List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska

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The U.S. state of Alaska is not divided into counties, like the other 48 states (Louisiana has parishes), but instead is divided into boroughs. Many of the more densely populated parts of the state are in Alaska's 19 organized boroughs, which are somewhat similar to counties in other states. Unlike in the other states, the organized boroughs do not completely cover all of the land in the state. The areas that are not part of any organized borough are called the unorganized borough.

Map of Alaskan boroughs and census areas

For the 1970 census, the US and state divided the unorganized borough into 11 census areas. Each is roughly the same as an election district. However, these areas are solely for statistical analysis and presentation, and have no government of their own. Boroughs and census areas are both treated as county-level equivalents by the Census Bureau.

Some areas in the unorganized borough receive limited public services directly from the Alaska state government, usually law enforcement from the Alaska State Troopers and educational funding.

Six consolidated city-county governments exist — the City and Borough of Juneau, City and Borough of Skagway, Sitka City and Borough, Yakutat City and Borough, Wrangell City and Borough, and the state's largest city, Anchorage. Though its legal name is the Municipality of Anchorage, it is considered a consolidated city-borough under state law.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 55-2,3,4 codes, used by the United States Census Bureau to uniquely identify states and counties, is provided with each entry.[1] Alaska's code is 02, which when combined with any county code would be written as 02XXX. The FIPS code for each county links to census data for that county.

List of boroughs

FIPS code[2] Borough seat[3] Class
Established[3] Origin Meaning of name Density (/sq mi)
Area[8] Map
Aleutians East Borough 013 Sand Point Second 1987 - Its location in the east Aleutian Islands, which are themselves of uncertain linguistic origin; possibly derived from Chukchi word aliat ("island") 0.49 3,420 6,985 sq mi
(18,091 km2)
Anchorage 020 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1964/1975 Anchorage Borough formed in 1964, merged with city in 1975 to form unified city-borough Derived from the presence of a safe place to anchor and unload supplies for construction of the Alaska Railroad circa 1913, thereby creating a community. 170.62 291,247 1,707 sq mi
(4,421 km2)
Bristol Bay Borough 060 Naknek Second 1962 - Named in 1778 by Capt. James Cook for George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol. 1.75 844 482 sq mi
(1,248 km2)
Denali Borough 068 Healy Home Rule 1990 - From Denali, the tallest North American mountain, which means "great one" in the Dena'ina language 0.13 1,619 12,641 sq mi
(32,740 km2)
Fairbanks North Star Borough 090 Fairbanks Second 1964 - Named for its borough seat of Fairbanks, named in turn for Charles Fairbanks (1852 - 1918), U.S. Senator from Indiana and vice president under Theodore Roosevelt, and for Polaris, the North Star 13.04 95,655 7,335 sq mi
(18,998 km2)
Haines Borough 100 (Consolidated
Home Rule 1968
(Consolidated 2002)
- After Haines, which was itself named for Mrs. F.E. Haines, the key fundraiser for the construction of a Presbyterian mission in the town. 0.89 2,080 2,343 sq mi
(6,068 km2)
Juneau 110 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1970 The cities of Juneau and Douglas merged with the surrounding borough to form the municipality Joseph "Joe" Juneau, prospector and co-founder of the city. 11.93 32,255 2,704 sq mi
(7,003 km2)
Kenai Peninsula Borough 122 Soldotna Second 1964 - The Kenai Peninsula, whose name may be derived from Kenayskaya, the Russian name for Cook Inlet. 3.67 58,799 16,017 sq mi
(41,484 km2)
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 130 Ketchikan Second 1963 - The borough seat of Ketchikan and the borough's gateway location on the Alaska-Canada border. 2.87 13,948 4,857 sq mi
(12,580 km2)
Kodiak Island Borough 150 Kodiak Second 1963 - Named after Kodiak Island, which may itself be named for the Koniag people 1.96 13,101 6,689 sq mi
(17,324 km2)
Lake and Peninsula Borough 164 King Salmon Home Rule 1989 - The borough's many large lakes, and the Alaska Peninsula 0.06 1,476 23,832 sq mi
(61,725 km2)
Matanuska-Susitna Borough 170 Palmer Second 1964 - Named for the valley that the Matanuska and Susitna Rivers form. 4.33 107,081 24,707 sq mi
(63,991 km2)
North Slope Borough 185 Utqiaġvik Home Rule 1972 - The Alaska North Slope along the Brooks Range. 0.12 11,031 88,824 sq mi
(230,053 km2)
Northwest Arctic Borough 188 Kotzebue Home Rule 1986 In 1986, residents of Kotzebue and 10 other area villages voted to form the Northwest Arctic Borough (with boundaries coincident with those of NANA), to be economically based on taxing the Red Dog mine, then under development. Its geographic location and position above the Arctic Circle. 0.22 7,793 35,663 sq mi
(92,367 km2)
Petersburg Borough 195 Petersburg Home Rule 2013 Incorporated after voters approved borough formation in December 2012. Named for Norwegian immigrant Peter Buschmann, founder of the former city of Petersburg. 1.17 3,398 2,901 sq mi
(7,514 km2)
Sitka 220 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 1971 - Derived from Tlingit word Shee At'iká, meaning "People on the outside of Shee (Baranof Island)." 2.95 8,458 2,870 sq mi
(7,433 km2)
Skagway 230 (Consolidated
First 2007 - Derived from Tlingit word Shgagwèi, meaning "a windy place with white caps on the water." 2.86 1,240 434 sq mi
(1,124 km2)
Unorganized Borough - - - 1961 The Borough Act of 1961 created The Unorganized Borough including all of Alaska not within a Unified, Home rule, First class or Second class borough. A legal entity in Alaska, covering those parts of Alaska not within an incorporated borough; it is administered by the state of Alaska.[9] 0.24 77,157 319,852 sq mi
(828,413 km2)
Wrangell 275 (Consolidated
Unified Home Rule 2008 formerly part of Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area Ferdinand von Wrangel, Russian administrator of Alaska, 1840-49. 0.83 2,127 2,556 sq mi
(6,620 km2)
Yakutat 282 (Consolidated
Home Rule 1992 - Yakutat Bay and the Yakutat Alaska Native people 0.09 662 7,623 sq mi
(19,743 km2)

Census areas in the Unorganized Borough

Map of Alaska highlighting the Unorganized Borough

The Unorganized Borough is part of the U.S. state of Alaska not in any of its 19 organized boroughs. It is over half of Alaska's area, 837,700 km² (323,440 mi²), an area larger than any other US state.

Unique among the United States, Alaska is not entirely subdivided into organized county equivalents. In 1970, the United States Census Bureau divided the unorganized borough into 12 census areas to facilitate census taking in the large unorganized area. With later changes due to the creation of new boroughs, there are now 11 such areas.

Census area
FIPS code[2] Largest town
(as of 2000)
Meaning of name Density (/sq mi)
Area[8] Map
Aleutians West Census Area 016 Unalaska Location in the western Aleutian Islands. 1.19 5,232 4,393 sq mi
(11,378 km2)
Bethel Census Area 050 Bethel City of Bethel, the largest settlement in the census area, which is itself named for the Biblical term Bethel ("house of God"). 0.46 18,666 40,627 sq mi
(105,223 km2)
Chugach Census Area 063 Valdez The Chugach people
(Part of Valdez–Cordova Census Area prior to January 02, 2019) [10][11]
0.75 7,102 9,530 sq mi
(24,683 km2)
Copper River Census Area 066 Glennallen The Copper River
(Part of Valdez–Cordova Census Area prior to January 02, 2019) [10][11]
0.11 2,617 24,692 sq mi
(63,952 km2)
Dillingham Census Area 070 Dillingham The city of Dillingham, the largest settlement in the area, which was itself named after United States Senator Paul Dillingham (1843-1923), who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee in 1903. 0.26 4,857 18,334 sq mi
(47,485 km2)
Hoonah–Angoon Census Area 105 Hoonah The cities of Hoonah and Angoon 0.36 2,365 6,555 sq mi
(16,977 km2)
Kusilvak Census Area 158 Hooper Bay Kusilvak Mountains
(Known as Wade Hampton prior to 2015)
0.49 8,368 17,077 sq mi
(44,229 km2)
Nome Census Area 180 Nome City of Nome, the largest settlement in the census area. 0.44 10,046 22,969 sq mi
(59,489 km2)
Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area 198 Craig Prince of Wales Island and the town of Hyder
(Known as Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan prior to the expansion of Ketchikan Gateway Borough in 2008)
1.09 5,753 5,268 sq mi
(13,644 km2)
Southeast Fairbanks Census Area 240 Deltana Its location, southeast of Fairbanks 0.27 6,808 24,831 sq mi
(64,312 km2)
Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area 290 Fort Yukon Yukon River ("great river" in Gwich’in), which flows through the census area; and the city of Koyukuk 0.04 5,343 145,576 sq mi
(377,040 km2)


  1. "FIPS Publish 6-4". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Find A County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  4. "Municipal Certificates". Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. "Alaska Taxable 2004 Municipal Taxation - Rates and Policies" (PDF). Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. January 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 9, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  6. "Background on Boroughs in Alaska" (PDF). Local Boundary Commission, Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. November 2000. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Alaska". Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "TIGERweb". US Census. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  9. "Governmental Unit Boundary Data Content Standard (Working Draft, Version 2.0)" (PDF). Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data, Federal Geographic Data Committee, United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce. February 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bureau, US Census. "Changes to Counties and County Equivalent Entities: 1970-Present". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Alaska Population Estimates". Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved March 1, 2020.

General References