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Alaska Economic Update 


About Alaskanomics

Northrim Bank launched the Alaskanomics blog to provide news, analysis and commentary on Alaska’s economy. With contributions from economists, business leaders, policy makers and everyday Alaskans, Alaskanomics aims to engage readers in an ongoing conversation about our economy, now and in the future.

Mark Edwards Feed

2021 Population Data Highlights

By Mark Edwards, EVP - Chief Credit Officer & Bank Economist

Population is a critical variable in economic analysis and the latest data from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides valuable insight into how Alaska is faring. Here are several components from that report worth highlighting.

As a reminder, the 2021 data represents the state fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The 2021 number is an estimate at July 1, 2021, not the end of December.

  • Our population actually grew by 745 people last year. That is a 0.1% growth rate for 734,323 people. It ends four years of consecutive declines of -0.2%, -0.4%, -0.3% and -0.3% between July of 2016 and July of 2020.
  • Net migration is still negative for the Ninth consecutive year. The 2021 decrease was 3,327 people. This was the smallest migration decrease since 2012-13 when we experienced a decrease of 1,423 people. 2017-18 was the peak at a loss of 9,163 people due to migration.
  • The rate of natural increase (births – deaths) continues to get smaller since 2009. This is due to both an increasing death rate and a decreasing birth rate. 
  • In 2009, the natural increase was 8,001 with 11,504 births and 3,503 deaths. In 2021, there were 9,445 births and 5,373 deaths for a natural increase of 4,072. About half the level in 2009 because there were roughly 2,000 fewer births and 2,000 more deaths.
  • Looking at the regional data shows positive population growth last year in the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 1.54%, the Mat-Su Borough at 1.28% and a small improvement in the Kenai Peninsula Borough at 0.21%.
  • Population declines last year include Kodiak at -1.24%, Sitka at -0.67%, Anchorage at -0.43%, Ketchikan at -0.3% and Juneau at -0.25%.
  • There are 20,729 more men than women in the state, 377,526 men vs. 356,797 women.
  • Of the working age population between 18 and 65, the largest group is those 30 years old at 12,273 people and the smallest group is those 47 years old at 7,779.  
  • The average age of Alaskans is 36 years old.

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