What comes to your mind when we talk about Alaska? You may think about cold, snow, Aurora and Midnight Sun. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States. It’s bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, Canada’s Yukon and British Columbia to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest while the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea is its west border. Let’s talk about the facts of Alaska in this article.
1. Alaska is the Largest US State by Area
Alaska is by far the largest state of the United States by area. Its total area is 663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 km2) with 571,951 sq mi (1,481,346 km2) land and 91,316 sq mi (236,507 km2) water. The total area of Alaska is still larger than Texas, California, and Montana (the next three largest states) combined.
2. Alaska the Most Sparsely Populated State in the US
Despite its large area, the population of Alaska is very small. There are only 710,231 population (2010 census) in the area of 663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 km2) that means its density is only around 1.2/sq mi (0.46/km2). The next most sparsely populated state in the US is Wyoming with 5.8 inhabitants per square mile (2.2/km2) that’s far higher than Alaska.
3. Alaska has the highest Percentage of Indigenous Population of any US state
The indigenous population of Alaska is proportionally the highest among any US state at over 15%. Before the arrival of the Europeans, various indigenous peoples had already occupied Alaska for thousands of years. There are 20 indigenous languages that have official status according to a bill signed by the governor of Alaska in October 2014.
4. Denali is the Highest Peak in Alaska as well as in North America
Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley, is the highest peak in Alaska as well as in North America. It’s the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve that is located in the interior region of Alaska. The summit elevation of Denali is 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. After Mount Everest and Aconcagua, Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak on Earth.
5. More than Half of Alaska Land is Federally Owned Public Land
Alaska is very large and more than half of its land is federally owned. We can find that most of the land of Alaska is used as national forests, parks, and wildlife refuges. Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands while 51% of total refuge system acres are in Alaska. 18% of Alaska is set aside as national wildlife refuges.
6. The State Capital City of Alaska is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware Combined
Juneau is the capital city of Alaska. It has 3,254.70 sq mi (8,429.64 km2) total area that makes it the second-largest city in the United States by Area. If we compare the total area of Juneau to the state of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, we can find that the total area of Juneau is still larger than the total area of Rhode Island and Delaware.
7. Dog Mushing is the State Sport of Alaska
Dogsled is one of transportation options in Alaska. But nowadays, Dog Mushing has become a sport rather than a true means of transportation. Although various events are held in Alaska, the most popular event is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. It’s an annual long-distance race from Anchorage to Nome.
8. Anchorage is Most Populous City of Alaska
The largest city of Alaska by population is Anchorage. Nearly 40% of the Alaskan population live in Anchorage as its most populous city. Anchorage is also the fourth-largest city in the United States by Area. It’s still larger than Rhode Island as the smallest state of the US.
9. Alaska Has a Longer Coastline than All the Other U.S. States Combined
The coastline of Alaska is longer than the coastline of all other U.S. states combined. Alaska has coastline in 3 different seas: Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea. With large swaths of coastline, Alaska has a large wind and geothermal energy potential.
10. Alaska Has the Northernmost, Easternmost and Westernmost Points of the United States
If you are asking about the northernmost, easternmost and westernmost points of the United States, they are all located in Alaska. Why Alaska is also has the easternmost point of the U.S.? Because the easternmost tip of Semisopochnoi Island of Alaska is at 179°46′ East (+179.7667) (in the Eastern Hemisphere).
I’m sure that there are more facts about Alaska. If you know other Alaska facts, feel free to share with us here.