List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska

The U.S. state of Alaska is divided into 19 organized boroughs and one Unorganized Borough. Alaska and Louisiana are the only states that do not call their first-order administrative subdivisions counties (Louisiana uses parishes instead).[1]

Boroughs and Census Areas of Alaska
Borough • City-borough • Census area
LocationState of Alaska
Number19 Organized boroughs
10 Census areas
Populations(Organized boroughs): 662 (Yakutat) – 291,826 (Anchorage)
(Census areas):2,150 (Hoonah-Angoon) – 17,013 (Bethel)
Areas(Organized boroughs): 452 square miles (1,170 km2) (Skagway) – 88,817 square miles (230,030 km2) (North Slope)
(Census Areas): 3,760 square miles (9,700 km2) (Prince of Wales-Hyder) – 145,900 square miles (378,000 km2) (Yukon-Koyukuk)
GovernmentBorough government
SubdivisionsCommunities, consolidated city-borough

Many of the most densely populated regions of the state are part of Alaska's boroughs, which function similarly to counties in other states. However, unlike county equivalents in the other 49 states, the organized boroughs do not cover the entire land area of the state. There are four different classes of organized boroughs: "Unified Home Rule" (may exercise all legislative powers not prohibited by law or charter); "Non-unified Home Rule"; "First Class" (may exercise any power not prohibited by law on non-area wide basis by adopting ordinances); and "Second Class" (must gain voter approval for authority to exercise many non-area wide powers).[2]

The area not part of any organized borough is referred to as the Unorganized Borough. The U.S. Census Bureau, in cooperation with the state, divides the Unorganized Borough into 10 census areas, each roughly corresponding to an election district, thus totaling 29 county equivalents. However, these areas exist solely for the purposes of 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-borough governments existJuneau City and Borough, Skagway Municipality, Sitka City and Borough, Yakutat City and Borough, Wrangell City and Borough, as well as 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, which are used by the United States Census Bureau to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry.[3] Alaska's code is 02, so each code is of the format 02XXX. The FIPS code for each county equivalent links to census data for that county equivalent.

List of boroughs

FIPS code[4] Borough seat[5] Class
Est.[5] Origin EtymologyDensity
Population[1] Area[9] Map
Aleutians East Borough 013 Sand PointSecond1987-Its location in the east Aleutian Islands, which are themselves of uncertain linguistic origin; possibly derived from Chukchi word aliat ("island")0.45 3,515 6,988 sq mi
(18,099 km2)
Anchorage 020 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule1964/1975Anchorage Borough formed in 1964, merged with city in 1975 to form unified city-boroughDerived from the presence of a safe place to anchor and unload supplies for construction of the Alaska Railroad circa 1913, thereby creating a community.171.18 291,538 1,697 sq mi
(4,395 km2)
Bristol Bay Borough 060 NaknekSecond1962-Named in 1778 by Capt. James Cook for George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol.1.98 877 505 sq mi
(1,308 km2)
Denali Borough 068 HealyHome Rule1990-From Denali, the tallest North American mountain, which means "great one" in the Dena'ina language0.14 2,059 12,750 sq mi
(33,022 km2)
Fairbanks North Star Borough 090 FairbanksSecond1964-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 Star13.30 98,971 7,366 sq mi
(19,078 km2)
Haines Borough 100 (Consolidated
Home Rule1968
(Consolidated 2002)
-After Haines, which was itself named for Mrs. F.E. Haines, the key fundraiser for the construction of a Presbyterian mission in the town.1.08 2,474 2,344 sq mi
(6,071 km2)
Juneau 110 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule1970The cities of Juneau and Douglas merged with the surrounding borough to form the municipalityJoseph "Joe" Juneau, prospector and co-founder of the city.11.58 32,113 2,716 sq mi
(7,034 km2)
Kenai Peninsula Borough 122 SoldotnaSecond1964-The Kenai Peninsula, whose name may be derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet.3.45 58,533 16,013 sq mi
(41,473 km2)
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 130 KetchikanSecond1963-The borough seat of Ketchikan and the borough's gateway location on the Alaska-Canada border.2.77 13,918 4,840 sq mi
(12,536 km2)
Kodiak Island Borough 150 KodiakSecond1963-Named after Kodiak Island, which may itself be named for the Koniag people2.08 13,345 6,560 sq mi
(16,990 km2)
Lake and Peninsula Borough 164 King SalmonHome Rule1989-The borough's many large lakes, and the Alaska Peninsula0.07 1,587 23,782 sq mi
(61,595 km2)
Matanuska-Susitna Borough 170 PalmerSecond1964-Named for the valley that the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers form.3.62 107,610 24,682 sq mi
(63,926 km2)
North Slope Borough 185 UtqiagvikHome Rule1972-The Alaska North Slope along the Brooks Range.0.11 9,872 88,817 sq mi
(230,035 km2)
Northwest Arctic Borough 188 KotzebueHome Rule1986In 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.0.21 7,671 35,898 sq mi
(92,975 km2)
Petersburg Borough 195 PetersburgHome Rule2013Incorporated after voters approved borough formation in December 2012.Named for Norwegian immigrant Peter Buschmann, founder of the former city of Petersburg.1.16 3,221 3,829 sq mi
(9,917 km2)
Sitka 220 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule1971-Derived from Tlingit word Shee At'iká, meaning "People on the outside of Shee (Baranof Island)."3.09 8,647 2,874 sq mi
(7,444 km2)
Skagway 230 (Consolidated
First2007-Derived from Tlingit word Shgagwèi, meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water."2.14 1,148 452 sq mi
(1,171 km2)
Unorganized Borough - --1961The 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.[10]0.24 74,334 323,440 sq mi
(837,706 km2)
Wrangell 275 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule2008formerly part of Wrangell-Petersburg Census AreaFerdinand von Wrangel, Russian administrator of Alaska, 1840-49.0.93 2,503 2,570 sq mi
(6,656 km2)
Yakutat 282 (Consolidated
Home Rule1992-Yakutat Bay and the Yakutat Alaska Native people0.09 604 7,650 sq mi
(19,813 km2)

Census areas in the Unorganized Borough

The Unorganized Borough is the portion of the U.S. state of Alaska not contained in any of its 19 organized boroughs. It encompasses over half of Alaska's area, 970,500 km² (374,712 mi²), an area larger than any other U.S. state. As of the 2000 census 13% of Alaskans (81,803 people) reside in it.

Currently unique among the United States, Alaska is not entirely subdivided into organized county equivalents. For the 1980 census, the United States Census Bureau divided the unorganized borough into 12 census areas to facilitate census taking in the vast unorganized area. As new boroughs incorporate, these areas have been altered or eliminated to accommodate,[11] such that there are currently 10 census areas:

Census area
FIPS code[4] Largest town
(as of 2000)
Population[1] Area[9] Map
Aleutians West Census Area 016 UnalaskaLocation in the western Aleutian Islands.1.27 5,561 4,397 sq mi
(11,388 km2)
Bethel Census Area 050 BethelCity of Bethel, the largest settlement in the census area, which is itself named for the Biblical term Bethel ("house of God").0.42 17,013 40,633 sq mi
(105,239 km2)
Dillingham Census Area 070 DillinghamThe 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 1903.0.26 4,847 18,675 sq mi
(48,368 km2)
Hoonah–Angoon Census Area 105 HoonahThe cities of Hoonah and Angoon0.29 2,150 7,444 sq mi
(19,280 km2)
Kusilvak Census Area 158 Hooper BayKusilvak Mountains
(Known as Wade Hampton prior to 2015)
0.44 7,459 17,194 sq mi
(44,532 km2)
Nome Census Area 180 NomeCity of Nome, the largest settlement in the census area.0.41 9,492 23,001 sq mi
(59,572 km2)
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 198 CraigPrince 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)
1.42 5,559 3,760 sq mi
(9,738 km2)
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 240 DeltanaIts location, southeast of Fairbanks0.28 7,029 24,814 sq mi
(64,268 km2)
Valdez-Cordova Census Area 261 ValdezCities of Valdez and Cordova0.28 9,636 34,319 sq mi
(88,886 km2)
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 290 Fort YukonYukon River ("great river" in Gwich’in), which flows through the census area; and the city of Koyukuk0.04 5,588 145,900 sq mi
(377,879 km2)


^ A: Because census areas in the Unorganized Borough have their own FIPS codes, this code listed and linked is for the entire state of Alaska.


  1. "American FactFinder Population". US Census. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  2. Alaska Municipal League: Alaska Local Government Primer
  3. "FIPS Publish 6-4". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
  4. "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  5. "Find A County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
  6. "Municipal Certificates". Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  7. "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. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
  8. "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 2008-07-16.
  9. "American FactFinder Area". US Census. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  10. "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 2008-07-16.
  11. "Substantial Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present". United States Census Bureau.

Other sources

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.