Located in the extreme north-western region of North America, and bordering the northwest of Canada, you will find the U.S. state of Alaska. The Last Frontier State is unique as it is completely detached from the rest of the U.S. and is partly made up of many islands but isn’t exactly what you would have in mind when you consider American islands.
Instead of your typical white, sandy beaches, spanning across miles of sparkling coastlines, delicately covered in rich, tropical greenery, and topped off with big palm trees to keep you cool in the searing heat – Alaska and its many islands boast a very different landscape and climate!
Interestingly, Alaska is much closer to Canada than it is the United States geographically, which is strange considering it is the 49th official state. However, the location of the state tells you all you need to know regarding the climate, it is, like its neighboring nation, freezing cold, icy, and covered in snow. But with these low temperatures come a multitude of redeeming qualities, so let’s dive into our 19 interesting facts of Alaska!
If you want to skip straight to the Alaska Economic Facts, click on the link to take you there, or scroll down the page.
Here are the 19 Interesting Facts of Alaska
1. We said that Alaska is closer to Canada (literally bordering the nation) than the rest of the United States. Well, to be more exact, it is over 500 miles away from the nearest U.S. state, (Washington), and only around 55 miles from mainland Russia!
2. Out of the top 20 highest mountain peaks in the United States, 17 of them are in Alaska! With Denali, nicknamed “The Great One” being the highest at approximately 20,300 feet!
3. Alaska is aesthetically beautiful, with over 3,000 rivers and 3,000 lakes located in this winter wonderland. The largest (and most well-known) is Lake Iliamna, spanning over 1,000 square miles.
4. On the topic of Alaska’s natural beauty, the Last Frontier has more coastline than the other 49 states combined! The conditions are not ideal for swimming though!
5. Glaciers can be found in every corner of the state, with an estimated 100,000 ice caves in Alaska, covering about 5% of the state’s area. There are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world, with the largest glacier at 850 square miles.
6. The official state sport for Alaska is Dog Mushing, which involves dogs, usually huskies, that race sleds.
7. Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, is home to Lake Hood which is the world’s largest and busiest seaplane base, with over 800 take-offs and landings taking place on a typically busy summer’s day.
8. The state flag was designed by non-other than a 13-year-old boy. It all began with the state calling upon students throughout the territory to submit their design ideas. After some consideration, they decided to use the work of Benny Benson’s scene of the Big Dipper and the North Star in 1927 for the flag’s design!
9. Alaska’s full beauty is certainly on display within the 17 national parks, and 16 national wildlife refuges.
10. It comes as little surprise due to the state’s geographical location that at some point Alaska was owned and controlled by Russia. It was only in 1867 when Russia agreed to sell Alaska to the U.S. for a fee of $7.2 million, which amounts to around 2 cents per acre!
11. The largest salmon to be caught in Alaska was on the Kenai River, weighing in at 97.5 pounds.
12. Similar to the other U.S. state of Hawaii, the Last Frontier is home to a large number of active volcanoes, around 70 of them to be precise. The most violent volcanic eruption of the century happened in 1912 when the Novarupta Volcano erupted. This subsequent eruption created the “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes”, which is now a huge part of Katmai National Park.
13. The maximum speed limit in Alaska is 65 MPH, you may only drive at this maximum speed on Rural Highways.
14. If Manhattan, NY, shared the same population density as Alaska there would only be 16 people living in Alaska!
Economic Alaska Information and Facts
There is so much to consider when looking into the economic benefits of moving to Alaska. This unique state is known for having the resources and business environment for many different industries and business types. This is why many investors and entrepreneurs choose Alaska as their home. We have put together some interesting economic and business highlights for Alaska.
If you would like to learn how to register a business in Alaska so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.
Economic Facts About Alaska
- Alaska’s GDP is over $54 billion.
- Alaska has a progressive income tax rate ranging between 7% – 9.4%.
- The base sales tax rate in Alaska is 0%.
- Alaska ranks #18 for business opportunities (US News & World Report 2019).
- According to US News & World Report, over 38% of Alaskan residents are College educated.
- The minimum wage in Alaska is $10.34 per hour.
- There are over 73,000 small businesses in Alaska.
- Small businesses account for over 99% of all Alaska businesses.
- There are over 137,000 small business employees within the state.
- Over 52% of state employees work for small businesses.
- Small businesses have accounted for over 2,277 net new jobs.
- Alaska is responsible for 587 small business exporters.
- The average house price in Alaska is $296,646, however, this number is seasonally adjusted and updated – take a look at Zillow’s website.
- The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has stated that seafood is the economic foundation of many Alaskan rural communities, with over 21,000 rural residents directly employed by the industry.
- Alaska produces over 60% of the commercial fisheries in the United States.
- Alaska’s fisheries produce and sell five species of Salmon, four species of Crab, Cod, Shrimp, and Halibut to name just a few.
- North America’s largest oil field is located in Prudhoe Bay, on the northern coast of Alaska.
- Gold mining is certainly what Alaska is famous for in terms of the industry; however, Zinc is easily the state’s biggest mineral export.
- The oil and gas industry is the biggest contributor to Alaska’s economy, with almost 85% of the state budget being supplied by oil revenues.
- Tourism also plays a huge role in Alaska’s economic success, with approximately 1.1 million annual visitors.
- Alaska has a progressive corporate income tax rate ranging between 2%-9.4%.
All of these economic facts highlight and justify the various reasons why people decide to call Alaska their new home and place of business. It is easy to see why when over 50,000 people move to the state each year.
More Interesting Facts About Alaska
Here are the rest of them!
15. The capital city of Alaska is Juneau, which is deemed as the heart of the state, boasting a population of just over 31,000!
16. Alaska, much the same as most other locations in the northern hemisphere reveals the “Northern Lights”, also known as the “Aurora”. Which is caused by disturbances in the magnetosphere, aided by solar winds. The Northern Lights can be seen on average 243 days a year!
17. Around 52% of Alaskans are men, which is the highest male percentage out of all 50 states!
18. In the city of Utqiagvik, Alaska (used to be Barrow), the longest night lasts for 67 days, and the longest day lasts for 82 days – that’s 82 days of constant daylight!
19. America’s biggest national forest resides in Alaska. Tongass is around three times the size of the runner-up, which can also be found in Alaska.
Thanks for taking a look at our interesting, weird, and wonderful facts about Alaska! If you have some facts and interesting information regarding Alaska’s past or present that we have not covered, make sure to add a comment below.