Some people think Anchorage is a small town on the edge of the world. In fact, this is not the case at all! It is a thriving city with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. It’s truly interesting and convenient to live in 🙂
Facts about Anchorage
- Anchorage is the northernmost American city with a population of over 100.000. There are about 300k people here – that’s about 40% of the overall Alaska population. However, that’s not the state capital. Alaska’s capital is Juneau, a small town with ~33k population.
- The area for tens of miles around Anchorage is a barren piece of land that lacks any mineral resources important to the region’s economy.
- The lowest temperature ever recorded here is -34 °F (-37 °C). Seasonal temperature fluctuations here are moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean. Summers in Anchorage are cool, and winters are not too cold.
- Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York, Tokyo and Frankfurt, Germany (across the Arctic Ocean), Anchorage is within 10 hours of flight from almost 90% of the industrialized countries of the world. For this reason, Anchorage International Airport is a regular refueling station for international cargo flights.
- The distance between Anchorage and Washington D. C. is 3375 miles (5432 km). However, if you’re gonna drive, the way will be even longer: the shortest route is 4,275 miles (6 880 km).
- On March 27, 1964, Anchorage was seriously damaged due to the strongest earthquake in the history of the United States and North America in general. The restoration of the city continued until the 1970s. The earthquake destroyed almost all architectural landmarks of the XX century.
- This city began to grow rapidly after 1968 when oil was found nearby. By the way, the largest airport in Alaska is located here, it was built in 1951.
- In 1914, the place where modern Anchorage is located was chosen to establish a railway center there. This center was to build the Alaska Railroad. The railway was built in 9 years from 1915 to 1923.
- Congress decided to move the capital of Alaska from Juneau to Anchorage in 1972. However, the voters refused to fund the construction of the capitol building, so the state capital remained in Juneau.
- The indigenous people lived here a long time ago. Archaeologists have established that in ancient times there were three waves of people immigration to these lands: 5 thousand years ago, 4 thousand years ago, and 2 thousand years ago.
Random Anchorage facts
- Anchorage area is home to about 250 black bears and 60 grizzly bears. In fact, bears can be regularly seen even in the city! There are also lots of mooses here, and sometimes they come to the city as well.
- The Mount Denali can be seen from here on a clear day. This 20,320-foot peak (6193 meters) is the tallest mountain in North America, it’s located 130 miles to the North from the city.
- About 20 thousand years ago, the place where the city is now located was covered with a glacier hundreds of feet thick. Nowadays, you can reach 50 glaciers withing just one-day ride from here.
- People here use about 100 languages. Next in popularity after English are Spanish, Tagalog and Korean.
- On summer solstice, the sun barely squeaks below the horizon, and streetlights don’t come on. This time of year, the city gets ~22 hours long daylight.
- The military served as Anchorage’s primary industry until the oil boom in the middle of the XX century. Nowadays, top industries here include military, petroleum, tourism and government job. By the way, about 10% of all jobs in Alaska come from tourism.
- There are no sales tax here! That’s why Alaska’s capital is sometimes called the most tax-friendly city. Cool, isn’t it? You can buy tax-free souvenirs here!
- Anchorage has more espresso stands, per capita, than anywhere in the U.S. Locals like coffee! Probably because weather here is quite cold… Well, the coffee consumption per capita is super high in the countries of Northern Europe as well, so this makes sense.
- Lake Hood in Anchorage is the busiest seaplane base in the world. On busy summer days, there are sometimes more than 1,000 takeoffs and landings per day.
- There’s a waterway into the Gulf of Alaska called Turnagain Arm. It’s famous because of super high tidal variations here, up to 32 feet (9.7 meters). You can actually surf here!