Q. What is the population of various cities around the state? Thanks, Debbie.
A. Compared to ‘outside’ or the lower 48, our cities are amusingly small, but every year sees more population as people discover the last frontier! I think my figures are about a year or so old, but it will give you an idea. Anchorage – 275,000; Fairbanks – 34,000; Juneau – 32,000; Ketchikan – 7,500; Sitka – 8,900. I live in a lovely little town called Wasilla about 42 miles from Anchorage. Within the city limits we only have about 7,000; however, what is considered the greater Wasilla area is home to about 37,000.
Back in about 1978 my sister, brother in law and father came up for a visit. We were living in the Copper River Basin at the time. I drove the approx 250 miles in to Anchorage to pick them up at the plane. Then we drove straight up to Fairbanks to a family reunion. That is about 300 plus miles. On the way, they were looking out the window, all agog at the beauty everywhere. About halfway into the trip, brother in law Johnny said, “Well, it certainly is beautiful, but WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE?! I have never driven so far for so long before, and not seen any people!” Johnny would find it a bit different today, but we still have less people per square acre than any other state. Plenty of breathing room up here!