Alaska population steady for 2nd year; Kenai Peninsula sees growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough is one of the nine that saw growth

For the second year in a row, the population of Alaska has remained steady, according to a Jan. 9 press release from the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The release says that between July 2022 and July 2023, the state’s population grew by 304 and people. This comes after the department last year reported an increase from 2021 to 2022 of 451 people.

Though the state is seeing a small population increase, the department notes that net migration, the difference between the number of people moving to Alaska compared with those who are leaving the state, still represents a negative trend. Between July 2022 and 2023, the department says that the state saw a loss of 3,246 people. That number was offset by 3,550 births — a “natural increase.”

“Alaska has lost more movers than it has gained every year since 2013,” the release reads. “Losses have slowed in the last few years.”

The working population — those aged 18 to 64 — declined statewide by 0.2%, while the population aged 65 or older grew 3%, the release says. Similar changes were also reported last year, though both totals were greater — a 5% increase for those older than 65 and a 1% decline for those of working ages.

In the January edition of “Alaska Economic Trends Magazine,” published by the department, a statewide forecast for jobs describes an ongoing worker shortage being exacerbated by Alaska’s aging population and migration losses of working aged people.

Of the 30 boroughs and census areas in Alaska, state data indicates that 21 lost population over the year. The Kenai Peninsula Borough is one of the nine that saw growth; its gain of 898 people is the second largest in the state behind only the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Last year’s data also showed the Kenai Peninsula Borough as one of an even smaller group of only four boroughs to see growth — that year gaining 909 people.

The state estimates that as of July 2023, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has a population of 60,898.

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