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Alaska - largest state and longest coastline

Updated on September 29, 2012

Alaska is the northernmost state and the largest state by area. Not many people live there on the account that it is quite cold. In fact, school does not get cancelled until it get to be 50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.[2]

Based on the US 2010 Census data, Alaska does have the lowest population density with 1.2 inhabitants per square mile. For comparison, the average for the United States is 87 inhabitants per square mile.[1]

However, Alaska does not have the least population of the 50 United States. That distinction goes to Wyoming with 563,000 people. Alaska is the 4th least populous state with 710,000 people.[1]

Based on longitude, Amatignak Island in Alaska is westernmost point in all of US territory. That is further west than Hawaii.

The flag of Alaska is quite interesting too. It has eight gold stars in a field of blue. Seven stars form the constellation of the Big Dipper and the eighth star is the North Star.

Alaska Flag

Barrow Alaska North of Arctic Circle

Some parts of Alaska is north of the Arctic Circle. Barrow, Alaska for example is at 71 degrees latitude, while the arctic circle is at 66 degrees 33' latitude.

That means that certain parts of the year in winter, the sun never comes up. And certain parts of the year in summer, the sun never sets. In Barrow, the sun sets in November 18 or 19 and does not come up again until January 22 or 23rd.

During more than half the year, Barrow is completely overcast.

Nevertheless, the population of Barrow has been increasing from 1880 and peaked at year 2000 with a population of 4,683. The 2010 Census showed an population decrease back down to 4,212. I wonder why?

In any case, more people live in the more well known cities such as Anchorage and Fairbanks, which are the largest and second largest city in Alaska respectively.

What Else In Alaska

Alaska is well known for its annual long-distance sled dog race that happens in early March. The race starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome. The 2012 race was won by musher Dallas Seavey with lead dogs named Guinness and Diesel. They did it in 9 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes, and 26 seconds.

Beside snow, Alaska typically has over a 1000 earthquakes per year that measures 3.5 or greater on the Richter scale.[3] Alaska also has the longest coastline.

Alaska can have great vistas and is often visited by big cruise ships.

The peak at Mt. McKinley in Alaska is the highest point in the United States. It has an elevation of 20,320 feet.

Alaska has famous wild salmon. That is because they do not allow fish farming in Alaska. However, some salmon are spawned in hatcheries and then released into the wild where they are then later caught as wild. [reference]

Alaska and Oregon are the only two states with no state sales tax. Although some local government may impose their own tax if they choose.


Article was written July 2012 and things may have changed since then.


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      Thanks for everyone stopping by and commenting.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      I have always wanted to visit Alaska, I believe I'll be able to sometime in the near future. Thank you for these facts BlissfulWriter. Voted up, awesome, useful, and interesting :)

    • iefox5 profile image

      iefox5 5 years ago

      Alaska is a world of ice for me and it is also too cold for most people.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was there for a is all this and so much more. Interesting and informative look at a fascinating state.