Alaska State

The name “Alaska” was derived from an Aleut word Al-ay-ek-sa which means “Main Land”. Literally this word means the object towards which the action of sea is directed. The name Al-ay-ek-sa then became Alaksa, Alashka, Alaiska and then to what it is presently called the “Alaska”. Alaska was known as the “Territory of Baranov” during the period of early Russian ruler Alexander Baranov. Until 1867 it was known as Russian America, the name got changed when it was purchased by United States. Alaska was known as Seward’s Folly or Seward’s Icebox during the period of William Seward who was the Secretary of United States who proposed the purchase.

Human inhabitation in Alaska started about 15,000 years ago but the first written evidence for the inhabitation is less than 300 years old. Archeological evidences show that people lived in Alaska thousands of years ago. This constitutes the prehistory. The evidences regarding the inhabitation before the arrival of Euro Americans was obtained from the oral tradition of the natives who lived in Alaska. This constitutes the protohistory. Earlier Alaska was a part of Asia both physically and physiologically. It was separated from Asia by rising of the sea water which lead to the formation of Bering to the northern side and Chukchi sea to the southern side. Bering Strait forms connection between these two seas. Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts of the North America are believed have entered through this Bering Strait. Alaska is the place to which these Asians entered North America for the first time. The total population of Alaska during mid 1700 was between 70,000 and 80,000 and this was comprised of three groups of migrants. The migrants are Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts. The Indians included Tlingits, Haidas and Athabaskans. The Haidas and Tlingits occupied the Southeast Alaska and the Athabaskans occupied the Alaska interior. The Aleuts lived in the Aleutian Island and the Southwest Alaska. The Eskimos inhabited along the coast of Alaska.

In 1711 the Russian traders came to know about a “Great Land” located towards the east. Peter the Great who was the emperor or tsar of Russia between 1689 and 1725. He was interested in expanding the knowledge regarding the geography of his empire and also the entire world. Peter the Great was also interested in expanding the Russian commerce and in establishing trade routes. 1n 1717, Peter the Great visited the French Royal Academy of Sciences during his trip to France. One of the scientists there put forward the idea of finding whether the Asia and North America were connected or they existed as different continents. After his return from France, he ordered Feodor Luzhin and Ivan Yeverinov two of his subjects to explore the eastern frontier of his empire. They started their journey at 1717 and returned back at 1721. During the journey they crossed Kamchathka Peninsula from west to east and then travelled from the western cost of Kamchathka Peninsula to the Kurale Island. In early 1725 just before his death, Peter the Great send Vitus Bering, a Danish sea captain along with two assiatants to further explore the north pacific. 1n 1728, they reached Pacific Ocean sea port of Nizhane Kamchath. From here they built a ship, St. Gabriel, on 10 august they sailed the north along the Siberia coast which was later known as the Bering Strait and they sighted St Lawrance Island and one of the Diomede islands during their return voyage.  In 1730, they reached Bering reached St. Peters Burg. The natives who lived along the Siberia coat told Bering that Asia and America were separated. Bering then sailed back to Russia with this information given by Siberian Natives. But when he reached back no one agreed with Bering as he did not find it himself.

In 1733, Bering was approved for a second expedition along with Wilhelm Steller and other assistants by the Russian Senate. 1n July 15, 1741 one of the Bering’s assistant Alexai Chirikof sighted Alaska for the first time but they did not make landing. Thus the Europeans found Alaska. On the next day, 16th July, Mt. St. Elias was sighted by Bering. Bering passed away on 8th Dec 1741 and was buried on Bering Island. The explorers have found the existence of many fur bearing animals in the Alaska and the scientific report on the north Pacific fur seal came for the first time on 1742. In 1742, the Russians began concentrated hunting of the sea otters. In 1778, Captain James Cookhouse explored the Artic Ocean during his expedition in search of Northwest Passage. The first settlement of White in Alaska occurred on 1784. In 1799, Alexander Baranov, the director of Russian settlement named the first Russian governor of Alaska and exclusive trading rights were granted to the Russian American Company.

In 1867, the U.S purchased Alaska from Russia. In 1899, the local government was organized. The Alaska’s first capital was New Archangel. 1n 1980s, gold mining brought thousands of miners and settlers in Alaska. In 1912 Alaska was granted official territorial status and Juneau was proclaimed as the new capital of Alaska. In1959, January 3, Alaska was declared officially as a state.

Alaska State Map Alaska state map
Alaska state seal


Releated Topics of Alaska

Alaska Information

Alaska Official Language(s) None
Alaska Spoken Language(s) English 89.7%,
Native North American 5.2%,
Spanish 2.9%
Alaska Demonym Alaskan
Alaska Capital Juneau
Alaska Largest City Anchorage
Alaska Area  Ranked 1st in the US
 - Total 663,268 sq mi
(1,717,854 km2)
 - Width 2,261 miles (3,639 km)
 - Length 1,420 miles (2,285 km)
 - % water 13.77
 - Latitude 51°20'N to 71°50'N
 - Longitude 130°W to 172°E
Alaska Population  Ranked 47th in the US
 - Total 698,473 (2009 est.)
626,932 (2000)
- Density 1.03/sq mi  (0.4/km2)
Ranked 50th in the US
 - Median income  US$64,333 (4th)
Alaska Elevation  
 - Highest point Mount McKinley
20,320 ft  (6,193.7 m)
 - Mean 1900 ft  (580 m)
 - Lowest point Sea level
0 ft  (0 m)
Alaska Before Statehood Alaska Territory
Alaska Admission to Union  January 3, 1959 (49th)
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell (R)
Alaska Lieutenant Governor Craig Campbell (R)
Alaska Legislature Alaska Legislature
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R)
Mark Begich (D)
U.S. House delegation Don Young (R) (list)
Alaska Time zones  
 - east of 169° 30' Alaska: UTC-9 / DST-8
 - west of 169° 30' Aleutian: UTC-10 / DST-9
Alaska Abbreviations AK US-AK
Alaska Website
Alaska State Symbols
Alaska Bird(s) Willow Ptarmigan
Alaska Fish King Salmon
Alaska Flower(s) Forget-me-not
Alaska Insect Four-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly
Alaska Mammal(s) Moose, Bowhead whale
Alaska Tree Sitka Spruce
Inanimate insignia
Alaska Fossil Woolly mammoth
Alaska Gemstone Jade
Alaska Mineral Gold
Alaska Slogan(s) Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach
Alaska Soil Tanana
Alaska Song(s) Alaska's Flag
Alaska Sport Mushing


Alaska Regions

  • Southcentral
  • Southeastern or Panhandle
  • Interior
  • Southwest
  • Arctic or North Slope

Historical Populations in Alaska

Historical populations
Census Population
1880 33,426
1890 32,052 −4.1%
1900 63,592 98.4%
1910 64,356 1.2%
1920 55,036 −14.5%
1930 59,278 7.7%
1940 72,524 22.3%
1950 128,643 77.4%
1960 226,167 75.8%
1970 300,382 32.8%
1980 401,851 33.8%
1990 550,043 36.9%
2000 626,932 14.0%
Est. 2009 698,473 11.4%

State Symbols

  • State Motto: North to the Future
  • Nick Names: "The Last Frontier" or "Land of the Midnight Sun" or "Seward's Icebox"
  • State Bird: Willow Ptarmigan
  • State Fish: King Salmon
  • State Flower: wild/native Forget-Me-Not
  • State Fossil: Woolly Mammoth
  • State Gem: Jade
  • State Insect: Four-spot skimmer dragonfly
  • State Land Mammal: Moose
  • State Marine Mammal: Bowhead Whale
  • State Mineral: Gold
  • State Song: "Alaska's Flag"
  • State Sport: Dog Mushing
  • State Tree: Sitka Spruce
  • State Dog: Alaskan Malamute
  • State Soil: Tanana

Religion in Alaska

  • Christian - 69.0%
    • Protestant-47.0%
      • Evangelical Protestant - 26.0%
      • Mainline Protestant - 19.0%
      • Black Protestant - 2.0%
    • Roman Catholic - 14.0%
    • Orthodoxy - 13.0%
    • Mormon - 4.0%
    • Jehovah's Witnesses - <0.5%
    • Other Christian - <0.5%

Other Religions

  • Jewish - <0.5%
  • Buddhist-<0.5%
  • Islam - 1.0%
  • Hindu - <0.5%
  • Other World Religions - <0.5%
  • Other Faiths - 2.0%
  • Unaffiliated - 27.0%
  • Refused to answer - 1.0%

Highways by Number

Number Name(s) Route
Alaska Route 1 Tok Cut-Off
Glenn Highway
Seward Highway
Sterling Highway
Tok to Homer
Alaska Route 2 Alaska Highway
Richardson Highway
Steese Highway
Elliott Highway
Canadian border to Manley Hot Springs
Alaska Route 3 Parks Highway Mile 35 (km 56) Glenn Highway to Fairbanks
Alaska Route 4 Richardson Highway Valdez to Delta Junction
Alaska Route 5 Taylor Highway Tetlin Junction (Alaska Highway) to Eagle
Alaska Route 6 Steese Highway Fox to Circle
Alaska Route 7 Haines Highway
Egan Drive
Mitkof Highway
Tongass Highway
discontinuous; Haines to Canadian border with segments in Juneau, Petersburg, and Ketchikan
Alaska Route 8 Denali Highway Paxson to Cantwell
Alaska Route 9 Seward Highway Seward to Tern Lake Junction (Sterling Highway)
Alaska Route 10 Edgerton Highway
Copper River Highway
discontinuous; Mile 83 (km 133) Richardson Highway to Chitina and Cordova to Million Dollar Bridge
Alaska Route 11 Dalton Highway Mile 73 (km 117) Elliott Highway to Deadhorse
Alaska Route 98 Klondike Highway Skagway to Canadian border

Highways by Name

Name Number(s) Route
Alaska Highway   Canadian border to Delta Junction
Alaska Marine Highway AMHS SouthEast: Bellingham, Washington to Prince Rupert, British Columbia Canada to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Haines to Skagway
Cross-Gulf: Ketchikan to Juneau to Yakutat to Whittier
Prince William Sound loop: Valdez to Cordova to Whittier
South-Central loop: Homer to Kodiak to Port Lions
SouthWest: Kodiak to Chignik, Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass, Akutan to Unalaska
Alaska Peninsula Highway none Naknek to King Salmon
Chena Hot Springs Road none Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs
Copper River Highway   Cordova to Million Dollar Bridge
Dalton Highway   Mile 73 (km 118) Elliott Highway to Deadhorse
Denali Highway   Paxson to Cantwell
Denali Park Road none Mile 237 (km 382) Parks Highway to Kantishna
Douglas Highway none Travels the length of Douglas
Edgerton Highway   Mile 83 (km 133) Richardson Highway to Chitina
Egan Drive   Juneau to Auke Bay
Elliott Highway   Fox to Manley Hot Springs
Glenn Highway   Anchorage to Glennallen
Haines Highway   Haines to Canadian border
Hope Highway none Mile 57 (km 70) Seward Highway to Hope
Kenai Spur Highway none Soldotna to Nikiski
Klondike Highway   Skagway to Canadian border
McCarthy Road none Chitina to McCarthy
Minnesota Drive Expressway none Eastern Anchorage
Johansen Expressway none Northern Fairbanks
Mitkof Highway   Petersburg to southern Mitkof Island
Nome-Council Highway none Nome to Council
Nome-Taylor Highway none Nome to Taylor
Nome-Teller Highway none Nome to Teller
Palmer-Wasilla Highway none Palmer to Wasilla
Parks Highway   Mile 35 (km 56) Glenn Highway to Fairbanks
Richardson Highway   Valdez to Fairbanks
Salmon River Road none Canadian border at Stewart, British Columbia
Seward Highway   Seward to Anchorage
Steese Highway   Fairbanks to Circle
Sterling Highway   Tern Lake Junction (Mile 37 (km 59) Seward Highway) to Homer
Taylor Highway   Tetlin Junction (Mile 1301 (km 2093) Alaska Highway) to Eagle
Tok Cut-Off   Gakona Junction (Mile 129 (km 207) Richardson Highway) to Tok
Top of the World Highway none Jack Wade Junction (Mile 96 (km 154) Taylor Highway) to Canadian border
Tongass Highway   Ketchikan north to Settlers Cove and south to Saxman
Zimovia Highway none Wrangell to McCormick Creek Road

Natural Gas in Alaska

Share of total US gas consumption (percentage)
Use 2001 2002 2003 2004 2004 2006
Residential 0.35 0.33 0.33 0.37 0.37 0.47
Commercial 0.52 0.50 0.54 0.59 0.56 0.65
Industrial 0.92 0.88 0.58 0.65 0.80 0.58
Vehicle Fuel 0.09 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.17 0.17
Electric Power 0.61 0.56 0.67 0.69 0.67 0.70