Alaska’s population declines in 2018 Migration losses caused a second year of population decline

Alaska’s population decreased by 1,608 people—0.2 percent—from July 2017 to July 2018, based on population estimates released today by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This was the second year of decline for the state’s total population, which peaked at 739,676 in July 2016 and stands at 736,239 as of July 2018.

Net migration—in-migration minus out-migration—accounted for a loss of 7,577 people between 2017 and 2018, while natural increase, or births minus deaths, added 5,969 people.

Of Alaska’s 29 boroughs and census areas, 18 lost population between 2017 and 2018. The biggest loss was in the Municipality of Anchorage (-2,386), followed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough (-734). The Matanuska-Susitna Borough grew the most, gaining 1,355 people.

Among the state’s six economic regions, Anchorage/Mat-Su lost the most (-1,031), and only Gulf Coast (287) and Southwest (41) gained population. All six regions showed net migration losses.

Alaska’s under-18 and 18-to-64-year-old populations each declined 0.9 percent while the 65-and-older group grew more than 5 percent. Haines Borough’s median age was the state’s highest at 48.6 while Kusilvak Census Area was lowest at 24.1.

Complete estimates for the state, boroughs/census areas, cities and census designated places are available on the department’s Research and Analysis Section website at Also available are estimates for other areas—including cities and places, census tracts, school districts and Alaska Native Regional Corporations—and estimates by age and sex for each borough and census area and for places with populations of 1,000 or more. New estimates by race and ethnicity will be released in August 2019.