Municipality of Anchorage
Unified Home Rule Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (ang' kuh ridge)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
Geography and Climate
- Anchorage, the most populated municipality in Alaska, is located in southcentral Alaska at the head of Cook Inlet. It is 3 hours' flight time from Seattle.
- The average temperatures in January range from 8 to 21 °F. In July, average temperatures range from 51 to 65 °F. Average annual precipitation is 15.9 inches, and average annual snowfall is 69 inches.
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- In 1741 Russian sailors led by the Dane Vitus Bering came upon Alaska's mainland. They were followed by British, Spanish, and American explorers, including Captain James Cook in 1778. In 1867 Alaska was purchased by the U.S. from Russia. The discovery of gold in 1887 and in the Interior in 1922 sparked development in the area. Construction began in 1914 on a federal railroad from the port of Seward, 126 miles south of Anchorage, through the coalfields of Interior Alaska, to the gold claims near Fairbanks, 358 miles to the north. The midpoint construction headquarters was Anchorage, and, by July of 1915, thousands of job seekers and opportunists had poured into the area, living in a tent city on the banks of Ship Creek near the edge of the present downtown. That July produced the "Great Anchorage Lot Sale," a land auction that shaped the future of the city. Some 655 lots were sold for $148,000, an average of $225 each. A month later, the town voted to call itself Alaska City, but the federal government refused to change its name from Anchorage. The City of Anchorage was incorporated on Nov. 23, 1920. From 1939 to 1957, major military impacts and government construction of roads, airports, and harbors throughout Alaska contributed to the growth of Anchorage. The port was completed by the early 1960s. The Greater Anchorage Area Borough was formed on Jan. 1, 1964. The Good Friday earthquake in 1964 destroyed a large part of the city. During the 1970s, the development of the Prudhoe Bay oilfields and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline brought rapid growth to Anchorage; population, office space, and housing tripled within a ten-year period. On Sept. 15, 1975, the city and borough governments were unified, along with the cities of Girdwood and Glen Alps.
- Anchorage has a history of cultural diversity. Many residents participate in nearby recreational and subsistence activities. Anchorage has over 162 parks, including 10 large reserves. Recreation activities include downhill and cross-country skiing, ice hockey, fishing, golf, swimming, hiking, biking, and camping. The George Sullivan Sports Arena, Alaska Performing Arts Center, Egan Convention Center, and many other facilities host cultural and entertainment events.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Electric, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Police, Investigations, Drug Enforcement, Jail, Fire, EMS/Ambulance, Building Safety, Airport, Harbor/Port, Schools, Libraries, Museum, Planning/Zoning, Building Safety/ Building Permits, Animal Control, Roads, Transit, Parking, Parks & Recreation, Swimming Pools, Human Services, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Heritage Land Bank, Community Development, Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation.
- Controlled airports include the state-owned Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Lake Hood Float Plane Base, the municipality's Merrill Field, and U.S. Army and Air Force facilities. The Port of Anchorage handles 85% of the general cargo for the Alaska Railbelt area. There are five terminal berths, with 3,488 linear feet available. Several barge and trucking companies are available. The Alaska Railroad connects Anchorage to Seward, Whittier, and Fairbanks. Highway networks connect Anchorage with the statewide highway system as well as the rest of the United States and Canada. Anchorage also has one of the busiest airports in the world for air cargo.
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection