List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska
The U.S. state of Alaska is not in counties, as 48 other states are (Louisiana has parishes instead). It is in boroughs. Many of the more densely populated parts of the state are in Alaska's eighteen organized boroughs, which are somewhat similar to counties in other states. Unlike in the other 49 states, the organized boroughs do not cover all land of the state. The area not part of any organized borough is called the unorganized borough.
For the 1970 census, the US and state made the unorganized borough into 11 census areas. Each is roughly the same as an election district. However, these areas are solely for 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-county governments exist—Juneau City and Borough, City and Borough of Haines, Sitka City and Borough, Yakutat City and Borough, Wrangell City and Borough, and 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, used by the United States Census Bureau to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry. Alaska's code is 02, which when combined with any county code would be written as 02XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.
List of boroughs[change | change source]
||FIPS code||Borough seat||Class
|Established||Origin||Meaning of name||Population||Area||Map|
|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")||2,744||
6,988 sq mi|
( 18,099 km2)
|Unified Home Rule||1975||-||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.||260,283||
1,697 sq mi|
( 4,395 km2)
|Bristol Bay Borough||060||Naknek||Second||1962||-||Named in 1778 by Capt. James Cook for George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol.||1,258||
505 sq mi|
( 1,308 km2)
|Denali Borough||068||Healy||Home Rule||1990||-||From Denali, the tallest North American mountain, which means "great one" in the Dena'ina language||1,893||
12,750 sq mi|
( 33,022 km2)
|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||82,840||
7,366 sq mi|
( 19,078 km2)
|-||After Haines, which was itself named for Mrs F.E. Haines, the key fundraiser for the construction of a Presbyterian mission in the town.||2,392||
2,344 sq mi|
( 6,071 km2)
|Unified Home Rule||1970||The City of Juneau merged with the City of Douglas and the surrounding borough to form the municipality||Joseph "Joe" Juneau, prospector and co-founder of the city.||30,711||
2,716 sq mi|
( 7,034 km2)
|Kenai Peninsula Borough||122||Soldotna||Second||1964||-||The Kenai Peninsula, whose named may be derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet.||49,691||
16,013 sq mi|
( 41,473 km2)
|Ketchikan Gateway Borough||130||Ketchikan||Second||1963||-||The borough seat of Ketchikan and the borough's gateway location on the Alaska-Canadian border.||14,077||
4,840 sq mi|
( 12,536 km2)
|Kodiak Island Borough||150||Kodiak||Second||1963||-||Named after Kodiak Island, which may itself be named for the Koniag people||13,913||
6,560 sq mi|
( 16,990 km2)
|Lake and Peninsula Borough||164||King Salmon||Home Rule||1989||-||The borough's many large lakes, and the Alaska Peninsula||1,823||
23,782 sq mi|
( 61,595 km2)
|Matanuska-Susitna Borough||170||Palmer||Second||1964||-||Named for the valley that the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers form.||59,322||
24,682 sq mi|
( 63,926 km2)
|North Slope Borough||185||Barrow||Home Rule||1972||-||The Alaska North Slope along the Brooks Range.||7,385||
88,817 sq mi|
( 230,035 km2)
|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.||7,208||
35,898 sq mi|
( 92,975 km2)
|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.||3,815||
3,829 sq mi|
( 9,917 km2)
|Unified Home Rule||1971||-||Derived from Tlingit word Shee At'iká, meaning "People on the outside of Shee (Baranof Island)."||8,835||
2,874 sq mi|
( 7,444 km2)
|Skagway||230||-||First||2007||-||Derived from Tlingit word Shgagwèi, meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water."||862||
452 sq mi|
( 1,171 km2)
|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.||78,486||
323,440 sq mi|
( 837,706 km2)
|Unified Home Rule||2008||formerly part of Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area||Ferdinand von Wrangel, Russian administrator of Alaska, 1840-49.||2,448||
2,570 sq mi|
( 6,656 km2)
|Yakutat City and Borough||282||(Consolidated
|Home Rule||1992||-||Yakutat Bay and the Yakutat Alaska Native people||808||
7,650 sq mi|
( 19,813 km2)
Census areas in the Unorganized Borough[change | change source]
The Unorganized Borough is part of the U.S. state of Alaska not in any of its 18 organized boroughs. It is over half of Alaska's area, 970,500 km² (374,712 mi²), an area larger than any other US state. As of the 2000 census 13% of Alaskans (81,803 people) live here.
Unique among the United States, Alaska is not entirely subdivided into organized county equivalents. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau divided the unorganized borough into 12 census areas to facilitate census taking in the large unorganized area. With later changes due to the creation of new boroughs, there are now 11 such areas.
||FIPS code||Largest town
(as of 2000)
|Meaning of name||Population||Area||Map|
|Aleutians West Census Area||016||Unalaska||Location in the western Aleutian Islands.||5,465||
4,397 sq mi|
( 11,388 km2)
|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").||16,006||
40,633 sq mi|
( 105,239 km2)
|Chugach Census Area||063||Valdez||The Chugach people, native to the area
(Part of Valdez–Cordova Census Area prior to January 2, 2019)
9,530 sq mi|
( 24,683 km2)
|Copper River Census Area||066||Glennallen||The Copper River
(Part of Valdez–Cordova Census Area prior to January 2, 2019) 
24,692 sq mi|
( 63,952 km2)
|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.||4,922||
18,675 sq mi|
( 48,368 km2)
|Hoonah–Angoon Census Area||105||Hoonah||The cities of Hoonah and Angoon||2,574||
7,444 sq mi|
( 19,280 km2)
|Kusilvak Census Area||158||Hooper Bay||Kusilvak Mountains
(Known as Wade Hampton prior to 2015)
17,194 sq mi|
( 44,532 km2)
|Nome Census Area||180||Nome||City of Nome, the largest settlement in the census area.||9,196||
23,001 sq mi|
( 59,572 km2)
|Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area||201||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)
3,760 sq mi|
( 9,738 km2)
|Southeast Fairbanks Census Area||240||Deltana||Its location, southeast of Fairbanks||6,174||
24,814 sq mi|
( 64,268 km2)
|Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area||290||Galena||Yukon River ("great river" in Gwich’in), which flows through the census area; and the city of Koyukuk||6,551||
145,900 sq mi|
( 377,879 km2)
References[change | change source]
- "FIPS Publish 6-4". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
- "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA.gov. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
- "Home Rule Boroughs". Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Archived from - Home Rule/Borough/ the original Check
|url=value (help) (FTP) on May 26, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- Certificates/Boroughs "Municipal Certificates (of incorporation) - Boroughs" Check
|url=value (help) (FTP). Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Retrieved July 16, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Alaska Taxable 2004 Municipal Taxation - Rates and Policies" (PDF). Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. January 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 9, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "Background on Boroughs in Alaska" (PDF). Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. November 2000. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "Governmental Unit Boundary Data Content Standard (Working Draft, Version 2.0)" (PDF). Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data, Federal Geographic Data Committee, United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce. February 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- United States Census Bureau. "Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present". census.gov. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- "Alaska Population Estimates". Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development - maps and profiles of boroughs and census areas, including those that have changed since the 2000 census.
General References[change | change source]
- Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
- Local Government On-Line, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
- "Alaska Statutes, Title 29, Chapter 04. Classification of Municipalities". Local Government On-Line, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. 2006. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "Municipal Government Structure in Alaska". Local Government On-Line, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. September 15, 2003. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- "Differences among Home Rule, First Class, Second Class and Third Class Boroughs" (PDF). Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. February 25, 1994. Retrieved July 16, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Alaska Boroughs - "Official" sites". Official Borough Websites. CountyState.Info. Retrieved September 13, 2007.