Alaska population dipped last year, Census Bureau finds illustration

More people moved out of Alaska than into the state last year, but other population factors nearly offset the loss, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kristie Wilder, a Census demographer, said Alaska lost more than 6,000 people to other states last year, continuing a decade-long trend.

“2010 was the last time Alaska had positive domestic net migration,” she said.

The population lost to domestic migration was almost entirely offset by two other dynamics: Births outnumbered deaths, and more than 2,000 people moved to Alaska from other countries. In all, the state’s population held nearly steady, at 734,000. According to the Census Bureau, that’s a loss of fewer than 600 residents.

Within Alaska, the big action was in Southcentral. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough gained more than 2,000 residents while Anchorage lost nearly 1,600, according to the Census Bureau’s estimates.

The state Department of Labor also tracks population. The numbers it released in January largely track the federal agency’s, though it found the state population rose slightly last year, up 400 residents.

The Department of Labor also noted a significant decline in working-age Alaskans. When more people were moving to Alaska than leaving, adults in their 20s and 30s were the main source of the state’s population gain. But in the past decade, according to the state, more people in that age group are leaving than arriving.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

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