Alaska’s population declines for 4th year in a row

In this photo taken Aug. 26, 2016, sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout...
In this photo taken Aug. 26, 2016, sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America's tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)(GIM)
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:22 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s population declined by 3,831 people from July 2019 to July 2020, a decrease of about 0.5%, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said on Thursday.

The department said Alaska’s population peaked in 2016 with 740,637 people. By July of 2020, the population had fallen to 728,903 people.

The department said the main reason the population continues to fall is more people are leaving the state than are moving to Alaska. In a release, the department said birth rates are also on the decline.

“Net migration — in-migrants minus out-migrants — accounted for a loss of 8,873 people. The migration loss was driven by fewer people moving to Alaska rather than more leaving. Alaska has lost more movers than it’s gained every year since 2013,” a statement from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development reads.

Population declines were recorded in 23 out of 30 Alaskan boroughs and census areas with the greatest population loss recorded in the Municipality of Anchorage. The department said the municipality lost 3,517 residents while Fairbanks gained 1,064 residents. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough also grew in 2020 with an addition of 523 people.

The bulk of Alaska residents still reside within the Municipality of Anchorage or the Mat-Su Borough with a population of 288,970 in the municipality and 107,305 in the Mat-Su Borough.

Alaska’s 65 and older population grew by 4% but the number of residents between the ages of 18 and 64 shrank by 1%.

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