Alaska

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State of Alaska
Alax̂sxax̂  (Aleut)
Alaskaq  (Inupiaq)
Alas'kaaq  (Pacific Gulf Yupik)
Flag of Alaska State seal of Alaska
Flag Seal
Nickname(s):
The Last Frontier
Motto(s): North to the Future
State song(s): "Alaska's Flag"
Map of the United States with Alaska highlighted
Official languageEnglish, Inupiat, Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Aleut, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Lower Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Coast Tsimshian
Spoken languagesEnglish 86.3%
Alaska Native languages 5.2%
Tagalog 3.4%
Spanish 2.9%
Others 2.2%
DemonymAlaskan
CapitalJuneau
Largest cityAnchorage
AreaRanked 1st
 • Total663,268 sq mi
(1,717,856 km2)
 • Width2,261 miles (3,639 km)
 • Length1,420 miles (2,285 km)
 • % water13.77
 • Latitude51°20'N to 71°50'N
 • Longitude130°W to 172°E
PopulationRanked 48th
 • Total739,795 (2017 est.)[1]
 • Density1.26/sq mi  (0.49/km2)
Ranked 50th
 • Median household income$75,723[2] (3rd)
Elevation
 • Highest pointDenali[3]
20,310 ft (6190.5 m)
 • Mean1900 ft  (580 m)
 • Lowest pointSea level
Before statehoodTerritory of Alaska
Admission to UnionJanuary 3, 1959 (49th)
GovernorMike Dunleavy (R)
Lieutenant GovernorKevin Meyer (R)
LegislatureAlaska Legislature
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsLisa Murkowski (R)
Dan Sullivan (R)
U.S. House delegationDon Young (R) (at-large) (list)
Time zones 
 • east of 169° 30'AlaskaUTC -9/-8
 • west of 169° 30'AleutianUTC -10/-9
ISO 3166US-AK
AbbreviationsAK
Websitealaska.gov
Alaska state symbols
Flag of Alaska.svg
State Seal of Alaska.svg
Living insignia
BirdWillow ptarmigan
Dog breedAlaskan Malamute
FishKing salmon
FlowerForget-me-not
InsectFour-spot skimmer dragonfly
Mammal
TreeSitka Spruce
Inanimate insignia
FossilWoolly Mammoth
GemstoneJade
MineralGold
OtherDog mushing (state sport)
State route marker
Alaska state route marker
State quarter
Alaska quarter dollar coin
Released in 2008
Lists of United States state symbols

Alaska (/əˈlæskə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the United States. It is in the Northwest corner of the continent of the United States West Coast. Alaska does not touch any other US state. It has borders with Canada, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Bering Strait.

Alaska is the biggest state in the United States.[4] It is the 4th least populated state. It has the lowest population density of all the states. About half of the population of Alaska lives in the Anchorage metropolitan area. 722,718 people live in Alaska.[5]

The United States bought Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867. This was called the Alaska Purchase. It cost $7.2 million. Today, that would be $120 million. The price was about $0.02 per acre ($4.74/km2). Alaska became an organized (or incorporated) territory on May 11, 1912. It became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.[6]

The name Alaska comes from the Aleut word alaxsaq. This means "the mainland" or "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed."[7] The land is also called Alyeska, which is another Aleut word that means "the great land." The Russian name was Аляска.

Geography[change | change source]

Map showing how big Alaska is compared to the other states

The capital city is Juneau, but the biggest city is Anchorage. Alaska is the biggest state in the United States, but it almost has the least people. Alaska has almost 20% of all the land in the U.S., but only about 0.2% of the people. It is not connected to any other states by American land, but it is connected to Canada.

Alaska has many glaciers, some of which are can be seen from passing cruise ships. Some are coastal, and others are not by the ocean. It is a popular tourist destination, as there is a very rich culture along with beautiful scenery. There are many wild animals in Alaska. Some of them are the brown bear, the moose, and the wolf.

There are some important industries in Alaska, like oil, fishing, mining, and forestry. Oil is the biggest industry in Alaska. Most of the oil is very far north in the Alaskan arctic. A very long pipeline starts at the northern coast of Alaska and runs to the southern coast. It is over 800 miles (1,300 km) long. There were many gold rushes in Alaska.

State symbols[change | change source]

  • State Motto: North to the Future
  • Nicknames: "The Last Frontier" or "Land of the Midnight Sun" or "Seward's Icebox"
  • State bird: Willow Ptarmigan, decided by the Territorial Legislature in 1955. It is a small (15–17 inches) Arctic grouse that lives among willows and on open tundra and muskeg. Feathers are brown in summer, changing to white in winter. The Willow Ptarmigan is common in much of Alaska.
  • State dog: Alaskan Malamute, since 2010.[8]
  • State fish: King Salmon, since 1962.
  • State flower: wild/native Forget-me-not, decided by the Territorial Legislature in 1917.[9] It is a perennial that is found throughout Alaska, from Hyder to the Arctic Coast, and west to the Aleutians.
  • State fossil: Woolly mammoth, since 1986.
  • State gem: Jade, since 1968.
  • State insect: Four-spot skimmer dragonfly, since 1995.
  • State land mammal: Moose, since 1998.
  • State marine mammal: Bowhead Whale, since 1983.
  • State mineral: Gold, since 1968.
  • State song: "Alaska's Flag"
  • State sport: Dog Mushing, since 1972.
  • State tree: Sitka Spruce, since 1962.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Alaska: Population estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  2. "Median Annual Household Income". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  3. "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. The State of Alaska
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011" (CSV). 2011 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
  6. Video: 49th Star. Alaska Statehood, New Flag, Official, 1959/01/05 (1959). Universal Newsreel. 1959. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  7. Ransom, J. Ellis. 1940. Derivation of the Word "Alaska". American Anthropologist n.s., 42: pp. 550–551
  8. "It's official: Malamute now Alaska's state dog – KTUU.com | Alaska's news and information source |". KTUU.com. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2010-06-02.[dead link]
  9. "Alaska Conservation Foundation – State Symbols". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25.

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]