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List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska facts for kids

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Boroughs and Census Areas of Alaska
Alaska boroughs and census areas.svg
Borough • City-borough • Census area
Location State of Alaska
Number 19 organized boroughs
11 census areas
Populations (Organized boroughs): 662 (Yakutat) – 291,247 (Anchorage)
(Census areas): 2,365 (Hoonah-Angoon) – 18,666 (Bethel)
Areas (Organized boroughs): 434 square miles (1,120 km2) (Skagway) – 88,824 square miles (230,050 km2) (North Slope)
(Census areas): 4,393 square miles (11,380 km2) (Aleutians West) – 145,576 square miles (377,040 km2) (Yukon-Koyukuk)
Government Borough government
Subdivisions Communities, consolidated city-borough

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). Delegates to the Alaska Constitutional Convention wanted to avoid the traditional county system and adopted their own unique model with different classes of boroughs varying in powers and duties.

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 a non-area wide basis by adopting ordinances); and "Second Class" (must gain voter approval for authority to exercise many non-area wide powers).

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 11 census areas, each roughly corresponding to an election district, thus totaling 30 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 exist—Juneau 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. 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. There is 30 divisions in Alaska.

List of boroughs

FIPS code Borough seat Class
Established Origin Etymology Density
Population Area Map
Aleutians East Borough 013 Sand Point Second 1987 - Its location in the east Aleutian Islands, which are themselves of uncertain linguistic origin; possibly derived from Chukchi word aliat ("island") 0.45 &&&&&&&&&&&03141.&&&&&03,141 &&&&&&&&&&&06988.&&&&&06,988 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&018099.&&&&&018,099 km2)
State map highlighting Aleutians East Borough
Municipality of Anchorage 020 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1964/1975 Anchorage Borough formed in 1964, merged with city in 1975 to form unified city-borough Derived 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 &&&&&&&&&0291826.&&&&&0291,826 &&&&&&&&&&&01697.&&&&&01,697 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&04395.&&&&&04,395 km2)
State map highlighting Municipality of Anchorage
Bristol Bay Borough 060 Naknek Second 1962 - Named in 1778 by Capt. James Cook for George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol. 1.98 &&&&&&&&&&&&0997.&&&&&0997 &&&&&&&&&&&&0505.&&&&&0505 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01308.&&&&&01,308 km2)
State map highlighting Bristol Bay Borough
Denali Borough 068 Healy Home Rule 1990 - From Denali, the tallest North American mountain, which means "great one" in the Dena'ina language 0.14 &&&&&&&&&&&01826.&&&&&01,826 &&&&&&&&&&012750.&&&&&012,750 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&033022.&&&&&033,022 km2)
State map highlighting Denali Borough
Fairbanks North Star Borough 090 Fairbanks Second 1964 - 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 Star 13.30 &&&&&&&&&&097581.&&&&&097,581 &&&&&&&&&&&07366.&&&&&07,366 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&019078.&&&&&019,078 km2)
State map highlighting Fairbanks North Star Borough
Haines Borough 100 (Consolidated
Home Rule 1968
(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 &&&&&&&&&&&02508.&&&&&02,508 &&&&&&&&&&&02344.&&&&&02,344 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&06071.&&&&&06,071 km2)
State map highlighting Haines Borough
City and Borough of Juneau 110 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1970 The City of Juneau merged with the City of Douglas and the surrounding borough to form the municipality Joseph "Joe" Juneau, prospector and co-founder of the city. 11.58 &&&&&&&&&&031275.&&&&&031,275 &&&&&&&&&&&02716.&&&&&02,716 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&07034.&&&&&07,034 km2)
State map highlighting City and Borough of Juneau
Kenai Peninsula Borough 122 Soldotna Second 1964 - The Kenai Peninsula, whose name may be derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet. 3.45 &&&&&&&&&&055400.&&&&&055,400 &&&&&&&&&&016013.&&&&&016,013 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&041473.&&&&&041,473 km2)
State map highlighting Kenai Peninsula Borough
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 130 Ketchikan Second 1963 - The borough seat of Ketchikan and the borough's gateway location on the Alaska-Canada border. 2.77 &&&&&&&&&&013477.&&&&&013,477 &&&&&&&&&&&04840.&&&&&04,840 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&012536.&&&&&012,536 km2)
State map highlighting Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Kodiak Island Borough 150 Kodiak Second 1963 - Named after Kodiak Island, which may itself be named for the Koniag people 2.08 &&&&&&&&&&013592.&&&&&013,592 &&&&&&&&&&&06560.&&&&&06,560 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&016990.&&&&&016,990 km2)
State map highlighting Kodiak Island Borough
Lake and Peninsula Borough 164 King Salmon Home Rule 1989 - The borough's many large lakes, and the Alaska Peninsula 0.07 &&&&&&&&&&&01631.&&&&&01,631 &&&&&&&&&&023782.&&&&&023,782 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&061595.&&&&&061,595 km2)
State map highlighting Lake and Peninsula Borough
Matanuska-Susitna Borough 170 Palmer Second 1964 - Named for the valley that the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers form. 3.62 &&&&&&&&&&088995.&&&&&088,995 &&&&&&&&&&024682.&&&&&024,682 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&063926.&&&&&063,926 km2)
State map highlighting Matanuska-Susitna Borough
North Slope Borough 185 Barrow Home Rule 1972 - The Alaska North Slope along the Brooks Range. 0.11 &&&&&&&&&&&09430.&&&&&09,430 &&&&&&&&&&088817.&&&&&088,817 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&0230035.&&&&&0230,035 km2)
State map highlighting North Slope Borough
Northwest Arctic Borough 188 Kotzebue Home Rule 1986 In 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 &&&&&&&&&&&07523.&&&&&07,523 &&&&&&&&&&035898.&&&&&035,898 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&092975.&&&&&092,975 km2)
State map highlighting Northwest Arctic Borough
Petersburg Borough 195 Petersburg Home Rule 2013 Incorporated after voters approved borough formation in December 2012. Named for Norwegian immigrant Peter Buschmann, founder of the former city of Petersburg. 1.16 &&&&&&&&&&&03273.&&&&&03,273 &&&&&&&&&&&03829.&&&&&03,829 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&09917.&&&&&09,917 km2)
State map highlighting Petersburg Borough
City and Borough of Sitka 220 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1971 - Derived from Tlingit word Shee At'iká, meaning "People on the outside of Shee (Baranof Island)." 3.09 &&&&&&&&&&&08881.&&&&&08,881 &&&&&&&&&&&02874.&&&&&02,874 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&07444.&&&&&07,444 km2)
State map highlighting City and Borough of Sitka
Municipality of Skagway 230 (Consolidated
First 2007 - Derived from Tlingit word Shgagwèi, meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water." 2.14 &&&&&&&&&&&&0968.&&&&&0968 &&&&&&&&&&&&0452.&&&&&0452 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01171.&&&&&01,171 km2)
State map highlighting Municipality of Skagway
Unorganized Borough - - - 1961 The 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. 0.24 &&&&&&&&&&078149.&&&&&078,149 &&&&&&&&&0323440.&&&&&0323,440 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&0837706.&&&&&0837,706 km2)
State map highlighting Unorganized Borough
City and Borough of Wrangell 275 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 2008 formerly part of Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area Ferdinand von Wrangel, Russian administrator of Alaska, 1840-49. 0.93 &&&&&&&&&&&02369.&&&&&02,369 &&&&&&&&&&&02570.&&&&&02,570 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&06656.&&&&&06,656 km2)
State map highlighting City and Borough of Wrangell
City and Borough of Yakutat 282 (Consolidated
Home Rule 1992 - Yakutat Bay and the Yakutat Alaska Native people 0.09 &&&&&&&&&&&&0662.&&&&&0662 &&&&&&&&&&&07650.&&&&&07,650 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&019813.&&&&&019,813 km2)
State map highlighting City and Borough of Yakutat

Census areas in the Unorganized Borough

Map of Alaska highlighting the Unorganized Borough
Map of Alaska highlighting 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. (South Dakota and Texas are among states that in the past have had unorganized counties.) 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, such that there are currently 10 census areas:

Census area
FIPS code Largest town
(as of 2000)
Etymology Density
Population Area Map
Aleutians West Census Area 016 Unalaska Location in the western Aleutian Islands. 1.27 &&&&&&&&&&&05561.&&&&&05,561 &&&&&&&&&&&04397.&&&&&04,397 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&011388.&&&&&011,388 km2)
State map highlighting Aleutians West Census Area
Bethel Census Area 050 Bethel City of Bethel, the largest settlement in the census area, which is itself named for the Biblical term Bethel ("house of God"). 0.42 &&&&&&&&&&017013.&&&&&017,013 &&&&&&&&&&040633.&&&&&040,633 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&0105239.&&&&&0105,239 km2)
State map highlighting Bethel Census Area
Dillingham Census Area 070 Dillingham The 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 &&&&&&&&&&&04847.&&&&&04,847 &&&&&&&&&&018675.&&&&&018,675 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&048368.&&&&&048,368 km2)
State map highlighting Dillingham Census Area
Hoonah–Angoon Census Area 105 Hoonah The cities of Hoonah and Angoon 0.29 &&&&&&&&&&&02150.&&&&&02,150 &&&&&&&&&&&07444.&&&&&07,444 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&019280.&&&&&019,280 km2)
State map highlighting Hoonah–Angoon Census Area
Kusilvak Census Area 158 Hooper Bay Kusilvak Mountains
(Known as Wade Hampton prior to 2015)
0.44 &&&&&&&&&&&07459.&&&&&07,459 &&&&&&&&&&017194.&&&&&017,194 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&044532.&&&&&044,532 km2)
State map highlighting Kusilvak Census Area
Nome Census Area 180 Nome City of Nome, the largest settlement in the census area. 0.41 &&&&&&&&&&&09492.&&&&&09,492 &&&&&&&&&&023001.&&&&&023,001 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&059572.&&&&&059,572 km2)
State map highlighting Nome Census Area
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 198 Craig Prince 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 &&&&&&&&&&&05559.&&&&&05,559 &&&&&&&&&&&03760.&&&&&03,760 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&09738.&&&&&09,738 km2)
State map highlighting Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 240 Deltana Its location, southeast of Fairbanks 0.28 &&&&&&&&&&&07029.&&&&&07,029 &&&&&&&&&&024814.&&&&&024,814 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&064268.&&&&&064,268 km2)
State map highlighting Southeast Fairbanks Census Area
Valdez-Cordova Census Area 261 Valdez Cities of Valdez and Cordova 0.28 &&&&&&&&&&&09636.&&&&&09,636 &&&&&&&&&&034319.&&&&&034,319 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&088886.&&&&&088,886 km2)
State map highlighting Valdez-Cordova Census Area
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 290 Fort Yukon Yukon River ("great river" in Gwich’in), which flows through the census area; and the city of Koyukuk 0.04 &&&&&&&&&&&05588.&&&&&05,588 &&&&&&&&&0145900.&&&&&0145,900 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&0377879.&&&&&0377,879 km2)
State map highlighting Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

^ 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.

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