Alaska’s population growth is increasing faster than that of the rest of the country. Figures released Friday by the state labor department indicate that the state’s population increased 3.7 percent over the past three years, compared with a 2.4 growth rate in the US.
The largest increases were in Anchorage and the Matanuska Susitna Borough, according to Eddie Hunsinger, the state demographer with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
“So each year we make population estimates for population by age, and sex and race and ethnicity for the state. And the Mat Su has increasing racial diversity, as does the state as a whole. The fastest growing racial groups in Alaska are Asian and Pacific Islanders, as well as Hispanic Alaskans. Alaska has continued to become a more diverse state in terms of race and ethnicity.”
Between April of 2010 and July of 2013, Anchorage gained some 9, 308 people, and the Mat Su gained 7,079 residents.
“The people who are moving to the Mat Su are either young people from Anchorage or young people from down South. And these folks are often at the beginning of starting families or they have young families, so they are not just getting the gains from the people who move there, but also from their future families and the kids they bring with them. “
Hunsinger says who is moving into the Mat Su Borough has implications for the future.
“Very often, the young families and folks in their mid -to -late twenties and up into their forties are the folks with the highest participation in the work force, and so that is certainly beneficial to the Mat Su. We do have further data on what sorts of jobs and occupations and industries the people in the Mat Su are involved i
Hunsinger says a large number of births accounted for some of the growth in the Mat Su. He says about 5 to 10 thousand people a year move into Mat Su and about an equal number move out, leaving a net gain of about 1500 people every year.
The labor department keeps tabs on age and ethnicity demographics for the state’s economic regions, cities and census areas. Complete estimates for the state’s population centers are available on the department’s Research and Analysis Section website.