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Aerial view of Akiak, 1996
Aerial view of Akiak, 1996
Akiak, Alaska is located in Alaska
Akiak, Alaska
Akiak, Alaska
Location in Alaska
Country United States
State Alaska
Census Area Bethel
Incorporated July 9, 1970
 • Total 3.00 sq mi (7.77 km2)
 • Land 1.89 sq mi (4.89 km2)
 • Water 1.11 sq mi (2.88 km2)
13 ft (4 m)
 • Total 462
 • Density 244.70/sq mi (94.48/km2)
Time zone UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-00870
GNIS feature ID 1398012

Akiak (ACK-ee-ack) (Central Yupik: Akiaq) is a city in Bethel Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 462 at the 2020 census, up from 346 in 2010. It is the home of the Akiak Native Community.

Geography and climate

Akiak is located at 60°54′36″N 161°13′6″W / 60.91000°N 161.21833°W / 60.91000; -161.21833 (60.912220, -161.21389) (Sec. 32, T010N, R067W, Seward Meridian), on the west bank of the Kuskokwim River, 42 miles (68 km) northeast of Bethel, on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta. Akiak is located in the Bethel Recording District.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.1 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), or 32.58%, is water. Precipitation averages 16 inches (410 mm) in this area, with snowfall of 50 inches (1,300 mm). Summer temperatures range from 42 °F (6 °C) to 62 °F (17 °C). Winter temperatures range from −2 °F (−19 °C) to 19 °F (−7 °C).

History and culture

In 1880, the village of "Ackiagmute" had a population of 175. The name Akiak means "the other side", since this place was a crossing to the Yukon River basin during the winter for area Yup'ik Eskimos. The Akiak post office was established in 1916. A U.S. Public Health Service hospital was built in the 1920s. The city was incorporated in 1970.

A federally recognized Alaska Native tribal entity is located in the community—the Akiak Native Community. Akiak is a Yup'ik Eskimo village with a reliance on subsistence and fishing activities. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 175
1890 97 −44.6%
1920 150
1930 228 52.0%
1940 209 −8.3%
1950 168 −19.6%
1960 187 11.3%
1970 171 −8.6%
1980 198 15.8%
1990 285 43.9%
2000 309 8.4%
2010 346 12.0%
2020 462 33.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

Akiak first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Alaska Native (Inuit) village of "Akkiagamute." All 175 residents were Inuit. In 1890, it returned as "Akiagamiut" with 97 residents (all Alaska Native). It did not appear on the census again until 1920, then as Akiak. It has returned in every successive census. It formally incorporated in 1970.

As of the census of 2000, there were 309 people, 69 households, and 54 families residing in the city. The population density was 157.2 people per square mile (60.6/km2). There were 76 housing units at an average density of 38.7 per square mile (14.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 4.85% White, 92.88% Native American, and 2.27% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of Akiak's 69 households, 53.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 20.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.48 and the average family size was 5.24.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 43.4% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 14.6% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females, there were 122.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $36,875. Males had a median income of $21,875 versus $11,667 for females. The per capita income for the city was $8,326. About 25.0% of families and 33.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.3% of those under the age of eighteen and 6.7% of those 65 or over.

Economy and transportation

The majority of the year-round employment in Akiak is with the city, schools or other public services. Commercial fishing or BLM fire-fighting also provide seasonal income. Twenty-seven residents hold commercial fishing permits. The community is interested in developing a fish processing plant and tourism. Subsistence activities are important to residents. Poor fish returns since 1997 have significantly affected the community.

The airport has a gravel runway in good condition, measuring 3,196 feet (974 m) long by 75 feet (23 m) wide, at an elevation of 30 feet (9.1 m). The strip provides chartered or private air access year-round. Arctic Circle Air Service, Grant Aviation, and Hageland Aviation offer passenger flight service. Snow machines, ATVs, and skiffs are used extensively for local transportation to nearby villages. There are no docking facilities.

The town has no sales tax, property tax, or special taxes. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.

Notable people

See also

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