Even though Anchorage seems far away from almost everywhere, it’s actually a central location for international trade because the airport is within a ten-hour flight of 90 percent of the industrialized world. So, it’s easy for cargo jets to stop in Anchorage to refuel.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Anchorage than the airport, including spectacular natural beauty, tourism and natural resources. All that helps contribute to population growth.
Indeed, the metro Anchorage area went from 399,432 to 402,557 residents between July 2015 and July 2016, a 0.8 percent increase, according to the latest census data. During that time, the population of the Anchorage Borough (the equivalent of a county) went from 298,312 to 298,192, a tiny .04 percent decrease. (The metro area is larger than the borough and has a larger population.)
If we take a longer-term perspective, we’ll see that Anchorage attracted nearly 20,000 domestic movers between 2011 and 2015, according to another census study, one that covers that five-year span of time.
So where are all those people coming from?
The census data gives us a pretty good idea. Nearly three quarters (72 percent, or 14,126 people) came from out of state, while the rest (28 percent, or 5,432 people) came from elsewhere in Alaska.
Below are rankings for the top five counties of origin for movers to Anchorage Borough:
Movers outside of Alaska:
- Clark County, NV (Las Vegas)
- Sacramento County, CA
- Cumberland County, NC (Fayetteville)
- Pierce County, WA (Tacoma)
- El Paso County, CO (Colorado Springs)
Movers from Alaska:
- Matanuska-Susitna Borough
- Fairbanks North Star Borough
- Kenai Peninsula Borough
- Nome Census Area
- Juneau City and Borough
Above are the top places inside Alaska that people moved to Anchorage Borough from over the five-year period 2011-2015. Numbers represent the number of movers from that place during the period.
U.S. Census Bureau