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Overview

Introduction to Anchorage, Alaska

The city of Anchorage is located in the south-central part of Alaska at the base of the Chugach Mountains. The largest city in the state, Anchorage encompasses an area of nearly 2,000 square miles, about the size of the state of Delaware. The city sits on a triangular peninsula surrounded by the Cook Inlet, which is the northernmost reach of the Pacific Ocean. The Chugach, Kenai, Talkeetna, Tordrillo, Aleutian and Alaska mountain ranges are all visible from the city, and on clear days so is Mount McKinley, North America's tallest mountain, which is located 130 miles north of Anchorage.

Roughly twice the size of Rhode Island, Anchorage encompasses an area of nearly 2,000 square miles. In terms of population it is Alaska's largest city, comprising over 40% of the state's population. The city's Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the center of airline activity for the state, and is served by many interstate, national, and international airlines. There is one officially designated Interstate Highway in Anchorage: Alaska State Highway 1, which runs through the city. Anchorage is a major port city, receiving the bulk of all freight entering Alaska. Major industries in the city include government (military), oil, and tourism (summer being a prime tourist season).

Although Russian explorers had established themselves in southern Alaska during the late 18th-century, English explorer Captain James Cook is credited with first exploring and describing the Anchorage area in 1778. The area retained a heavy Russian cultural influence during the next hundred years owing to a large volume of trading throughout the Russian possession of Alaska. Things began to change in 1867 concurrent with the sale of "Russian America" to the United States for a sum of $7,200,000. Although the sale was mocked at the time and known as "Seward's Folly" (referring to U.S. Secretary of State William Seward who pushed for the purchase of the territory), the subsequent major discovery of oil in the territory helped change this perception. In 1915 construction of the Alaska Railroad began and Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage was selected as headquarters for this effort, transforming Anchorage into a bustling frontier town. Anchorage was incorporated as a city in 1920, a good 39 years before Alaska would attain statehood. A setback occurred on March 27, 1964, when Anchorage was hit by the Good Friday Earthquake. This natural disaster, which registered 9.2 on the Richter Scale (the largest ever recorded in North America), caused tremendous destruction from which the city ultimately recovered and was able to continue prospering. Anchorage today serves as the hub of the state's transportation, communication, finance and trade industries, and is in every sense a modern city housing a thriving business district and a bustling international airport.

Anchorage Points of Interest

Downtown Anchorage is home to the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, a facility which hosts numerous performing arts events each year. As the host site of eight resident performing arts companies, the center is a thriving visitor attraction which also hosts the International Ice Carving Competition as part of February's Fur Rendezvous Festival. The city is also home to several cultural venues, including the following:

  • Anchorage Museum of History and Art: A world-class museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting the history, art and culture of Alaska.
  • Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum: Presents Alaskan aviation history with vintage aircraft, memorabilia, photographs, films and artifacts.
  • Alaska Botanical Garden: Nature trail and rock, herb and perennial garden.
  • Alaska Native Heritage Center: The premier cultural center of its kind in the state.
  • Oscar Anderson House Museum: Chronicles early history of Anchorage and features guided tours.
  • Russian Orthodox Museum: Presents the history of Russian Alaska.
  • Imaginarium: Science Discovery Center
  • Fire Department Museum

Recreational sites in and around Anchorage include Chugach State Park, a half-million acre park rich in recreational opportunities such as hiking, skiing, camping, and snowmobiling; Denali National Park & Preserve, located near Mount McKinley and featuring rafting and mountain biking; the Alpenglow and Hilltop Ski Areas; the Alyeska Resort; and the H2Oasis Indoor Waterpark. One of the city's most popular attractions is the Northern Lights. Also known as Aurora Borealis, the lights appear in the sky as glowing swaying ripples which fold and unfold when the sun's electrically charged particles react to the earth's magnetic field. Fall, winter and spring are the prime seasons for viewing the lights, which most often appear near midnight.

Pro sports in Anchorage can be found at the Sullivan Arena, home to the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The city's only other professional franchise is the Alaska Wild, an indoor football team in the Intense Football League (IFL), which is scheduled to commence play for the first time in April 2007.

People

Total Population
Male Share of the Population
Female Share of the Population
Senior Citizens
Employed Population 16+
Age of the Population

Families

% of people married
Average household size

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher
Median Earnings25+
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification
Median Earnings With High School Degree

Wealth

Median Family Income
% Above Poverty Level
% Below Poverty Level

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time
% Working from Home
% Walking and Biking to Work
% Using Public Transportation

Housing

People Living Alone
Median Gross Rent
Median House Value

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)
US/American
English
Irish

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Anchorage Almanac

Category Value
County Anchorage
Metro Area Anchorage
Standard Zip Codes 99501, 99502, 99503, 99504, 99505, 99506, 99507, 99508, 99513, 99515, 99516, 99517, 99518, 99529, 99530, 99540, 99599
P.O. Box Zip Codes 99509, 99510, 99511, 99514, 99519, 99520, 99521, 99522, 99523, 99524, 99695
Phone Area Codes 907
Time Zone Alaska (-9 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 61.18
Longitude -149.86

Anchorage Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ANCHORAGE INTL AP
Distance 4.7 miles
Jan Temp 9 to 22 F
Apr Temp 29 to 44 F
Jul Temp 52 to 65 F
Oct Temp 28 to 40 F
Annual Precip 16 inches
Station FT RICHARDSON W T P
Distance 7.9 miles
Jan Temp 7 to 22 F
Apr Temp 26 to 44 F
Jul Temp 49 to 65 F
Oct Temp 26 to 40 F
Annual Precip 15.1 inches
Station EAGLE RIVER 5 SE
Distance 16.4 miles
Jan Temp 5 to 21 F
Apr Temp 25 to 48 F
Jul Temp 48 to 69 F
Oct Temp 25 to 40 F
Annual Precip 17.2 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Anchorage, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Anch (99505)

Fort Richardson (99505)

Indian (99540)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Houston 1,977 $68,309

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Anchorage Public Libraries

Library
Anchorage Municipal Libraries
3600 DENALI STREET
Anchorage, Alaska
(907) 343-2983
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Anchorage Hospitals

ALASKA NATIVE MEDICAL CENTER, PHS
(Government - Federal)
4315 DIPLOMACY DR
(907) 563-2662
Emergency Service: Yes

ALASKA REGIONAL HOSPITAL
(Proprietary)
2801 DEBARR ROAD
(907) 276-1131
Emergency Service: Yes

PROVIDENCE ALASKA MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
BOX 196604
(907) 261-3675
Emergency Service: Yes

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Anchorage High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

SERVICE HIGH SCHOOL
5577 ABBOTT RD.
907-742-8100
Serves 2,479 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24

DIMOND HIGH SCHOOL
2909 W 88TH AVE.
907-243-1141
Serves 2,300 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21.1

EAST HIGH SCHOOL
4025 E. NORTHERN LIGHTS BLVD
907-277-3575
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 2,239 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.2

BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL
25-500 N MULDOON
907-337-1585
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 2,015 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

WEST HIGH SCHOOL
1700 HILLCREST DR.
907-274-2502
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 1,819 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.3

FAMILY PARTNERSHIP CHARTER SCHOOL
3339 FAIRBANKS STREET
907-742-3700
A Charter School.
Serves 531 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 106.2

POLARIS K-12 SCHOOL
1444 E. DOWLING ROAD
907-742-8700
A Magnet School.
Serves 460 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.4

WHALEY SCHOOL
2220 NICHOLS ST.
907-263-9201
A Special Education School
Serves 351 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.4

BENSON SECONDARY/S.E.A.R.C.H.
4515 CAMPBELL AIRSTRIP RD.
907-337-0016
A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 319 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.8

STELLER SECONDARY SCHOOL
2508 BLUEBERRY LANE
907-742-4950
A Magnet School.
Serves 294 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.4

S.A.V.E. HIGH SCHOOL
410 EAST 56TH
907-742-1250
A Non-traditional School
Serves 235 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.4

FRONTIER CHARTER
400 W. NORTHERN LIGHTS BLVD.
907-742-1180
A Charter School.
Serves 187 students.

MCLAUGHLIN YOUTH CENTER
2600 PROVIDENCE DR.
907-563-8082
A Non-traditional School
Serves 156 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.4

AVAIL SCHOOL
425 'C' STREET
907-742-4930
Serves 71 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.7

CROSSROADS SCHOOL
3350 COMMERCIAL DR. #101
907-742-2424
Serves 54 students.

ALASKA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF & HARD OF HEARING
4600 DEBARR RD.
907-742-4200
A Special Education School
Serves 54 students.

CONTINUATION SCHOOL
401 W. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT #
907-742-1170
Serves 27 students.

PROVIDENCE HEIGHTS
2900 PROVIDENCE DRIVE
907-269-7208
Serves 7 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7

KING CAREER CENTER
2650 E NORTHERN LIGHTS BLVD.
907-278-9631
A Vocational School
A Magnet School.

Anchorage Colleges

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