Cities in Alaska

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This page contains a list of cities in Alaska, and other information about local governments.

Alaska allows municipal charter cities and counties. There are 18 total counties in Alaska. Of those 18:[1]

There are 145 total municipalities in Alaska. Of those 145, 134 of them are General law municipalities while the remaining 11 are Charter/Home rule cities.[1]

Types of local government

Local government in Alaska consists of:

  • Organized boroughs: the entire state of Alaska is divided into 19 organized boroughs and 1 unorganized borough. 6 of the organized boroughs are consolidated with a particular city and operate as a unified government.

The organized boroughs of Alaska are:

Aleutians East Borough, Bristol Bay Borough, City & Borough of Juneau, City & Borough of Sitka, City & Borough of Wrangell, City & Borough of Yakutat, Denali Borough, Fairbanks Northstar Borough, Haines Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Kodiak Island Borough, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Municipality of Anchorage, Municipality of Skagway, North Slope Borough, Northwest Arctic Borough, Petersburg Borough
  • Cities: as of February, 2000 Alaska had 145 city governments.

Federal laws allowed the incorporation of cities in Alaska beginning in 1900. The first city government incorporated in Alaska was the City of Skagway. On June 5, 2007, voters approved dissolution of the City of Skagway and instead incorporated it as the first first-class borough in the State of Alaska.[2][3]

  • In addition, there are 15 special districts.[4]

Further classifications

Boroughs may be classified as:

  • First class borough.
  • Second class borough.
  • Third class borough.
  • Home rule charter borough.

Any general law borough may adopt and operate under a home rule charter.

The following boroughs operate under a home rule charter (with the year of charter adoption):

Municipality of Anchorage (1975), Denali Borough (1990), City and Borough of Juneau (1970), Lake and Peninsula Borough (1989), North Slope Borough (1974), Northwest Arctic Borough (1987), City and Borough of Sitka (1971), City and Borough of Yakutat (1992), Haines Borough (2002), City and Borough of Wrangell (2008)

Cities in Alaska are classified as:

  • First class city.
  • Second class city.
  • Home rule charter city.

Only first class cities may adopt a home rule charter.[5] To incorporate as a home rule or first class city, a community must have at least 400 permanent residents.[6]

The following cities operate under a home rule charter (with the year of charter adoption in parentheses):

Cordova (1960), Fairbanks (1960), Kenai (1963), Ketchikan (1960), Kodiak (1965), Nenana (1982), North Pole (1970), Palmer (1962), Petersburg (1960), Seward (1960), Valdez (1961)

Alaska's first and second class cities are general law cities. The laws that govern their powers, duties and functions are defined by state law. A home rule city may exercise all legislative powers not prohibited by law or by charter.[7]

Laws governing local ballot measures

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Alaska

An initiative process is available in:

  • All general law cities, which have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
  • All 11 charter cities, which must include initiative for ordinances in the charter. Charters may also permit initiative for charter amendments.
  • All general law boroughs, which have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
  • All 10 charter boroughs which must include initiative for ordinances in the charter. Charters may also permit initiative for charter amendments..[8]

10 most populated cities

List of Most Populated Cities in Alaska
City[9] Population City Type Next election
Anchorage 295,570 Charter as consolidated city-borough N/A
Juneau 32,164 Charter as consolidated city-borough N/A
Fairbanks 32,036 Charter N/A
Sitka 8,952 Charter as consolidated city-borough N/A
Ketchikan 8,119 Charter N/A
Wasilla 8,092 General law N/A
Kenai 7,218 Charter N/A
Kodiak City 6,256 Charter N/A
Bethel 6,219 General law N/A
Palmer 6,122 General law N/A

Full List of Cities

A guide to local ballot initiatives
Local Ballot Initiatives cover.jpg

As of the 2010 Census, there are 145 incorporated cities and towns in Alaska. Population figures below are based on the updated estimates as of July 1, 2011.[10]

See also

References