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Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?
But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in Alaska have the grown the fastest.
After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Last Frontier that have people climbing over each other to get in.
These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Alaska for 2020 according to the most recent census data:
What's the fastest growing city in Alaska for 2020? Based on the most recent ACS data, Wasilla ranks as the fastest growing city in Alaska. If you happen to be a resident of Wasilla, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.
If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Alaska are growing like weeds.
For more Alaska state reading:
The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Alaska For 2020
Wasilla is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, United States and the sixth-largest city in Alaska. It is located on the northern point of Cook Inlet in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of the southcentral part of the state. The city's population was 7,831 at the 2010 census. Estimates in 2013 put the population at roughly 8,621. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 396,142 in 2013.
Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is two hundred and eighteen miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Kenai is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census.
Bethel is a city located near the west coast of the U.S. state of Alaska, approximately 400 miles west of Anchorage, in the Bethel Census Area. Accessible only by air and river, Bethel is the main port on the Kuskokwim River and is an administrative and transportation hub for the 56 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
The City and Borough of Juneau, commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was then the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population.
Ketchikan is a city in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost city in Alaska. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included.
Fairbanks is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Kodiak is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Last Frontier for 2020
To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:
- Current Population
- Population in 2010
- Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)
We ranked all 11 Alaska cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.
The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Last Frontier.
And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:
[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]
These Places Grew Up So Fast In Alaska, You Know?
So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Alaska are led by Wasilla which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.
It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!
These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):
For more Alaska reading, check out:
Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Alaska For 2020