For the fourth year in a row, Alaska’s population declined

A view of Anchorage's skyline from the sea
Downtown Anchorage, as seen from the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in April, 2020. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s population dropped by nearly 4,000 people — half a percent — last year, according to estimates released from the state on Thursday.

It’s the fourth straight year of declines, and the biggest drop since 1988. The estimate covers the period between July 2019 to July 2020.

Even though 5,000 more Alaskans were born than the number of those who died, the net decline came from people moving away. Nearly 9,000 more people left the state than moved in. Alaska lost roughly 46,000 jobs during this time.

Alaska’s estimated population was 728,903 in July, down from 740,637 four years earlier.

One group that saw an increase was Alaskans 65 and older. That group grew by 4%.

Of Alaska’s 30 boroughs and unorganized census areas, 23 had population declines, led by Anchorage. The Fairbanks North Star and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs had the largest increases.

Juneau’s population is 31,773 — down 286 people from the year before. There were 118 more births than deaths in the capital city, but 404 more people moved away than moved to town.

The numbers are estimates, because the numbers from the 2020 Census haven’t been released yet.