Census factoids: Mat-Su population grew by over 20 percent in last 10 years

Matanuska Valley

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough was one of the fastest growing areas of the state in the past 10 years.

The 2020 Census counted 107,081 people living in the Mat-Su, an increase of 18,086 or 20.3 percent.

Fairbanks lost population, and is now at 95,655, which is 1,926 fewer than in 2010, or a loss of 2 percent.

Anchorage Borough lost population as well, although slightly. The current population is 291,247, a shrinkage of 579 people in the decade, or 0.2 percent.

Kenai Borough grew to 58,7999, an increase of 3,399 in the decade, or 6.1%

Juneau City and Borough gained population and is now at 32,255, which is 980 more than in 2010, or a 3.1 percent increase.

Wrangell City and Borough shrank to 2,127. That is a loss of 242 people or 10.2 percent.

North Slope Borough also grew rapidly, although the overall numbers are smaller: There are 11,031 people living in the borough, an increase of 1,601 since 2010, or 17 percent.

The borough that has seen the most growth in the decade is Skagway, which went from 968 in 2010 to 1,240 in 2020, an increase of 272, or 28 percent growth.

The population shifts are what will inform the redistricting process, as political boundaries all over the nation change as a result of changing population and demographics.

The overall population of Alaska is 733,391, an increase of 3.3 percent in the decade.

Check back with Must Read Alaska for more information about the Census in Alaska, as we take a look at some of the more rural districts in Alaska.

National factoids

County and metro area highlights released on Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • The largest county in the United States in 2020 remains Los Angeles County with over 10 million people.
  • The largest city (incorporated place) in the United States in 2020 remains New York with 8.8 million people.
  • 312 of the 384 U.S. metro areas gained population between 2010 and 2020.
  • The fastest-growing U.S. metro area between the 2010 Census and 2020 Census was The Villages, FL, which grew 39% from about 93,000 people to about 130,000 people.
  • 72 U.S. metro areas lost population from the 2010 Census to the 2020 Census. The U.S. metro areas with the largest percentage declines were Pine Bluff, AR, and Danville, IL, at -12.5 percent and -9.1 percent, respectively.


      • Property is expensive in anchorage because there are damn few places left to build on that aren’t already developed, unlike the valley where there is literally Tes-of-Thousands of acres still open for development – making land and homes far less expensive.

      • The higher land value in ANC has to do w/ the constrictions of the ANC “bowl” & it’s finite amount of land.
        The Valley, like most places in AK, except SE, has almost unlimited land.
        The economic rules of supply & demand actually exist.

        Don’t let reality seep into your world view Slip ….
        As we used to say in HS …don’t ever change

      • No, the much lesser intrusive and oppressive government in Anchorage obviously has not nearly as much to do with property values (yet) as does the density of development, and lack of green space on which to build. Your implication is specious and idiotic.

        • So you’re telling me that people pay more to live in the “repressive and reactionary tyranny in Anchorage” (to quote your comment above), instead of buying cheaper property in Mat-Su, because . . . hmm . . . they’d rather pay more?

          • No, in my haste I obviously miswrote. I meant to say “No, the much MORE intrusive and oppressive government in Anchorage …”
            And of course you know that, but of course, being a hypocritical radical leftist, you chose to nitpick instead of addressing the salient point of posts.

          • There’s nothing like smug ignorance! It’s really just a question of what you want to pay for. The Anchorage Bowl has very high regulatory costs; some estimates are as high as 40% more than equivalent non-regulated construction elsewhere. In the Bowl proper, any property is going to be on a paved and maintained street with curbs and gutters, city water and sewer, and common utility gas and electricity. The house is going to be built to a technologically appropriate standard for the climate and is going to be reasonably well constructed and honestly inspected. It costs far too much and the quality doesn’t match the price, but it is reliable. Just look at the results of the Nov. ’19 earthquake and the damage in the relatively laxly regulated ER and Wasilla area v. the Bowl.

            When you look at the lower housing costs in the exurbs, it is easy to leave out the transportation costs if you live in ER or the Valley and work in town. If you live in the Mat Valley and commute to town every day, you’re going to burn up most cars in three or four years and burn a lot of gas and tires in the process; that is a part of the cost of living there.

            I lived in “suburban” Juneau on a dirt road with ditches, a well, and a septic system. Over time I spent the money to join the service districts to bring city water and sewer and pave the road, though we never went for curbs, gutters, and sidewalks because there were too many renters, and really the traffic wasn’t so bad that it was unsafe for the kids to walk in the road to the school bus stop.

            Anyway, convenience has a cost. When my wife accepted a job here in Anchorage, I told her that my requirements for a house were no more than a ten mile commute and no hills. So, it is about ten miles to downtown from Oceanview and it is good, flat road, though the traffic on Minnesota is maniacal. If you live in the Valley, you get forty miles of jackasses in pickups doing twenty miles an hour over the speed limit.

            Fortunately, I can get most anything I want within a mile of my house or with a few keystrokes, and I basically ignore the “repressive and reactionary tyranny,” which is real in Anchorage, but you can largely ignore it if you can afford it.

  1. Would be interesting to see numbers from 2019 to 2021 in the large liberal cities and states. Could only imagine the decline in numbers as they run away.

  2. They bring with them the very failed policies and practices that they’re running from. Just ask folks in Idaho.

  3. I have lived in Alaska since 1979. It was a great place when Hammond was gov. I am getting a case of I don’t give a flip dejavu.

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