Demographics of Alaska

Demographics of Alaska
Alaska Population Density Map
Historical populations
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%
1930 and 1940 censuses taken in preceding autumn
Sources: 1910-2010[1]

As of 2005, Alaska has an estimated population of 663,661, which is an increase of 5,906, or 0.9%, from the prior year and an increase of 36,730, or 5.9%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 36,590 people (53,132 births minus 16,542 deaths), and an increase due to net migration of 1,181 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 5,800 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 4,619 people. More than half of the state's population lives in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks, with two-fifths in Anchorage alone.

With a population of 710,231, according to the 2010 U.S. census,[2] Alaska is the 47th most populous and least densely populated state.

For purposes of the federal census, the state is divided into artificial divisions defined geographically by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only.

The center of population of Alaska is located approximately 64.37 kilometers (40.00 mi) east of Anchorage at 61.288254 N. latitude, -148.716968 W. longitude.[3]


Race and ancestry

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 68.5% of Alaska's population. African Americans made up 0.2% of Alaska's population. American Indians and Alaska Natives made up 13.4% of Alaska's population; they are the largest minority group. Asian Americans made up 2% of Alaska's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.5% of the state's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.9% of Alaska's population while individuals from two or more races made up 7.2% of the state's population. Hispanics and Latinos (of any race) made up 5.5% of Alaska's population.[4]

For European ancestry, German Americans are the largest single ethnic group in Alaska; they made up 19.3% of Alaska's population and they are the only ethnic group in the state with over 100,000 members. Irish Americans made up 12.5% of Alaska's population while English Americans made up 10.8% of the state's population. Norwegian Americans made up 4.2% of Alaska's population and French Americans made up 3.6% of the state's population.[5] Other large ethnic groups in the state include Polish Americans, Russian Americans, Serbian Americans (including Montenegrin Americans) and Croatian Americans each form 5-10 percent of the population.[citation needed]

The vast and sparsely populated regions of northern and western Alaska are primarily inhabited by Alaska Natives, who are also numerous in the southeast. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and other parts of south-central and southeast Alaska have many White Americans of northern and western European ancestry. The Wrangell-Petersburg area has many residents of Scandinavian ancestry and the Aleutian Islands contain a large Filipino population. The vast majority of the state's African American population lives in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Also, Alaska has the largest percentage of American Indians of any state. Some of the Alaska Natives absorbed the small 1700's Russian-era settlement.[citation needed]

Demographics of Alaska (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 75.43% 4.46% 19.06% 5.24% 0.88%
2000 (Hispanic only) 3.42% 0.33% 0.45% 0.16% 0.06%
2005 (total population) 74.71% 4.72% 18.77% 5.90% 0.88%
2005 (Hispanic only) 4.32% 0.38% 0.48% 0.19% 0.05%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 4.85% 12.03% 4.27% 19.23% 5.35%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 3.49% 11.30% 4.02% 18.96% 5.86%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 33.56% 21.02% 14.52% 27.89% -1.95%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander


According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, 84.7% of people over the age of five speak only English at home. About 3.5% speak the Spanish language at home. About 2.2% speak an Indo-European language other than Spanish at home and about 4.3% speak an Asian language at home. And about 5.3% speak other languages at home.[5]

A total of 5.2% of Alaskans speak one of the state's 22 indigenous languages, known locally as "native languages". These languages belong to two major language families: Eskimo–Aleut and Na-Dené. As the homeland of these two major language families of North America, Alaska has been described as the crossroads of the continent, providing evidence for the recent settlement of North America via the Bering land bridge.



Russian Orthodox church in Sitka, Alaska.

Other religions

  • Jewish - 0.9% :[7]
  • Buddhist-<0.5%
  • Islam -0.5%
  • Hindu - <0.5%
  • Other World Religions - <0.5%
  • Other Faiths - 2.0%
  • Unaffiliated - 27.0%
  • Refused to answer - 1.0%
  • Source:[8]

Something that is notable is Alaska's relatively large Eastern Orthodox Christian population.The large Eastern Orthodox (with 49 parishes and up to 50,000 followers) population is a result of early Russian colonization and missionary work among Alaska Natives. In 1795, the First 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. Alaska also has the largest Quaker population (by percentage) of any state. Also, as of 1994, there are 3,060 Jews in Alaska.[9] Jehovah's Witnesses stands at a little less than 2,400. Estimates for the number of Alaskan Muslims range from 1,000 to 5,000.[10]

Other statistics

In 2006, Alaska has a larger percentage of tobacco smokers than the national average, with 24% of Alaskan adults smoking.[11]


  1. ^ Resident Population Data - 2010 Census
  2. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. (2001-04-02). "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000. Table 1. States Ranked by Population: 2000." U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved on 2007-06-12.
  3. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. (ca. 2002). "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000." Centers of Population for Census 2000. U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Retrieved on 2007-06-12.
  4. ^ Alaska - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
  5. ^ a b Alaska - Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2005-2007
  6. ^ Coast Tsimshian is not technically indigenous to Alaska, the Coast Tsimshian people having moved north from British Columbia in the historic period. Nevertheless it is usually grouped with the other Native languages.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Pew Forum: Survey Finds Alaskans Less Religious Than Other Americans
  9. ^ j. - Alaskan Jews trying to connect, says study
  10. ^ Alaskan Muslims Avoid Conflict
  11. ^ CDC's STATE System - State Comparison Report Cigarette Use (Adults) – BRFSS for 2006, lists Alaska as having 24.2% smokers. The national average is 20.8% according to Cigarette Smoking Among Adults --- United States, 2006 article in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

External links

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