Alaska's population falls for the second year in a row

Published: Jan. 10, 2019 at 12:40 PM AKST
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Alaska’s population fell by 1,608 people between July 2017 and July 2018, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This is the second year in a row there has been a decline in total population.

As of July 2018, Alaska's population is about 736,000 — down from 740,000 in 2016 according to state demographer Eddie Hunsinger.

"It's been two years of population losses and about six years of more people moving out of that state than to the state," Hunsinger told KTUU Thursday.

The change in population is calculated by looking at the “natural increase” versus “net migration.”

Net migration is the number of people who moved into the state minus the number of people who left the state during that same period. Alaska’s net migration between 2017 and 2018 was -7,577 people.

Natural increase is the number of births minus the number of deaths. Alaska’s net increase add 5,969 people, which leaves the overall loss of people at 1,608.

Of the 29 boroughs and census areas in Alaska, 18 of them lost population. The Municipality of Anchorage fell the most with a decline in population of 2,386.

"Anchorage saw it's biggest population decline since the 1980s — it dropped down to about 295,000 people after peaking at 321,000 in 2013," Hunsinger said.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough gained the most people with an increase of 1,355.

Alaska’s older population — 65 years and older — grew more than five percent, while the under-18 and 18 to 64 age groups each declined 0.9 percent.