Census shows minimal population growth in the state


Data collected from the 2020 census shows that Alaska has experienced the weakest population growth since becoming a state. That’s according to the December 2021 edition of Alaska Economic Trends Magazine, which explored Alaska-specific census results in depth.

Alaska’s population increased by about 23,000 people, or 3.3%, between the 2010 and 2020 censuses. This is compared to decades like the 1980s, when Alaska’s population grew. increased by nearly 150,000 people, or 36.9%. The population of the Kenai Peninsula Borough increased by about 5,700 people between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, compared with an increase of about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 censuses.

“Population growth during the 2010s was the weakest since the territorial era,” the article says. “The state added the smallest number of people since the 1930s and has grown at the slowest rate since the 1910s.”

The Municipality of Anchorage remains the most populous area in the state, with about 291,247 people, or about 39.7% of the state’s total population of about 733,391 people. This is almost triple the population of the next highest region – Matanuska-Susitna district with around 107,081. Mat-Su, however, has experienced the strongest population growth in the past 10 years – about 20.3%.

Cities on the Central Peninsula have also slipped into the ranks of Alaska’s largest cities. Kenai, for example, was the eighth largest city in Alaska in 1980, with around 4,324 residents, but fell to 14th after the 2020 census. Of 29 geographies, 15 experienced population growth, while 14 have experienced population loss. Sterling and Kaliforsky have experienced population growth over the past decade and were in the top 20 most populous geographic areas in Alaska.

Data from the 2020 census shifted some of the peninsula state’s legislative boundaries as part of the decennial redistribution process, which ended last month. Seward will vote with Kodiak, not Nikiski, on the redistribution plans passed by the Alaska Redistricting Council in a public hearing on November 5.

The full December issue of Trends is available on the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development website at labor.alaska.gov/trends/home.htm.

Contact reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at [email protected]


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