The number of people applying for an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend this year dropped by 2,118 from last year.
668,588 Alaskans applied in 2018 by the deadline, March 31, according to Sara Race, director of the Permanent Fund Division.
That is down from the 670,706 who applied in 2017, although only 615,590 of those were found qualified to receive it.
The state’s population is thought to be about 737,000, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The number of people applying for the dividend has dropped for several years after reaching a high in 2012 of 679,633.
This year’s dividend will be $1,600, as set by the House and Senate and agreed to by the governor during the session.
Since its inception in 1982, more than 22.1 million applications have been received by the Permanent Fund Division, and 21 million of those Alaskans have been paid a total of $21.9 billion.
This year, if it’s like recent years, about 6 percent applications are likely to be rejected for various reasons, usually due to residency requirements. Last year, 8 percent of applications were not paid, a more than 20 percent increase in rejected applications over the average.
If 40,000 applications are rejected (6 percent), more than $1 billion will be sent to the qualified Alaskans in October. The first Permanent Fund dividend check, in 1982, was for $1,000 and was sent to 487,841 Alaskans.