Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage (Dena'ina: Dgheyay Kaq'; Dgheyaytnu) is a unified municipal consolidated city-borough in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the West Coast of the United States. With a population of 291,247 in 2020,[4] it is Alaska's most populous city and contains nearly 40% of the state's population. The Anchorage metropolitan area, which includes Anchorage and the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 396,317 in 2019, accounting for more than half the state's population. At 1,706 square miles (4,420 km2) of land area, the city is the fourth-largest by area in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, which has 1,212 square miles (3,140 km2).[6][7]

Anchorage, Alaska
Municipality of Anchorage
Anchorage skyline and Bootleggers Cove, viewed from Point Woronzof Park, April 2008
Nicknames: 
"The City of Lights and Flowers", "Los Anchorage"[1][2]
Motto(s): 
Big Wild Life
Interactive map of Anchorage
Coordinates: 61°13′N 149°54′W
Country United States
State Alaska
BoroughAnchorage
Settled1914
Incorporated
  • November 23, 1920 (city)
  • January 1, 1964 (borough)
  • September 15, 1975
    (unified municipality)
Named forThe anchorage at the mouth of Ship Creek
Government
  BodyAnchorage Assembly
  MayorDave Bronson (R)
  Alaska Senate
  Alaska House
Area
  Consolidated city-borough1,944.05 sq mi (5,035.06 km2)
  Land1,706.80 sq mi (4,420.59 km2)
  Water237.25 sq mi (614.47 km2)
  Urban
78.8 sq mi (204 km2)
Elevation
102 ft (31 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Consolidated city-borough291,247[4]
  Rank
  • 1st in Alaska
  • 69th in the United States
  Density149.81/sq mi (65.15/km2)
  Urban
251,243 (US: 149th)[5]
  Metro
399,148 (US: 134th)
Demonym(s)
  • Anchoragite
  • Anchoriginal (informal)
Time zoneUTC−9 (AKST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99501–99524, 99529-99530, 99599
Area code(s)907
Geocode1398242
FIPS code02-03000
Websitewww.muni.org

Anchorage is in Southcentral Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south.[8] In September 1975, the City of Anchorage merged with the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, creating the Municipality of Anchorage.[9] The municipal city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2), encompassing the urban core, a joint military base,[10] several outlying communities, and almost all of Chugach State Park.[11] Because of this, less than 10% of the Municipality (or Muni) is populated, with the highest concentration of people in the 100 square-mile area that makes up the city proper, on a promontory at the headwaters of the inlet, commonly called Anchorage, the City of Anchorage, or the Anchorage Bowl.[12]

Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Tokyo, and Frankfurt, Germany (via the polar route), Anchorage lies within 10 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world.[13][14] For this reason, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.[15][16]

Anchorage has won the All-America City Award four times: in 1956, 1965, 1984–85, and 2002, from the National Civic League.[17] Kiplinger has named it the United States' most tax-friendly city.[18]