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Anchorage, Alaska 

By population, Anchorage is the biggest city in the U.S. state of Alaska. Nearly 40% of the state's population, or 291,247 people, are found there as of the 2020 census. With a population of 398,328 in 2020, the Anchorage metropolitan area—which consists of Anchorage and the nearby Matanuska-Susitna Borough—accounted for more than half the state's population. The metropolis, which has a land size of 1,706 sq mi (4,420 km2), is the fourth-largest in the country by area and is bigger than Rhode Island, which has a land area of 1,212 sq mi (3,140 km2). 

On a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south, Anchorage is located in Southcentral Alaska near the mouth of the Cook Inlet. The Municipality of Anchorage was established in September 1975 following the amalgamation of the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough. The urban core, a joint military base, many outlying towns, and nearly the whole Chugach State Park are all included within the municipal city borders, which cover a total area of 1,961.1 sq mi (5,079.2 km2). Due to this, just 10% of the Municipality (or Muni) is populated, with the majority of inhabitants living on a peninsula at the inlet's headwaters known as Anchorage, the City of Anchorage, or the Anchorage Bowl, which makes up the 100 square miles that make up the city proper. 

Due to its position, which puts it within 10 hours of over 90% of the industrialized world by plane, Anchorage is approximately equidistant from New York City, Tokyo, and Frankfurt, Germany (across the Arctic Ocean). Due to this, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport frequently serves as a refueling location for international cargo planes and is the location of a significant FedEx hub, which the firm refers to as a "vital part" of its global network of services. 

The National Civic League presented the All-America City Award to Anchorage four times: in 1956, 1965, 1984–1985 and 2002. It has been ranked as the most tax-friendly city in the US by Kiplinger. 



Southcentral Alaska is where Anchorage is. It is slightly further northern than Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Saint Petersburg at 61 degrees north, but not as far north as Reykjavik or Murmansk. Nearly due south of Denali, it is northeast of the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and Cook Inlet, north of the Kenai Peninsula, northwest of Prince William Sound, and northwest of the Alaska Panhandle. 

The city is situated on a section of lowland along the coast and rises up the Chugach Mountains' lower alpine levels. Point Campbell, Anchorage's westernmost point on the mainland, projects into Cook Inlet towards the inlet's northern terminus, where it divides into two arms. Turnagain Arm, a fjord to the south, contains some of the strongest tides in the entire globe. To the west and north is another tidal inlet called Knik Arm. The Chugach Mountains to the east serve as a physical barrier to development, but not to the city limits, which include a portion of Chugach State Park's wild alpine terrain. 

The majority of the city's seashore is made up of perilous mudflats. Because of the dramatic tide changes and the extremely fine glacial silt, newcomers and tourists are advised not to stroll in this area. When the tide is out, solid-looking silt is seen, and unwary victims have walked across it and gotten themselves stuck in the mud. The two instances of this that have been noted took place in 1961 and 1988. 

The municipality has a total area of 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2), of which 263.9 square miles (683.4 km2) are water and 1,697.2 square miles (4,395.8 km2) are land, according to the United States Census Bureau. 13.5% of the total area is water. 

The Municipality of Anchorage is bordered to the north by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the south by the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the east by the Chugach Census Area. In the southern portion of the municipality, close to Girdwood and Portage, the Chugach National Forest, a national protected area, is present. 



Although Anchorage has a subarctic climate (Köppen classification: Dfc), there are significant maritime effects that contribute to the city's generally temperate weather. Its late-summer precipitation is the most prevalent. The typical daily summer temperature is between 55 and 78 °F (13 and 26 °C), whereas the typical daytime winter temperature is between 5 and 30 °F (15.0 to 1.1 °C). The average growing season without frost in Anchorage is just over 101 days. Folklore in the area holds that the first snowfall of winter will arrive six weeks after a native plant called fireweed sets seed after a full bloom. 

At Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), January low and high temperatures typically range from 12 to 5 °F (11 to 11 °C), with an average winter snowfall of 75.5 inches (192 cm). The snowiest winter on record was the 2011–2012 season, which had 134.5 inches (341.6 cm) of snow, surpassing the winter of 1954–1955, which had 132.8 inches (337.3 cm). On February 3, 1947, 38 °F (38.9 °C) was the lowest temperature ever recorded at the original weather station at Merrill Field on the East end of 5th Avenue. 

The summers are moderate (albeit cool relative to the rest of the US and even interior Alaska), and while it doesn't always rain heavily, it can rain regularly. The average low and high temperatures in July range from 52 to 66 °F (11 to 19 °C), with the highest measurement ever recorded on July 4, 2019, at 90 °F (32.2 °C). At the airport, 16.63 inches of precipitation fall on average per year (422 mm). The latitude of Anchorage makes summer days exceptionally long and winter daylight hours quite brief. Wintertime cloud cover in the city further reduces the amount of sunlight that locals get to enjoy. 

While the coldest daily maximum on average between 1991 and 2020 was at 1 °F (17 °C), the coldest daily maximum ever recorded in Anchorage was 19 °F (28 °C) in January 1989. Even with the bayside setting and plenty of daylight, warm summer nights don't happen. The average temperature is 59 °F (15 °C), whereas the mildest night on record was at 63 °F (17 °C). 

Since there are active volcanoes nearby, ash dangers are a serious, albeit uncommon, occurrence. The most recent significant volcanic activity was centered on Mount Redoubt's several eruptions in March and April 2009, which produced an ash cloud that rose to a height of 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) and ash buildup in the Cook Inlet area. Previously, Mount Spurr's eruption in August 1992—which is located 78 miles (126 km) west of the city—was the most recent active occurrence. The city received a 3 mm (0.1 in) layer of volcanic ash as a result of the eruption. The removal of the ash led to excessive water usage, which created serious issues for the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility. 

From 35.8 °F (2.1 °C) in February to 53.1 °F (11.7 °C) in August, the sea's average temperature varies. 



Transportation, the military, local, state, and federal governments, tourism, business headquarters (including regional offices for international corporations), and resource extraction are Anchorage's most important economic sectors. The geographic position of Anchorage and the nearby natural resources are important factors in a significant percentage of the local economy. The economy of Anchorage has historically experienced consistent expansion, albeit not quite as quickly as in many other locations in the lower 48 states. It does not suffer as much during economic downturns, with the notable exception of a real estate-related crash in the middle to late 1980s that resulted in the demise of major financial institutions. 

Only Memphis, Hong Kong, and Shanghai Pudong are busier airports in terms of cargo traffic than the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (TSAIA). The placement of Anchorage along great circle routes between Asia and the lower 48 states is closely associated with this travel. Jet fuel is also readily available at the airport thanks to local refineries in North Pole and Kenai. This jet fuel is delivered to the Port of Anchorage, where it is then sent to the airport via pipeline or rail. 

95 percent of all cargo going to Alaska is delivered at the Port of Anchorage. Twice a week, ships from Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Horizon Lines arrive in the Washington port of Tacoma. Jet fuel from Alaskan refineries is stored at the port in addition to managing these operations; this fuel is used at both TSAIA and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER). 

The current port is nearing the end of its useful life and was largely constructed in the late 1950s. The Port of Anchorage will start a massive, seven-year project in 2017 to modernize its old infrastructure, support larger, deeper-draft ships, and seismically and environmentally secure the port for a further 75 years. 

Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson were two significant American military bases that were established as a result of the separation of the U.S. Air Force from the U.S. Army after World War II. The bases were consolidated as part of a cost-cutting initiative started by the 2005 BRAC proceedings. JBER was established, and Kulis Air National Guard Base, which is close to TSAIA, was also included. These three bases collectively employ about 8,500 civilian and military employees. Together with their families, these people make up about 10% of the local population. Due to its proximity to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Elmendorf became a crucial facility, especially as the command hub for multiple forward air stations set up throughout western Alaska (most of which have since closed) 

Although Juneau serves as Alaska's capital, more state employees live in the Anchorage region. In contrast to Juneau, where there are only roughly 3,800 state employees, Anchorage employs about 6,800. After a number of decades of renting space in the McKay Building (now the McKinley Tower) and later the Frontier Building, the State of Alaska decided to buy the Bank of America Center (which it renamed the Robert B. Atwood Building) to house the majority of its operations. 

With numerous high rises sporting the logos of significant global corporations like BP and ConocoPhillips, the resource sector, particularly petroleum, is undoubtedly Anchorage's most noticeable industry. While the majority of offices and administrative functions are located in Anchorage, field operations are concentrated on the Alaska North Slope and south of Anchorage, along Cook Inlet. Downtown Anchorage is home to ConocoPhillips Alaska's headquarters, a ConocoPhillips subsidiary. Additionally, it is the tallest structure in Alaska. Although several oilfield support service providers have their corporate headquarters outside of Anchorage, they nonetheless have sizable presences there, most notably Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and CH2M Hill. 

Anchorage serves as the home base for four minor airlines: Alaska Central Express, Era Aviation, Hageland Aviation Services, and PenAir. Major offices and facilities for Alaska Airlines, which was formerly headquartered in Anchorage but is now based in the Seattle area, including the Alaska Airlines Foundation's offices, are located in TSAIA. Airlines MarkAir, Reeve Aleutian Airways, and Wien Air Alaska all had their main offices in Anchorage prior to their respective dissolutions. When the city block it was located on was cleared to make room for the Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall, the Reeve Building, at the corner of West Sixth Avenue and D Street, was spared the wrecking ball and included into the mall's design. Anchorage was ranked among the Best Places for Business and Careers by Forbes in 2013. 

The Aleut Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Calista Corporation, Chugach Alaska Corporation, and Cook Inlet Region, Inc. are the five regional Alaska Native corporations with offices in Anchorage. 

There is no sales tax in Anchorage. However, it levies an 8% tax on automobile rentals and a 12% bed tax on hotel stays. Major hotel developers from the Lower 48 have been constructing new hotels along C Street from International Airport Road to slightly north of Tudor Road since around 2000 in response to high revenue and occupancy rates; two more hotels are scheduled to open in 2017. As a result, this half-mile stretch of C Street has become known as a new "hotel row." People may easily travel from Anchorage north to places like Fairbanks and Denali National Park or south to the popular fishing spots on the Kenai Peninsula. 



Every year on the first Saturday in March, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins with a ceremonial start downtown on Fourth Avenue, drawing attention from all across the country to Anchorage. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Races, a three-day competition featuring three timed races of 25.5 miles (41.0 kilometers) apiece, are also held in Anchorage. The occasion, which takes place every February, is a component of the Fur Rendezvous, a winter sports festival. 

Three of the Alaska Baseball League's teams are based in Anchorage. The Mulcahy Stadium hosts the Anchorage Bucs and Anchorage Glacier Pilots, as well as the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks, who play at Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak. 

There are no professional sports teams in Anchorage. The ECHL's Alaska Aces were the most recent team to call the city home. The Aces enjoyed great success throughout their 29-year tenure in Anchorage, winning three league championships, four conference championships, and eight division championships (1989–2017). The Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, and Vancouver Canucks were a few of the NHL teams that the Aces were affiliated with. The team halted operations after the 2016–17 season and was bought by a company in Portland, Maine, where it was renamed the Maine Mariners for the following year. The NAHL gave their approval for Anchorage to get an expansion club in 2021. For the 2021–22 season, the expansion team, known as the Anchorage Wolverines, started playing in the Midwest Division. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. In addition to many other Division II teams, UAA fields Division I team in both hockey and gymnastics. The UAA basketball team competes in the annual Great Alaska Shootout, an NCAA Division I basketball tournament that is sponsored by colleges and universities from throughout the country. 

The Sadler's Ultra Challenge wheelchair race is completed in Anchorage. 

There are four rugby teams: the Mat Valley Maulers RFC, the Spenard Green Dragons, and the Bird Creek Barbarians RFC. The period of the season is from April through September. 

When the Anchorage Northern Knights joined the eight-team Eastern Basketball Association in 1977, the league's closest rival was 5,000 miles (8,000 km) away from Anchorage, they attracted national notice. The 1979–80 Knights won the league championship and had several NBA players, most notably Brad Davis, a future player and Dallas Mavericks commentator. For five seasons, they played in the Continental Basketball Association before the economic downturn put an end to their tenure in 1982. 

The city was the American contender to host the Winter Olympics in 1992 and 1994, but Lillehammer, Norway, won both times. Because there are so many groomed trails in the center of the city, Anchorage is a favourite destination for cross-country skiers. In the city, there are 105 miles (169 km) of ski trails that are kept up, some of which go all the way to downtown. The 495,000-acre (200,000 ha) high alpine park Chugach State Park is also accessible via the same trail system. The US Senior National Cross Country Ski Championship was held in Anchorage in 2009 and 2010 as part of the Tour of Anchorage, an annual 50-kilometer ski competition. 

The Rage City Rollergirls, Alaska's first WFTDA flat track women's roller derby league, is located in Anchorage. 

Another notable sporting stadium is the Anchorage Football Stadium. 

Anchorage hosted the 1989 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. 


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Alaska's Anchorage County is home to the city of Anchorage. It is the largest city in Alaska and the 76th largest city in the United States with a 2023 population of 291 073. The population of Anchorage has fallen by -0.06% from the most recent census, which showed a population of 291,247 in 2020. The city is currently deteriorating at a pace of -0.02% annually. Anchorage has a population density of 171 persons per square mile and a total length of over 1944 miles. 

Anchorage's poverty rate is 10.86%, with average household income of $109,988. The median monthly cost of rent in recent years has been, and the median value of a home is. In Anchorage, the median age is 33.9 years, with men being on average 33 years old and women 34.9 years old. 

Southcentral Alaska's combined home rule municipality of Anchorage.