Alaska Population 2017

741,204

In 2016, the estimated population of Alaska is 738,432. The last nationwide census in the United States was carried out in 2010, when the population of Alaska was counted at 710,231 people. That figure represented an increase of 13.3% from the year 2000.

Since the 2010 census results were announced, the United States Census Bureau have announced a further estimates of the population in 2011 (722,718) and 2012 (731,449). The most recent estimate given for 2016 are 738,432.

From the 2010 Census to the 2015 estimates, Alaska grew at 3.97%, making it the 24th fastest growing state during that time period.

Alaska Population Density

The current population of Alaska ranks the state 48th in the country in total population. With a massive surface area of 665,384 square miles, Alaska is by far the largest state in the US. It's obvious that Alaska is also by far the most sparsely populated state in the Union, with an average of just 1.2 people per square mile.

Largest cities in Alaska

As you would imagine, there aren't many big cities in Alaska. In total, there are just 29 cities and towns with a population of more than 1,000 people.

The largest, Anchorage, was home to 298,695 people in 2015, making it the 82nd largest city in the USA. Aside from Anchorage, there are only two cities with a population of more than 10,000 people - Juneau, the State capital, (pop: 32,756) and Fairbanks (pop: 32,325).

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Public Record

Alaska Population Chart

Alaska Population Growth

Back in 1880, shortly after Alaska had been acquired from Russia, the population of Alaska was declared at 33,426. Like many areas within the United States, it has enjoyed healthy growth ever since and just twenty years later in 1900, numbers had risen to 63,592, nearly double those of 1880.

Around this period, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon brought many thousands of new settlers just as similar finds had brought in immigrants to the rest of America. Alaska began to thrive and by 1940, the population of Alaska had grown to 72,524.

Post war boom

More periods of extensive growth followed, and some significant rises in the Alaska population were on the horizon. In 1950, the official statistics showed that there were 128,643 residents, a rise of 77.4% on the 1940 figures and by 1960, a year after Alaska became the 49th state, numbers had increased by an additional 75.8% to 226,167.

That was the last time that such a rise took place in regards to decade on decade figures but the population of Alaska continues to grow at a healthy rate, considerably faster than the US average.

Population Data via US Census

Alaska Growth Rate

Alaska State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 745,362 0.19%
2019 743,976 0.19%
2018 742,590 0.19%
2017 741,204 0.19%
2016 739,818 0.19%
2015 738,432 0.19%
2014 737,046 -0.05%
2013 737,442 0.85%
2012 731,228 1.18%
2011 722,720 1.76%
2010 710,231 1.26%
2000 626,932 1.32%
1990 550,043 3.19%
1980 401,851 2.95%
1970 300,382 2.88%
1960 226,167 5.80%
1950 128,643 5.90%
1940 72,524 2.04%
1930 59,278 0.75%
1920 55,036 -1.55%
1910 64,356 7.22%
1900 32,052 -0.42%
1890 33,426 0.00%

Alaska Facts

Alaska Population in 2017 Source: Alan Wu

  • 17 of the 20 highest mountain peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.
  • There are over 70 volcanoes in Alaska that could still be active. The last volcanic eruption in the state occurred in 1912.
  • There are over 3 million lakes and 3,000 rivers located within the state.
  • The strongest earthquake on the North American continent occurred in 1964. The earthquake measured a 9.2 on the Richter scale.
  • Alaska is located less than 50 miles from Russia.
  • Alaska is known for its cold winters, and the average temperature in Fairbanks in January is -1 degree Fahrenheit. That is warm compared to the lowest recorded temperature of -80 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in 1971 at Prospect Creek Camp.
  • Twenty-five percent of the oil produced in the US comes from Alaska.
  • The largest salmon ever caught -- a whopping 97.5 pounds -- was caught in the state's Kenai River.
  • Alaska's area is so big, the state of Rhode Island could fit within it 425 times.
  • "Alaska native" refers to original inhabitants from the Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.

Alaska Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Alaska Population Growth Rate by County

According to 2015 US Census Bureau estimates, just one county in Alaska has seen population growth of over 10% since the 2010 Census was taken -- the centrally-located Mantunuska-Susitna Borough, which registed growth of 12.63%. Trailing behind but still posting growth of 8.78% is the Kusilvak Census Area along the state's western border, which experienced growth of 8.78%.

Counties along the southern and eastern borders of the state experienced declines in population. The Lake and Peninsula Borough, the southernmost region of the state, exhibitied the highest decline of 4.52% while the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area and Valdez-Cordova Census Area along the eastern border posted population declines of 3.27% and 3.07%, respectively.

Population Pyramid

To compare Alaska to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Alaska Natives, or indigenous people of Alaska, make up the majority of the population of western and northern Alaska, where the population is quite sparse. Southeast Alaska also has a large population of Alaska Natives. The primary groups of indigenous people in Alaska are: Aleuts, Northern Eskimos (Inupiat), Southern Eskimos (Yuit), Interior Indians (Athabascans) and Southeast Coastal Indians (Tlingit and Haida.)

The state also has the highest population of American Indians in the entire nation, with Native Alaskans and American Indians comprising just under 15% of the state's total population. According to 2010 data, over 36,000 Native Alaskans and American Indians lived in the city of Anchorage alone.

Alaska is also one of the top ten states with the highest population of Asian residents. Ranked at number seven in the nation, this state experienced growth of 54.2% of its Asian population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The majority of the Asian population that resides in Alaska is of Filipino heritage, with a history dating back to the 1700s when early Filipinos worked as crew members on fur trading and exploratory ships.

Languages Spoken in Alaska

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 665,954 100
English 592,711 89
Spanish 22,425 3.37
Yupik 19,360 2.91
Inupik 6,255 0.94
German 3,660 0.55
Samoan 3,555 0.53
French 2,165 0.33
Chinese 1,410 0.21
Athapascan 1,175 0.18

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Alaska. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Alaska Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 92
BachelorsDegree 28
Disabled 8
NoHealthInsurance 19
LaborForceTotal 68
LaborForceFemale 65
FoodServiceSales 2,221,335
HealthCareRevenue 6,375,483
MerchantWholesalesSales 5,216,303
RetailSales 10,474,275
RetailSalesPerCapita 14,320
MeanWorkTravelTime 19
MedianHouseholdIncome 71,829
PerCapitaIncome 33,129
PovertyPercentage 11

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Alaska for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.5% and the labor force participation rate is 70.6%.

Alaska Business

NonemployerEstablishments 55,818
AllFirms 68,032
MenOwnedFirms 35,402
WomenOwnedFirms 22,141
MinorityOwnedFirms 13,688
NonminorityOwnedFirms 51,147
VeteranOwnedFirms 7,953
NonveteranOwn 56,091

Alaska Housing

HousingUnits 309,448
HousingUnits 306,967
OwnerOccupiedRate 63
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 246,300
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,843
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 555
MedianGrossRent 1,131
BuildingPermits 1,298
Households 251,678
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 81
NonEnglishAtHome 16
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts