Juneau is a city located in the state of Alaska. It also serves as the capital of the state. Juneau is the second largest city in the U.S. by area, although the same can not be said of its population. Despite being so large, the city has a population of just 32,468, per recent estimates.
Before the Europeans settled it, Juneau served as a fishing area for various tribes that lived in the area for thousands of years before it was officially settled. Descendants of these natives still live in the city today and have fought against the government to prevent the development over the area known as Indian Point.
The first recorded contact by Europeans occurred in 1794, although it is believed that Europeans had explored the area before this time. However, Juneau was settled upon its discovery.
Only after the gold rush in the state of California did more people begin exploring the West in search of more gold. In 1880, two men marked a townsite and a mining camp was established after gold was discovered at the head of Gold Creek. The camp quickly became a village as more miners can to the area, although no permanent buildings were developed yet. By the next year, the population totaled more than 100 people and in the same year, the settlement was named Juneau.
In 1906, whaling and fur trade declines led to the government to move the capital from Sitka to Juneau. It was the largest city at the time. In 1911, the capitol building was authorized to be built. However, there were significant delays and construction did not begin until 1929 and was finished two years later.
Throughout the 20th century, efforts were made to move the capital to first Fairbanks and then later Willow. However, neither of these efforts were fruitful, and the city of Juneau has remained the capital ever since.
The population of the city grew in the late 1950s when Alaska was designated as a U.S. state. In the 1970s, the development of the Alaska Pipeline led to further population and economic growth, which slowed down in the next decade.
Today, the city is a major tourism spot, with millions of people coming each year on cruise ships. The tourism industry, along with government jobs, fuels the economy. The city hosts many cultural festivals and events each year, highlighting the works of residents. The city also features nightspots, restaurants, landmarks, and other attractions for residents and tourists.
Juneau Population and Economy Statistics
The city of Juneau has a population of just over 32,000 people. The city’s total area is over 3,253 square miles, making it the second largest capital by area. The population density is less than 10 people per square mile.
People between the ages of 25 to 44 make up the largest age group, accounting for nearly 33% of the population. Over 27% of the population is under the age of 18, while just over 6% are at least 65 years old. There are slightly more males than females living in Juneau, with 101.5 men for every 100 women. Just 6% of the residents in Juneau live below the federal poverty line.
State, city and federal governments are the primary employers for residents of Juneau. The University of Alaska Southeast is also a top employer. During the summer months, the tourism industry is also booming, with cruise ships bringing over 1 million tourists to the area from May through September.
Juneau Population Growth
Juneau’s population has traditionally grown slowly and steadily. The most significant growth occurred between 1970 and 1980 when the population increased from just over 6,000 to nearly 20,000. Further growth pushed the community to over 26,000 at the time of the census taken in 1990. Since then, growth has slowed significantly. Recent estimates show that the population has grown 3.8% since the last poll taken in 2010. It has been predicted that Juneau will continue to see slow but steady growth at least over the next few years.