaska, Canada, and the lower 48.[93][94][95] Alaska
Alaska
Rail Marine provides car float service between Whittier and Seattle. Marine transport Many cities, towns and villages in the state do not have road or highway access; the only modes of access involve travel by air, river, or the sea.

The MV Tustumena (named after Tustumena Glacier) is one of the state's many ferries, providing service between the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island
and the Aleutian Chain.

Alaska's well-developed state-owned ferry system (known as the Alaska Marine Highway) serves the cities of southeast, the Gulf Coast and the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula. The ferries transport vehicles as well as passengers. The system also operates a ferry service from Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, in Canada through the Inside Passage
Inside Passage
to Skagway. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority also serves as an important marine link for many communities in the Prince of Wales Island region of Southeast and works in concert with the Alaska
Alaska
Marine Highway. In recent years, cruise lines have created a summertime tourism market, mainly connecting the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
to Southeast Alaska and, to a lesser degree, towns along Alaska's gulf coast. The population of Ketchikan
Ketchikan
may rise by over 10,000 people on many days during the summer, as up to four large cruise ships at a time can dock, debarking thousands of passengers. Air transport Cities not served by road, sea, or river can be reached only by air, foot, dogsled, or snowmachine, accounting for Alaska's extremely well developed bush air services—an Alaskan novelty. Anchorage
Anchorage
and, to a lesser extent Fairbanks, is served by many major airlines. Because of limited highway access, air travel remains the most efficient form of transportation in and out of the state. Anchorage
Anchorage
recently completed extensive remodeling and construction at Ted Stevens
Ted Stevens
Anchorage International Airport to help accommodate the upsurge in tourism (in 2012–2013, Alaska
Alaska
received almost 2 million visitors).[96] Regular flights to most villages and towns within the state that are commercially viable are challenging to provide, so they are heavily subsidized by the federal government through the Essential Air Service program. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines
is the only major airline offering in-state travel with jet service (sometimes in combination cargo and passenger Boeing 737-400s) from Anchorage
Anchorage
and Fairbanks to regional hubs like Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham, Kodiak, and other larger communities as well as to major Southeast and Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula communities.

A Bombardier Dash 8, operated by Era Alaska, on approach to Ted Stevens Anchorage
Anchorage
International Airport.

The bulk of remaining commercial flight offerings come from small regional commuter airlines such as Ravn Alaska, PenAir, and Frontier Flying Service. The smallest towns and villages must rely on scheduled or chartered bush flying services using general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, the most popular aircraft in use in the state. Much of this service can be attributed to the Alaska
Alaska
bypass mail program which subsidizes bulk mail delivery to Alaskan rural communities. The program requires 70% of that subsidy to go to carriers who offer passenger service to the communities. Many communities have small air taxi services. These operations originated from the demand for customized transport to remote areas. Perhaps the most quintessentially Alaskan plane is the bush seaplane. The world's busiest seaplane base is Lake Hood, located next to Ted Stevens Anchorage
Anchorage
International Airport, where flights bound for remote villages without an airstrip carry passengers, cargo, and many items from stores and warehouse clubs. In 2006 Alaska
Alaska
had the highest number of pilots per capita of any U.S. state.[97] Other transport Another Alaskan transportation method is the dogsled. In modern times (that is, any time after the mid-late 1920s), dog mushing is more of a sport than a true means of transportation. Various races are held around the state, but the best known is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,150-mile (1,850 km) trail from Anchorage
Anchorage
to Nome (although the distance varies from year to year, the official distance is set at 1,049 miles or 1,688 km). The race commemorates the famous 1925 serum run to Nome
1925 serum run to Nome
in which mushers and dogs like Togo and Balto
Balto
took much-needed medicine to the diphtheria-stricken community of Nome when all other means of transportation had failed. Mushers from all over the world come to Anchorage
Anchorage
each March to compete for cash, prizes, and prestige. The "Serum Run" is another sled dog race that more accurately follows the route of the famous 1925 relay, leaving from the community of Nenana (southwest of Fairbanks) to Nome.[98] In areas not served by road or rail, primary transportation in summer is by all-terrain vehicle and in winter by snowmobile or "snow machine," as it is commonly referred to in Alaska.[99] Data transport Alaska's internet and other data transport systems are provided largely through the two major telecommunications companies: GCI and Alaska
Alaska
Communications. GCI owns and operates what it calls the Alaska United Fiber Optic system[100] and as of late 2011 Alaska Communications advertised that it has "two fiber optic paths to the lower 48 and two more across Alaska.[101] In January 2011, it was reported that a $1 billion project to connect Asia and rural Alaska was being planned, aided in part by $350 million in stimulus from the federal government.[102] Law and government State government

The center of state government in Juneau. The large buildings in the background are, from left to right: the Court Plaza Building (known colloquially as the "Spam Can"), the State Office Building (behind), the Alaska
Alaska
Office Building, the John H. Dimond State Courthouse, and the Alaska
Alaska
State Capitol. Many of the smaller buildings in the foreground are also occupied by state government agencies.

Main article: Government of Alaska Like all other U.S. states, Alaska
Alaska
is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: an executive branch consisting of the Governor of Alaska
Governor of Alaska
and the other independently elected constitutional officers; a legislative branch consisting of the Alaska
Alaska
House of Representatives and Alaska
Alaska
Senate; and a judicial branch consisting of the Alaska Supreme Court and lower courts. The state of Alaska
Alaska
employs approximately 16,000 people statewide.[103] The Alaska
Alaska
Legislature
Legislature
consists of a 40-member House of Representatives and a 20-member Senate. Senators serve four-year terms and House members two. The Governor of Alaska
Governor of Alaska
serves four-year terms. The lieutenant governor runs separately from the governor in the primaries, but during the general election, the nominee for governor and nominee for lieutenant governor run together on the same ticket. Alaska's court system has four levels: the Alaska
Alaska
Supreme Court, the Alaska
Alaska
Court of Appeals, the superior courts and the district courts.[104] The superior and district courts are trial courts. Superior courts are courts of general jurisdiction, while district courts only hear certain types of cases, including misdemeanor criminal cases and civil cases valued up to $100,000.[104] The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals are appellate courts. The Court of Appeals is required to hear appeals from certain lower-court decisions, including those regarding criminal prosecutions, juvenile delinquency, and habeas corpus.[104] The Supreme Court hears civil appeals and may in its discretion hear criminal appeals.[104] State politics Main article: Politics of Alaska Further information: Political party strength in Alaska and Alaska political corruption probe

Gubernatorial election results[105]

Year Republican Democratic

1958 39.4% 19,299 59.6% 29,189

1962 47.7% 27,054 52.3% 29,627

1966 50.0% 33,145 48.4% 32,065

1970 46.1% 37,264 52.4% 42,309

1974 47.7% 45,840 47.4% 45,553

1978 39.1% 49,580 20.2% 25,656

1982 37.1% 72,291 46.1% 89,918

1986 42.6% 76,515 47.3% 84,943

1990 26.2% 50,991 30.9% 60,201

1994 40.8% 87,157 41.1% 87,693

1998 17.9% 39,331 51.3% 112,879

2002 55.9% 129,279 40.7% 94,216

2006 48.3% 114,697 41.0% 97,238

2010 59.1% 151,318 37.7% 96,519

2014 45.9% 128,435 [a]

Although in its early years of statehood Alaska
Alaska
was a Democratic state, since the early 1970s it has been characterized as Republican-leaning.[106] Local political communities have often worked on issues related to land use development, fishing, tourism, and individual rights. Alaska
Alaska
Natives, while organized in and around their communities, have been active within the Native corporations. These have been given ownership over large tracts of land, which require stewardship. Alaska
Alaska
was formerly the only state in which possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in one's home was completely legal under state law, though the federal law remains in force.[107] The state has an independence movement favoring a vote on secession from the United States, with the Alaskan Independence Party.[108] Six Republicans and four Democrats have served as governor of Alaska. In addition, Republican Governor Wally Hickel
Wally Hickel
was elected to the office for a second term in 1990 after leaving the Republican party and briefly joining the Alaskan Independence Party
Alaskan Independence Party
ticket just long enough to be reelected. He officially rejoined the Republican party in 1994. Alaska's voter initiative making marijuana legal took effect on February 24, 2015, placing Alaska
Alaska
alongside Colorado
Colorado
and Washington as the first three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot – if they can find it. There is a rather lengthy and involved application process, per Alaska
Alaska
Measure 2 (2014).[109] The first legal marijuana store opened in Valdez in October 2016.[110] Taxes To finance state government operations, Alaska
Alaska
depends primarily on petroleum revenues and federal subsidies. This allows it to have the lowest individual tax burden in the United States.[111] It is one of five states with no state sales tax, one of seven states that do not levy an individual income tax, and one of the two states that has neither. The Department of Revenue Tax Division[112] reports regularly on the state's revenue sources. The Department also issues an annual summary of its operations, including new state laws that directly affect the tax division. While Alaska
Alaska
has no state sales tax, 89 municipalities collect a local sales tax, from 1.0–7.5%, typically 3–5%. Other local taxes levied include raw fish taxes, hotel, motel, and bed-and-breakfast 'bed' taxes, severance taxes, liquor and tobacco taxes, gaming (pull tabs) taxes, tire taxes and fuel transfer taxes. A part of the revenue collected from certain state taxes and license fees (such as petroleum, aviation motor fuel, telephone cooperative) is shared with municipalities in Alaska. Fairbanks has one of the highest property taxes in the state as no sales or income taxes are assessed in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB). A sales tax for the FNSB has been voted on many times, but has yet to be approved, leading lawmakers to increase taxes dramatically on goods such as liquor and tobacco. In 2014 the Tax Foundation
Tax Foundation
ranked Alaska
Alaska
as having the fourth most "business friendly" tax policy, behind only Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nevada.[113] Federal politics Main article: Politics of Alaska See also: Arctic Policy of the United States

A line graph showing the presidential vote by party from 1960 to 2016 in Alaska.

Presidential election results[105]

Year Republican Democratic

1960 50.9% 30,953 49.1% 29,809

1964 34.1% 22,930 65.9% 44,329

1968 45.3% 37,600 42.7% 35,411

1972 58.1% 55,349 34.6% 32,967

1976 57.9% 71,555 35.7% 44,058

1980 54.4% 86,112 26.4% 41,842

1984 66.7% 138,377 29.9% 62,007

1988 59.6% 119,251 36.3% 72,584

1992 39.5% 102,000 30.3% 78,294

1996 50.8% 122,746 33.3% 80,380

2000 58.6% 167,398 27.7% 79,004

2004 61.1% 190,889 35.5% 111,025

2008 59.4% 193,841 37.8% 123,594

2012 54.8% 164,676 40.8% 122,640

2016 51.3% 163,387 36.6% 116,454

Alaska
Alaska
regularly supports Republicans in presidential elections and has done so since statehood. Republicans have won the state's electoral college votes in all but one election that it has participated in (1964). No state has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate fewer times. Alaska
Alaska
was carried by Democratic nominee Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
during his landslide election in 1964, while the 1960 and 1968 elections were close. Since 1972, however, Republicans have carried the state by large margins. In 2008, Republican John McCain
John McCain
defeated Democrat Barack Obama
Barack Obama
in Alaska, 59.49% to 37.83%. McCain's running mate was Sarah Palin, the state's governor and the first Alaskan on a major party ticket. Obama lost Alaska
Alaska
again in 2012, but he captured 40% of the state's vote in that election, making him the first Democrat to do so since 1968. The Alaska
Alaska
Bush, central Juneau, midtown and downtown Anchorage, and the areas surrounding the University of Alaska
University of Alaska
Fairbanks campus and Ester have been strongholds of the Democratic Party. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the majority of Fairbanks (including North Pole and the military base), and South Anchorage
Anchorage
typically have the strongest Republican showing. As of 2004[update], well over half of all registered voters have chosen "Non-Partisan" or "Undeclared" as their affiliation,[114] despite recent attempts to close primaries to unaffiliated voters. Because of its population relative to other U.S. states, Alaska
Alaska
has only one member in the U.S. House of Representatives. This seat is held by Republican Don Young, who was re-elected to his 21st consecutive term in 2012. Alaska's at-large congressional district
Alaska's at-large congressional district
is one of the largest parliamentary constituencies in the world. In 2008, Governor Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
became the first Republican woman to run on a national ticket when she became John McCain's running mate. She continued to be a prominent national figure even after resigning from the governor's job in July 2009.[115] Alaska's United States
United States
Senators belong to Class 2 and Class 3. In 2008, Democrat Mark Begich, mayor of Anchorage, defeated long-time Republican senator Ted Stevens. Stevens had been convicted on seven felony counts of failing to report gifts on Senate financial discloser forms one week before the election. The conviction was set aside in April 2009 after evidence of prosecutorial misconduct emerged. Republican Frank Murkowski
Frank Murkowski
held the state's other senatorial position. After being elected governor in 2002, he resigned from the Senate and appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski
as his successor. She won full six-year terms in 2004 and 2010.

Alaska's current statewide elected officials

Bill Walker, Governor

Byron Mallott, Lieutenant Governor

Lisa Murkowski, senior United States
United States
Senator

Dan Sullivan, junior United States
United States
Senator

Don Young, at-large United States
United States
Representative

Cities, towns and boroughs See also: List of cities in Alaska
List of cities in Alaska
by population, Alaska
Alaska
locations by per capita income, and List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska, Alaska's largest city.

Fairbanks, Alaska's second-largest city and by a significant margin the largest city in Alaska's interior.

Juneau, Alaska's third-largest city and its capital.

Bethel, the largest city in the Unorganized Borough
Unorganized Borough
and in rural Alaska.

Homer, showing (from bottom to top) the edge of downtown, its airport and the Spit.

Barrow (Browerville neighborhood near Eben Hopson Middle School shown), known colloquially for many years by the nickname "Top of the World", is the northernmost city in the United States.

Cordova, built in the early 20th century to support the Kennecott Mines and the Copper River and Northwestern Railway, has persevered as a fishing community since their closure.

Main Street in Talkeetna.

Alaska
Alaska
is not divided into counties, as most of the other U.S. states, but it is divided into boroughs.[116] Many of the more densely populated parts of the state are part of Alaska's 16 boroughs, which function somewhat similarly to counties in other states. However, unlike county-equivalents in the other 49 states, the boroughs do not cover the entire land area of the state. The area not part of any borough is referred to as the Unorganized Borough. The Unorganized Borough
Unorganized Borough
has no government of its own, but the U.S. Census Bureau in cooperation with the state divided the Unorganized Borough into 11 census areas solely for the purposes of statistical analysis and presentation.[citation needed] A recording district is a mechanism for administration of the public record in Alaska. The state is divided into 34 recording districts which are centrally administered under a State Recorder. All recording districts use the same acceptance criteria, fee schedule, etc., for accepting documents into the public record.[citation needed] Whereas many U.S. states use a three-tiered system of decentralization—state/county/township—most of Alaska
Alaska
uses only two tiers—state/borough. Owing to the low population density, most of the land is located in the Unorganized Borough. As the name implies, it has no intermediate borough government but is administered directly by the state government. In 2000, 57.71% of Alaska's area has this status, with 13.05% of the population.[citation needed] Anchorage
Anchorage
merged the city government with the Greater Anchorage
Anchorage
Area Borough in 1975 to form the Municipality of Anchorage, containing the city proper and the communities of Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek, Girdwood, Bird, and Indian. Fairbanks has a separate borough (the Fairbanks North Star Borough) and municipality (the City of Fairbanks).[citation needed] The state's most populous city is Anchorage, home to 278,700 people in 2006, 225,744 of whom live in the urbanized area. The richest location in Alaska
Alaska
by per capita income is Halibut
Halibut
Cove ($89,895).[117] Yakutat City, Sitka, Juneau, and Anchorage
Anchorage
are the four largest cities in the U.S. by area. Cities and census-designated places (by population) As reflected in the 2010 United States
United States
Census, Alaska
Alaska
has a total of 355 incorporated cities and census-designated places (CDPs).[citation needed] The tally of cities includes four unified municipalities, essentially the equivalent of a consolidated city–county. The majority of these communities are located in the rural expanse of Alaska
Alaska
known as "The Bush" and are unconnected to the contiguous North American road network. The table at the bottom of this section lists the 100 largest cities and census-designated places in Alaska, in population order. Of Alaska's 2010 Census population figure of 710,231, 20,429 people, or 2.88% of the population, did not live in an incorporated city or census-designated place. Approximately three-quarters of that figure were people who live in urban and suburban neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city limits of Ketchikan, Kodiak, Palmer and Wasilla.[citation needed] CDPs have not been established for these areas by the United States
United States
Census Bureau, except that seven CDPs were established for the Ketchikan-area neighborhoods in the 1980 Census (Clover Pass, Herring Cove, Ketchikan
Ketchikan
East, Mountain
Mountain
Point, North Tongass Highway, Pennock Island
Pennock Island
and Saxman East), but have not been used since. The remaining population was scattered throughout Alaska, both within organized boroughs and in the Unorganized Borough, in largely remote areas.[citation needed]

№ Community name Type 2010 Pop.

1 Anchorage City 291,826

2 Fairbanks City 31,535

3 Juneau City 31,275

4 Badger CDP 19,482

5 Knik-Fairview CDP 14,923

6 College CDP 12,964

7 Sitka City 8,881

8 Lakes CDP 8,364

9 Tanaina CDP 8,197

10 Ketchikan City 8,050

11 Kalifornsky CDP 7,850

12 Wasilla City 7,831

13 Meadow Lakes CDP 7,570

14 Kenai City 7,100

15 Steele Creek CDP 6,662

16 Kodiak City 6,130

17 Bethel City 6,080

18 Palmer City 5,937

19 Chena Ridge CDP 5,791

20 Sterling CDP 5,617

21 Gateway CDP 5,552

22 Homer City 5,003

23 Farmers Loop CDP 4,853

24 Fishhook CDP 4,679

25 Nikiski CDP 4,493

26 Unalaska City 4,376

27 Barrow City 4,212

28 Soldotna City 4,163

29 Valdez City 3,976

30 Nome City 3,598

31 Goldstream CDP 3,557

32 Big Lake CDP 3,350

33 Butte CDP 3,246

34 Kotzebue City 3,201

35 Petersburg City 2,948

36 Seward City 2,693

37 Eielson AFB CDP 2,647

38 Ester CDP 2,422

39 Wrangell City 2,369

40 Dillingham City 2,329

41 Deltana CDP 2,251

42 Cordova City 2,239

43 Prudhoe Bay CDP 2,174

44 North Pole City 2,117

45 Willow CDP 2,102

46 Ridgeway CDP 2,022

47 Bear Creek CDP 1,956

48 Fritz Creek CDP 1,932

49 Anchor Point CDP 1,930

50 Houston City 1,912

№ Community name Type 2010 Pop.

51 Haines CDP 1,713

52 Lazy Mountain CDP 1,479

53 Sutton-Alpine CDP 1,447

54 Metlakatla CDP 1,405

55 Cohoe CDP 1,364

56 Kodiak Station CDP 1,301

57 Susitna North CDP 1,260

58 Tok CDP 1,258

59 Craig City 1,201

60 Diamond Ridge CDP 1,156

61 Salcha CDP 1,095

62 Hooper Bay City 1,093

63 Farm Loop CDP 1,028

64 Akutan City 1,027

65 Healy CDP 1,021

66 Salamatof CDP 980

67 Sand Point City 976

68 Delta Junction City 958

69 Chevak City 938

King Cove City

71 Skagway CDP 920

72 Ninilchik CDP 883

73 Funny River CDP 877

74 Talkeetna CDP 876

75 Buffalo Soapstone CDP 855

76 Selawik City 829

77 Togiak City 817

78 Mountain
Mountain
Village City 813

79 Emmonak City 762

80 Hoonah City 760

81 Klawock City 755

82 Moose
Moose
Creek CDP 747

83 Knik River CDP 744

84 Pleasant Valley CDP 725

85 Kwethluk City 721

86 Two Rivers CDP 719

Women's Bay CDP

88 Unalakleet City 688

89 Fox River CDP 685

90 Gambell City 681

91 Alakanuk City 677

92 Point Hope City 674

93 Savoonga City 671

94 Quinhagak City 669

95 Noorvik City 668

96 Yakutat CDP 662

97 Kipnuk CDP 639

98 Akiachak CDP 627

99 Happy Valley CDP 593

100 Big Delta CDP 591

Education

The Kachemak Bay Campus
Kachemak Bay Campus
of the University of Alaska
University of Alaska
Anchorage, located in downtown Homer.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development administers many school districts in Alaska. In addition, the state operates a boarding school, Mt. Edgecumbe High School
Mt. Edgecumbe High School
in Sitka, and provides partial funding for other boarding schools, including Nenana Student Living Center in Nenana and The Galena Interior Learning Academy in Galena.[118] There are more than a dozen colleges and universities in Alaska. Accredited universities in Alaska
Alaska
include the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska
University of Alaska
Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, and Alaska
Alaska
Pacific University.[119] Alaska
Alaska
is the only state that has no institutions that are part of the NCAA Division I. The Alaska
Alaska
Department of Labor and Workforce Development operates AVTEC, Alaska's Institute of Technology.[120] Campuses in Seward and Anchorage
Anchorage
offer 1 week to 11-month training programs in areas as diverse as Information Technology, Welding, Nursing, and Mechanics. Alaska
Alaska
has had a problem with a "brain drain". Many of its young people, including most of the highest academic achievers, leave the state after high school graduation and do not return. As of 2013[update], Alaska
Alaska
did not have a law school or medical school.[121] The University of Alaska
University of Alaska
has attempted to combat this by offering partial four-year scholarships to the top 10% of Alaska
Alaska
high school graduates, via the Alaska
Alaska
Scholars Program.[122] Public health and public safety See also: Dentistry in rural Alaska The Alaska State Troopers
Alaska State Troopers
are Alaska's statewide police force. They have a long and storied history, but were not an official organization until 1941. Before the force was officially organized, law enforcement in Alaska
Alaska
was handled by various federal agencies. Larger towns usually have their own local police and some villages rely on "Public Safety Officers" who have police training but do not carry firearms. In much of the state, the troopers serve as the only police force available. In addition to enforcing traffic and criminal law, wildlife Troopers enforce hunting and fishing regulations. Due to the varied terrain and wide scope of the Troopers' duties, they employ a wide variety of land, air, and water patrol vehicles. Many rural communities in Alaska
Alaska
are considered "dry," having outlawed the importation of alcoholic beverages.[123] Suicide rates for rural residents are higher than urban.[124] Domestic abuse
Domestic abuse
and other violent crimes are also at high levels in the state; this is in part linked to alcohol abuse.[125] Alaska
Alaska
has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation, especially in rural areas. The average age of sexually assaulted victims is 16 years old. In four out of five cases, the suspects were relatives, friends or acquaintances.[126] Culture See also: List of artists and writers from Alaska

A dog team in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, arguably the most popular winter event in Alaska.

Some of Alaska's popular annual events are the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that starts in Anchorage
Anchorage
and ends in Nome, World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, the Blueberry Festival and Alaska Hummingbird Festival in Ketchikan, the Sitka Whale Fest, and the Stikine River
Stikine River
Garnet Fest in Wrangell. The Stikine River
Stikine River
attracts the largest springtime concentration of American bald eagles in the world. The Alaska Native Heritage Center
Alaska Native Heritage Center
celebrates the rich heritage of Alaska's 11 cultural groups. Their purpose is to encourage cross-cultural exchanges among all people and enhance self-esteem among Native people. The Alaska Native Arts Foundation promotes and markets Native art from all regions and cultures in the State, using the internet.[127] Music Main article: Music of Alaska Influences on music in Alaska
Alaska
include the traditional music of Alaska Natives as well as folk music brought by later immigrants from Russia and Europe. Prominent musicians from Alaska
Alaska
include singer Jewel, traditional Aleut flautist Mary Youngblood, folk singer-songwriter Libby Roderick, Christian music singer-songwriter Lincoln Brewster, metal/post hardcore band 36 Crazyfists
36 Crazyfists
and the groups Pamyua
Pamyua
and Portugal. The Man. There are many established music festivals in Alaska, including the Alaska
Alaska
Folk Festival, the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Anchorage
Anchorage
Folk Festival, the Athabascan Old-Time Fiddling Festival, the Sitka Jazz Festival, and the Sitka Summer Music Festival. The most prominent orchestra in Alaska
Alaska
is the Anchorage
Anchorage
Symphony Orchestra, though the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and Juneau
Juneau
Symphony are also notable. The Anchorage
Anchorage
Opera is currently the state's only professional opera company, though there are several volunteer and semi-professional organizations in the state as well. The official state song of Alaska
Alaska
is "Alaska's Flag", which was adopted in 1955; it celebrates the flag of Alaska. Alaska
Alaska
in film and on television See also: List of films set in Alaska

Films featuring Alaskan wolves usually employ domesticated wolf-dog hybrids to stand in for wild wolves.

Alaska's first independent picture entirely made in Alaska
Alaska
was The Chechahcos, produced by Alaskan businessman Austin E. Lathrop
Austin E. Lathrop
and filmed in and around Anchorage. Released in 1924 by the Alaska
Alaska
Moving Picture Corporation, it was the only film the company made. One of the most prominent movies filmed in Alaska
Alaska
is MGM's Eskimo/Mala The Magnificent, starring Alaska
Alaska
Native Ray Mala. In 1932 an expedition set out from MGM's studios in Hollywood to Alaska
Alaska
to film what was then billed as "The Biggest Picture Ever Made." Upon arriving in Alaska, they set up "Camp Hollywood" in Northwest Alaska, where they lived during the duration of the filming. Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
spared no expense in spite of the remote location, going so far as to hire the chef from the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to prepare meals. When Eskimo premiered at the Astor Theatre in New York City, the studio received the largest amount of feedback in its history to that point. Eskimo was critically acclaimed and released worldwide; as a result, Mala became an international movie star. Eskimo won the first Oscar for Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards, and showcased and preserved aspects of Inupiat culture on film. The 1983 Disney movie Never Cry Wolf was at least partially shot in Alaska. The 1991 film White Fang, based on Jack London's novel and starring Ethan Hawke, was filmed in and around Haines. Steven Seagal's 1994 On Deadly Ground, starring Michael Caine, was filmed in part at the Worthington Glacier
Worthington Glacier
near Valdez.[128] The 1999 John Sayles
John Sayles
film Limbo, starring David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Kris Kristofferson, was filmed in Juneau. The psychological thriller Insomnia, starring Al Pacino
Al Pacino
and Robin Williams, was shot in Canada, but was set in Alaska. The 2007 film directed by Sean Penn, Into The Wild, was partially filmed and set in Alaska. The film, which is based on the novel of the same name, follows the adventures of Christopher McCandless, who died in a remote abandoned bus along the Stampede Trail
Stampede Trail
west of Healy in 1992. Many films and television shows set in Alaska
Alaska
are not filmed there; for example, Northern Exposure, set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, was filmed in Roslyn, Washington. The 2007 horror feature 30 Days of Night is set in Barrow, but was filmed in New Zealand. Many reality television shows are filmed in Alaska. In 2011 the Anchorage
Anchorage
Daily News found ten set in the state.[129] State symbols Main article: List of Alaska
Alaska
state symbols

The forget-me-not is the state's official flower and bears the same blue and gold as the state flag.

State motto: North to the Future Nicknames: "The Last Frontier" or "Land of the Midnight Sun" or "Seward's Icebox" State bird: willow ptarmigan, adopted by the Territorial Legislature in 1955. It is a small (15–17 in or 380–430 mm) Arctic grouse that lives among willows and on open tundra and muskeg. Plumage is brown in summer, changing to white in winter. The willow ptarmigan is common in much of Alaska. State fish: king salmon, adopted 1962. State flower: wild/native forget-me-not, adopted by the Territorial Legislature
Legislature
in 1917.[130] It is a perennial that is found throughout Alaska, from Hyder to the Arctic Coast, and west to the Aleutians. State fossil: woolly mammoth, adopted 1986. State gem: jade, adopted 1968. State insect: four-spot skimmer dragonfly, adopted 1995. State land mammal: moose, adopted 1998. State marine mammal: bowhead whale, adopted 1983. State mineral: gold, adopted 1968. State song: "Alaska's Flag" State sport: dog mushing, adopted 1972. State tree: Sitka spruce, adopted 1962. State dog: Alaskan Malamute, adopted 2010.[131] State soil: Tanana,[132] adopted unknown.

See also

Alaska
Alaska
portal United States
United States
portal

Index of Alaska-related articles Outline of Alaska — organized list of topics about Alaska

Notes

^ Byron Mallott, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, suspended his campaign and became the running mate of Bill Walker, an independent who left the Republican Party. They won the election with 48.1% or 134,658 votes.

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Producers. June 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2014.  ^ "Gas Hydrates on Alaska's North Slope". Usgs.gov. Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.  ^ "EIA State Energy Profiles: Alaska". Tonto.eia.doe.gov. August 27, 2009. Archived from the original on November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.  ^ "Screening Report for Alaska
Alaska
Rural Energy Plan" (PDF). April 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 16, 2008.  ^ " Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation". apfc.org.  ^ "State of Alaska Permanent Fund Division". Pfd.state.ak.us. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2010.  ^ "Alaska's Citizens' Dividend Set To Be Near Highest Ever". BIEN. Retrieved November 3, 2015.  ^ "More than 1,000 New Farmers Markets Recorded Across Country as USDA Directory Reveals 17 Percent Growth USDA Newsroom". Usda.gov. August 5, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2012.  ^ "Welcome to The Alaska
Alaska
Peony
Peony
Growers Association". Alaskapeonies.org. Retrieved June 14, 2012.  ^ " Alaska
Alaska
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Interstate 93
tunnel as part of the "Big Dig" project in Boston, Massachusetts. ^ Barbara Yaffe (January 2, 2011). " Alaska
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Alaska
Canada Rail Link". Archived from the original on April 25, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.  ^ State of Alaska
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Communications. ^ Arctic fiber-optic cable could benefit far-flung Alaskans Archived January 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Anchorage
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Preceded by Arizona List of U.S. states
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by date of admission to the Union Admitted on January 3, 1959 (49th) Succeeded by Hawaii

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Languages of the United States

Languages in italics are extinct.

English

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English Western American English Western New England
New England
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English Yeshiva English

Oral Indigenous Languages

Families

Algic

Abenaki Anishinnabemowin Arapaho Blackfoot Cheyenne Cree Fox Gros Ventre Mahican Massachusett Menominee Mi'kmaq Mohegan-Pequot Munsee Myaamia Nanticoke Narragansett Pamlico Potawatomi Powhatan Quiripi Shawnee Unami

Etchemin Loup Nawathinehena

Austronesian

Chamorro Hawaiian Refaluwasch Samoan Tokelauan

Caddoan

Arikara Caddo Wichita

Kitsai

Chinookan

Kathlamet Tsinúk Upper Chinook

Chumashan

Barbareño Cruzeño Obispeño Purisimeño Ventureño

Dené– Yeniseian

Ahtna Deg Xinag Dena'ina Gwich’in Hän Hupa Jicarilla Koyukon Lower Tanana Mescalero-Chiricahua Navajo Tanacross Tolowa Upper Kuskokwim Upper Tanana Western Apache

Cahto Eyak Holikachuk Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie Lipan Mattole Plains Apache Tsetsaut Tututni Upper Umpqua Wailaki

Eskaleut

Inuit Inupiat Aleut Alutiiq Central Alaskan Yup'ik Central Siberian Yupik Chevak Cup’ik

Iroquoian

Cayuga Cherokee Mohawk Oneida Onondaga Osage Seneca Tuscarora Wyandot

Erie Neutral Huron Nottoway Susquehannock Wenrohronon

Kalapuyan

Central Kalapuya Northern Kalapuya Yoncalla

Keresan

Cochiti Pueblo San Felipe–Santo Domingo Zia–Santa Ana Pueblos Western Keres Acoma Pueblo Laguna Pueblo

Maiduan

Konkow Maidu Nisenan

Chico

Muskogean

Alabama Chickasaw Choctaw Koasati Mikasuki Muscogee

Apalachee

Palaihnihan

Achumawi

Atsugewi

Plateau Penutian

Nez Perce Sahaptin

Klamath Molala

Pomoan

Central Pomo Eastern Pomo Kashaya Southeastern Pomo Southern Pomo

Northeastern Pomo Northern Pomo

Salishan

Coeur d'Alene Columbia-Moses Halkomelem Klallam Lushootseed Nooksack North Straits Salish Okanagan Salish Thompson Twana

Cowlitz Lower Chehalis Quinault Tillamook Upper Chehalis

Siouan

Assiniboine Crow Dakota Hidatsa Kansa Lakota Mandan Omaha–Ponca Quapaw Stoney Winnebago

Biloxi Catawba Chiwere Mitchigamea Moneton Ofo Tutelo-Saponi Woccon

Tanoan

Jemez Kiowa Picuris Southern Tiwa Taos Tewa

Piro Pueblo

Tsimshianic

Coast Tsimshian

Uto-Aztecan

Comanche Hopi Ivilyuat Kawaiisu Kitanemuk Luiseño Mono Northern Paiute O'odham Serrano Shoshoni Timbisha Tübatulabal Ute-Chemehuevi Yaqui

Cupeño Tongva

Wakashan

Makah

Wintuan

Nomlaki Patwin Wintu

Yuk-Utian

Central Sierra Miwok Southern Sierra Miwok Tule-Kaweah Yokuts Valley Yokuts

Bay Miwok Buena Vista Yokuts Coast Miwok Gashowu Yokuts Kings River Yokuts Lake Miwok Northern Sierra Miwok Palewyami Plains Miwok

Yuman– Cochimí

Cocopah Havasupai–Hualapai Ipai Kumeyaay Maricopa Mojave Quechan Tiipai Yavapai

Others

Isolates

Haida Karuk Kutenai Siuslaw Washo Yuchi Zuni

Chitimacha Tonkawa

Mixed or Trade Languages

Chinook Jargon Michif

Mohawk Dutch

Manual Indigenous languages

Hand Talk

Anishinaabe Sign Language Blackfoot Sign Language Cheyenne Sign Language Cree Sign Language Navajo Sign Language

Plateau Sign Language

Isolates

Hawai'i Sign Language Inuk Sign Language Keresan Pueblo Navajo Family Sign Language

Oral settler languages

French

Louisiana

Cajun Colonial

Métis Missouri Muskrat New England

German

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Dutch Hutterite Plautdietsch Bernese Alsatian Texas

Spanish

Caló (Chicano) New Mexican Puerto Rican Isleño

Manual settler languages

Francosign

American Sign Language Black American Sign Language Pro-Tactile American Sign Language Puerto Rican Sign Language

BANZSL

Samoan Sign Language

Kentish

Martha's Vineyard Sign Language

Isolates

Sandy River Valley Sign Language Henniker Sign Language

Immigrant languages (number of speakers in 2010 in millions)

Spanish (37) Varieties of Chinese (3) French (2) Tagalog (1.6) Vietnamese (1.4) German (1.1) Korean (1.1) Arabic (0.9) Russian (0.9) Italian (0.7) Portuguese (0.7) Polish (0.6) Hindi (0.6) Persian (0.4) Urdu (0.4) Gujarati (0.4) Japanese (0.4) Greek (0.3) Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language in the United States
United States
(0.3) Armenian (0.2) Khmer (0.2) Hmong (0.2) Hebrew (0.2) Laotian (0.2) Yiddish (0.2)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 139487266 LCCN: n79018447 ISNI: 0000 0004 0427 7381 GND: 4001016-8 SUDOC: 17615

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