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Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska facts for kids

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Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska
Seal of Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska
Map of Alaska highlighting Northwest Arctic Borough
Location in the state of Alaska
Map of the USA highlighting Alaska
Alaska's location in the U.S.
Founded June 2, 1986
Seat Kotzebue
Largest City Kotzebue
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

40,749 sq mi (105,539 km²)
35,573 sq mi (92,134 km²)
5,176 sq mi (13,406 km²), 12.7%
 - (2015)
 - Density

0.2/sq mi (0/km²)
Time zone Alaska: UTC-9/-8

Northwest Arctic Borough is a borough located in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,523. The borough seat is Kotzebue. The borough was formed on June 2, 1986.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 40,749 square miles (105,540 km2), of which 35,573 square miles (92,130 km2) is land and 5,176 square miles (13,410 km2) (12.7%) is water. By land area, it is slightly bigger than the state of Indiana.

Its coastline is limited by the Chukchi Sea. The Kotzebue Sound, a significant wildlife area, is a prominent water body within the Northwest Arctic Borough. At Kotzebue Sound was recorded the largest polar bear sighted in history, a male weighing 2209 pounds.

Adjacent boroughs and census areas

National protected areas

  • Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (part of the Chukchi Sea unit)
    • Chamisso Wilderness
  • Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (part)
  • Cape Krusenstern National Monument
  • Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (part)
    • Gates of the Arctic Wilderness (part)
  • Kobuk Valley National Park
    • Kobuk Valley Wilderness
  • Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge (part)
  • Noatak National Preserve (part)
    • Noatak Wilderness (part)
  • Selawik National Wildlife Refuge (part)
    • Selawik Wilderness


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 3,560
1970 4,434 24.6%
1980 4,831 9.0%
1990 6,113 26.5%
2000 7,208 17.9%
2010 7,523 4.4%
Est. 2015 7,752 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

At the 2000 census, there were 7,208 people, 1,780 households and 1,404 families residing in the borough. The population density was 0.18 per square mile (0/km²). There were 2,540 housing units at an average density of 0 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 12.32% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 82.46% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 3.70% from two or more races. 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 40.00% reported speaking Inupik or "Eskimo" at home [1].

There were 1,780 households of which 55.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 19.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.10% were non-families. 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.87 and the average family size was 4.36.

Age distribution was 41.50% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 15.50% from 45 to 64, and 5.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 114.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.70 males.



Census-designated places

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