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Alaska



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Alax̂sxax̂  (Aleut)
Alaasikaq  (Inupiaq)
Alaskaq  (Central Yupik)
Anáaski  (Tlingit)
Alas'kaaq  (Pacific Gulf Yupik)
State of Alaska
Flag of AlaskaOfficial seal of Alaska
Nickname(s): 
Motto(s): 
Anthem: Alaska's Flag
Map of the United States with Alaska highlighted
Map of the United States with Alaska highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodTerritory of Alaska
Admitted to the UnionJanuary 3, 1959 (49th)
CapitalJuneau
Largest cityAnchorage
Largest metroAnchorage
Government
 • GovernorMike Dunleavy (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorKevin Meyer (R)
LegislatureAlaska Legislature
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. senators
U.S. House delegationDon Young (R) (at-large) (list)
Area
 • Total663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 km2)
 • Land571,951 sq mi (1,481,346 km2)
 • Water91,316 sq mi (236,507 km2)  13.77%
Area rank1st
Elevation
1,900 ft (580 m)
Highest elevation20,310 ft (6,190.5 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2020[3])
 • Total736,081
 • Rank48th
 • Density1.26/sq mi (0.49/km2)
 • Density rank50th
 • Median household income
$73,181[2]
 • Income rank
8th
Language
 • Spoken language
Time zones
east of 169°30'UTC−09:00 (Alaska)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−08:00 (ADT)
west of 169°30'UTC−10:00 (Hawaii-Aleutian)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−09:00 (HADT)
USPS abbreviation
AK
ISO 3166 codeUS-AK
Latitude51°20'N to 71°50'N
Longitude130°W to 172°E
Websitealaska.gov
Alaska State symbols
Flag of Alaska.svg
The Flag of Alaska.

State Seal of Alaska.svg
The Seal of Alaska.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Willow ptarmigan
Fish King salmon
Flower(s) Forget-me-not
Insect Four-spot skimmer dragonfly
Mammal(s)
Tree Sitka Spruce

Inanimate insignia
Fossil Woolly Mammoth
Gemstone Jade
Mineral Gold
Other Dog mushing (state sport)

Route marker(s)
Alaska Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of Alaska
Released in 2008

Lists of United States state insignia

Alaska (Listeni/əˈlæskə/), officially the State of Alaska, 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 other US states. It has borders with Canada, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Bering Strait.

Alaska is the biggest state in the United States.[4] It is the 3rd 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. As of the 2011 census, 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.

Alaska mainly exports seafood, primarily salmon, cod, Pollock and crab. The oil and gas industry is very important in the Alaskan economy. More than 80% of the state's revenues is from petroleum extraction.

Geography

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 has one of the smallest populations. It is also the least densely populated with more than half of the population residing in the Anchorage Metropolitan Area. 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 the territories of Yukon and British Columbia in 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.

Many active volcanoes are found in the Aleutians in Alaska. One of the world's largest tides occur in Turnagain Arm, just south of Anchorage, where the differences in the tides can be more than 35 feet (10.7 m).[8]

Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States can be found in Southeast Alaska. The state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, and Ketchikan, can be found in Southeast Alaska.[9]

State symbols

  • 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.[10]
  • State fish: King Salmon, since 1962.
  • State flower: wild/native Forget-me-not, decided by the Territorial Legislature in 1917.[11] 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

  1. "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html. 
  2. "Median Annual Household Income". https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/median-annual-income/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Median%20Annual%20Household%20Income%22,%22sort%22:%22desc%22%7D. 
  3. "2020 Census Apportionment Results". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2020/dec/2020-apportionment-data.html. 
  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. https://www.census.gov/popest/data/state/totals/2011/tables/NST-EST2011-01.csv. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  6. (1959). Video: 49th Star. Alaska Statehood, New Flag, Official, 1959/01/05 (1959). Universal Newsreel. Retrieved on 2012-02-20.
  7. Ransom, J. Ellis. 1940. Derivation of the Word "Alaska". American Anthropologist n.s., 42: pp. 550–551
  8. Porco, Peter (June 23, 2003). "Long said to be second to Fundy, city tides aren't even close". Anchorage Daily News. 
  9. "SitNews - 1927: When Ketchikan was the Largest City in Alaska By DAVE KIFFER". http://www.sitnews.us/Kiffer/Ketchikan/043007_ketchikan_1927.html. 
  10. "It's official: Malamute now Alaska's state dog – KTUU.com | Alaska's news and information source |". KTUU.com. 2010-05-12. http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=12473783. Retrieved 2010-06-02. [dead link]
  11. "Alaska Conservation Foundation – State Symbols". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. https://web.archive.org/web/20090225094636/http://akcf.org/_pages/about_ACF/about_alaska/state_symbols.php. 

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