For the fourth year in a row, Alaska’s population declined

Alaska flag
The Alaska flag. (File photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Alaska’s population dropped by nearly 4,000 people — or 0.5%– last year, according to estimates released from the state on Thursday.

It’s the fourth straight year of declines and the biggest drop since 1988. The estimate covers the period between July 2019 and July 2020.

Even though 5,000 more Alaskans were born in the state than the number of those who died, the net decline came from people moving away. Nearly 9,000 more people left the state than moved in. Also, Alaska lost roughly 46,000 jobs during this time.

Alaska’s estimated population was 728,903 in July, down from 740,637 four years earlier.

One group that saw an increase was Alaskans 65 and older. That group grew by 4%.

Of Alaska’s 30 boroughs and unorganized census areas, 23 had population declines, led by Anchorage. The Fairbanks North Star and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs had the largest increases.

Juneau’s population is 31,773 — down 286 people from the year before. There were 118 more births than deaths in the capital city, but 404 more people moved away than moved to town.

The numbers are estimates, because the numbers from the 2020 census haven’t been released yet.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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