Alaska’s population increased in 2016

Alaska’s population increased by 2,645 people—about one-third of 1 percent—from July 2015 to July 2016, based on population estimates released on January 12th, 2017 by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough grew the most, adding 2,646 people. The biggest loss was in the City and Borough of Juneau (-398), followed by Kodiak Island Borough (-227). Most other boroughs and census areas were essentially unchanged.

Among the state’s six economic regions, Anchorage/Mat-Su gained the most over the period (2,969) and Southeast lost the most (-494). All six regions showed losses through net migration—in-migration minus out-migration—but made steady gains through natural increase, or births minus deaths. Statewide, net migration was negative for the fourth year in a row.

The working age population, those aged 18 to 64, decreased by 2,774 people while the number 65 and older grew by 4,221. Seniors made up 11 percent of the state’s population in 2016, up from 10 percent the year before, reflecting an aging trend. Haines Borough’s median age was the state’s oldest at 49.5 while Kusilvak Census Area was youngest at 23.7.

Eddie Hunsinger discussed these population estimates and answer questions during a teleconference on Friday, Jan. 13.

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 July 2017.