The U.S. state of Alaska is divided into 19 organized boroughs and one Unorganized Borough. Alaska and Louisiana are the only states that do not call their first-order administrative subdivisions counties (Louisiana uses parishes instead).
Many of the most densely populated regions of the state are part of Alaska's boroughs, which function similarly to counties in other states. However, unlike county equivalents in the other 49 states, the organized boroughs do not cover the entire land area of the state. The area not part of any organized borough is referred to as the Unorganized Borough. The U.S. Census Bureau, in cooperation with the state, divides the Unorganized Borough into 10 census areas, each roughly corresponding to an election district, thus totaling 29 county equivalents. However, these areas exist solely for the purposes of statistical analysis and presentation; they have no government of their own. Boroughs and census areas are both treated as county-level equivalents by the Census Bureau.
Some areas in the unorganized borough receive limited public services directly from the Alaska state government, usually law enforcement from the Alaska State Troopers and educational funding.
Six consolidated city-borough governments exist—Juneau City and Borough, Skagway Municipality, Sitka City and Borough, Yakutat City and Borough, Wrangell City and Borough, as well as the state's largest city, Anchorage. Though its legal name is the Municipality of Anchorage, it is considered a consolidated city-borough under state law.
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 55-2,3,4 codes, which are used by the United States Census Bureau to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Alaska's code is 02, so each code is of the format 02XXX. The FIPS code for each county equivalent links to census data for that county equivalent.
|Boroughs and Census Areas of Alaska|
Borough • City-borough • Census area
|Location||State of Alaska|
|Number||19 Organized boroughs|
10 Census areas
|Populations||(Organized boroughs): 662 (Yakutat) – 291,826 (Anchorage)|
(Census areas):2,150 (Hoonah-Angoon) – 17,013 (Bethel)
|Areas||(Organized boroughs): 452 square miles (1,170 km2) (Skagway) – 88,817 square miles (230,030 km2) (North Slope)|
(Census Areas): 3,760 square miles (9,700 km2) (Prince of Wales-Hyder) – 145,900 square miles (378,000 km2) (Yukon-Koyukuk)
|Subdivisions||Communities, consolidated city-borough|
||FIPS code||Borough seat||Class
|Aleutians East Borough||013||Sand Point||Second||1987||-||Its location in the east Aleutian Islands, which are themselves of uncertain linguistic origin; possibly derived from Chukchi word aliat ("island")||0.45||3,141||6,988 sq mi
|Unified Home Rule||1964/1975||Anchorage Borough formed in 1964, merged with city in 1975 to form unified city-borough||Derived from the presence of a safe place to anchor and unload supplies for construction of the Alaska Railroad circa 1913, thereby creating a community.||171.18||291,826||1,697 sq mi
|Bristol Bay Borough||060||Naknek||Second||1962||-||Named in 1778 by Capt. James Cook for George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol.||1.98||997||505 sq mi
|Denali Borough||068||Healy||Home Rule||1990||-||From Denali, the tallest North American mountain, which means "great one" in the Dena'ina language||0.14||1,826||12,750 sq mi
|Fairbanks North Star Borough||090||Fairbanks||Second||1964||-||Named for its borough seat of Fairbanks, named in turn for Charles Fairbanks (1852 - 1918), U.S. Senator from Indiana and vice president under Theodore Roosevelt, and for Polaris, the North Star||13.30||97,581||7,366 sq mi
|-||After Haines, which was itself named for Mrs. F.E. Haines, the key fundraiser for the construction of a Presbyterian mission in the town.||1.08||2,508||2,344 sq mi
|Unified Home Rule||1970||The cities of Juneau and Douglas merged with the surrounding borough to form the municipality||Joseph "Joe" Juneau, prospector and co-founder of the city.||11.58||31,275||2,716 sq mi
|Kenai Peninsula Borough||122||Soldotna||Second||1964||-||The Kenai Peninsula, whose name may be derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet.||3.45||55,400||16,013 sq mi
|Ketchikan Gateway Borough||130||Ketchikan||Second||1963||-||The borough seat of Ketchikan and the borough's gateway location on the Alaska-Canada border.||2.77||13,477||4,840 sq mi
|Kodiak Island Borough||150||Kodiak||Second||1963||-||Named after Kodiak Island, which may itself be named for the Koniag people||2.08||13,592||6,560 sq mi
|Lake and Peninsula Borough||164||King Salmon||Home Rule||1989||-||The borough's many large lakes, and the Alaska Peninsula||0.07||1,631||23,782 sq mi
|Matanuska-Susitna Borough||170||Palmer||Second||1964||-||Named for the valley that the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers form.||3.62||88,995||24,682 sq mi
|North Slope Borough||185||Utqiagvik||Home Rule||1972||-||The Alaska North Slope along the Brooks Range.||0.11||9,430||88,817 sq mi
|Northwest Arctic Borough||188||Kotzebue||Home Rule||1986||In 1986, residents of Kotzebue and 10 other area villages voted to form the Northwest Arctic Borough (with boundaries coincident with those of NANA), to be economically based on taxing the Red Dog mine, then under development.||Its geographic location and position above the Arctic Circle.||0.21||7,523||35,898 sq mi
|Petersburg Borough||195||Petersburg||Home Rule||2013||Incorporated after voters approved borough formation in December 2012.||Named for Norwegian immigrant Peter Buschmann, founder of the former city of Petersburg.||1.16||3,815||3,829 sq mi
|Unified Home Rule||1971||-||Derived from Tlingit word Shee At'iká, meaning "People on the outside of Shee (Baranof Island)."||3.09||8,881||2,874 sq mi
|First||2007||-||Derived from Tlingit word Shgagwèi, meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water."||2.14||968||452 sq mi
|Unorganized Borough||-||-||-||1961||The Borough Act of 1961 created The Unorganized Borough including all of Alaska not within a Unified, Home rule, First class or Second class borough.||A legal entity in Alaska, covering those parts of Alaska not within an incorporated borough; it is administered by the state of Alaska.||0.24||74,334||323,440 sq mi
|Unified Home Rule||2008||formerly part of Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area||Ferdinand von Wrangel, Russian administrator of Alaska, 1840-49.||0.93||2,369||2,570 sq mi
|Home Rule||1992||-||Yakutat Bay and the Yakutat Alaska Native people||0.09||662||7,650 sq mi
The Unorganized Borough is the portion of the U.S. state of Alaska not contained in any of its 19 organized boroughs. It encompasses over half of Alaska's area, 970,500 km² (374,712 mi²), an area larger than any other U.S. state. As of the 2000 census 13% of Alaskans (81,803 people) reside in it.
Currently unique among the United States, Alaska is not entirely subdivided into organized county equivalents. For the 1980 census, the United States Census Bureau divided the unorganized borough into 12 census areas to facilitate census taking in the vast unorganized area. As new boroughs incorporate, these areas have been altered or eliminated to accommodate, such that there are currently 10 census areas:
||FIPS code||Largest town
(as of 2000)
|Aleutians West Census Area||016||Unalaska||Location in the western Aleutian Islands.||1.27||5,561||4,397 sq mi
|Bethel Census Area||050||Bethel||City of Bethel, the largest settlement in the census area, which is itself named for the Biblical term Bethel ("house of God").||0.42||17,013||40,633 sq mi
|Dillingham Census Area||070||Dillingham||The city of Dillingham, the largest settlement in the area, which was itself named after United States Senator Paul Dillingham (1843-1923), who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee in 1903.||0.26||4,847||18,675 sq mi
|Hoonah–Angoon Census Area||105||Hoonah||The cities of Hoonah and Angoon||0.29||2,150||7,444 sq mi
|Kusilvak Census Area||158||Hooper Bay||Kusilvak Mountains
(Known as Wade Hampton prior to 2015)
|0.44||7,459||17,194 sq mi
|Nome Census Area||180||Nome||City of Nome, the largest settlement in the census area.||0.41||9,492||23,001 sq mi
|Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area||198||Craig||Prince of Wales Island and the town of Hyder
(Known as Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan prior to the expansion of Ketchikan Gateway Borough in 2008)
|1.42||5,559||3,760 sq mi
|Southeast Fairbanks Census Area||240||Deltana||Its location, southeast of Fairbanks||0.28||7,029||24,814 sq mi
|Valdez-Cordova Census Area||261||Valdez||Cities of Valdez and Cordova||0.28||9,636||34,319 sq mi
|Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area||290||Fort Yukon||Yukon River ("great river" in Gwich’in), which flows through the census area; and the city of Koyukuk||0.04||5,588||145,900 sq mi
^ A: Because census areas in the Unorganized Borough have their own FIPS codes, this code listed and linked is for the entire state of Alaska.
A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.Elections in Alaska
The number of elections in Alaska varies by year, but typically municipal elections occur every year, plus primary and general elections for federal and state offices occur during even-numbered years. Alaska has a gubernatorial election every four years. Members of the state's United States congressional delegation run for election or re-election at the times set out in the United States Constitution. Primary elections assist in choosing political parties' nominees for various positions. On a regional basis (see list of boroughs and census areas in Alaska), elections also cover municipal issues. In addition, a special election can occur at any time.Geography of Alaska
Alaska is one of two U.S. states not bordered by another state; Hawaii is the other. Alaska has more ocean coastline than all of the other U.S. states combined. About 500 miles (800 km) of Canadian territory separate Alaska from Washington State. Alaska is thus an exclave of the United States that is part of the continental U.S. and the U.S. West Coast, but is not part of the contiguous U.S. Alaska is also the only state, other than Hawaii, whose capital city is accessible only via ship or air, because no roads connect Juneau to the rest of the continent.
The state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia, Canada to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south, Russia (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug), Bering Sea, the Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west, and the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Because it extends into the Eastern Hemisphere, it is technically both the westernmost and easternmost state in the United States, as well as also being the northernmost.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States in terms of land area at 570,380 square miles (1,477,300 km2), over twice (roughly 2.47 times) as large as Texas, the next largest state, and is the seventh largest country subdivision in the world. If the state's westernmost point were superimposed on San Francisco, California, its easternmost point would be in Jacksonville, Florida. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign nations (it is slightly larger than Iran but slightly smaller than Libya). Alaska is home to 3.5 million lakes of 20 acres (8.1 ha) or larger. Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,700 km2) (mostly in northern, western and southwest flatlands). Frozen water, in the form of glacier ice, covers some 16,000 square miles (41,000 km2) of land and 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2) of tidal zone. The Bering Glacier complex near the southeastern border with Yukon, Canada, covers 2,250 square miles (5,800 km2) alone.List of census-designated places in Alaska
Alaska is a state situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent. According to the 2010 United States Census, Alaska is the 3rd least populous state with 736,732 inhabitants but is the largest by land area spanning 665,384.04 square miles (1,723,336.8 km2) of land. Alaska has 204 census-designated places and six former census-designated places.Changes for 2010 include the addition of twelve new census-designated places: Badger, Chena Ridge, Eureka Roadhouse, Farmers Loop, Goldstream, Loring, Mertarvik, Nabesna, Point Possession, South Van Horn, Steele Creek, and Whitestone. Six former census-designated places counted for the 2000 census were included in 2010: Alpine, Copperville (merged into Tazlina CDP), Cube Cove, Miller Landing (annexed to Homer city), Meyers Chuck and Thoms Place (both incorporated into Wrangell city and borough). Two former CDPs became cities: Adak (incorporated in 2001) and Gustavus (incorporated in 2004). Skagway (disincorporated in 2007) is now a census-designated places. Finally, one census-designated place has a new name: Y is now Susitna North.List of cities in Alaska
Alaska is a state of the United States in the northwest extremity of the North American continent. According to the 2010 United States Census, Alaska is the 3rd least populous state with 710,231 inhabitants but is the largest by land area spanning 570,640.95 square miles (1,477,953.3 km2). Alaska is divided administratively into 19 organized boroughs and one Unorganized Borough (which is divided into 10 non-administrative census areas) and contains 149 incorporated cities: four unified home rule municipalities, which are considered both boroughs and cities; ten home rule cities; nineteen first class cities; and 116 second class cities. Alaska's incorporated cities cover only 2.1% of the territory's land mass but are home to 69.92% of its population. The majority of the incorporated land mass consists of the four unified municipalities, each over 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2) in size. Only two other cities have an incorporated area exceeding 100 square miles (260 km2): Unalaska, which includes the fishing port of Dutch Harbor, and Valdez, which includes the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.
Incorporated cities in Alaska are categorized as either "general law" (subdivided into "first class" and "second class") or "home rule". In general, the powers and functions of general law cities and home rule cities are substantially the same, with all legislative powers not prohibited by law or charter. Apart from duties such as conducting elections and holding regular meetings of the governing bodies, the duties of local cities vary considerably and are determined at the local level. Home rule cities and first class cities in the unorganized borough must, however, operate municipal school districts, exercise planning, and land use regulations while organized boroughs take on these responsibilities unless delegated to the city by the borough. Unified home rule cities (and other boroughs) also have the duty to collect municipal property and sales tax for use in their jurisdiction. Home rule cities occur when a community establishes a commission to draft a charter, which is then ratified by voters at an election. Title 29 of the Alaska Statutes, which covers municipal government, requires that a community must have at least 400 permanent residents to incorporate as a home rule or first class city. This status does not diminish if a city's population declines; one home rule city (Nenana) and four first class cities (Hydaburg, Pelican, Seldovia and Tanana) reported populations falling below that threshold in the 2010 Census.The largest municipality by population in Alaska is Anchorage with 291,826 residents or approximately 41.1% of the state population. The smallest municipality by population is Bettles with 12 residents. The largest municipality by land area is Sitka which spans 2,870.34 sq mi (7,434.1 km2), while Kiana is the smallest at 0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2). The first city to incorporate was Ketchikan in 1901 and the newest municipality is Whale Pass which incorporated in 2017.List of places in Alaska
This is a list of places in Alaska, including cities, towns, unincorporated communities, counties, and other recognized places. The list also includes information on the number and names of counties in which the place lies, and its lower and upper zip code bounds, if applicable.
|Largest cities |
pop. over 25,000
|Smaller cities |
pop. over 2,000