Cities in Alaska
Alaska allows municipal charter cities and counties. There are 18 total counties in Alaska. Of those 18:
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.
- In addition, there are 15 special districts.
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.
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.
Laws governing local ballot measures
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..
10 most populated cities
|List of Most Populated Cities in Alaska|
|City||Population||City Type||Next election|
|Anchorage||295,570||Charter as consolidated city-borough||April 2, 2013|
|Juneau||32,164||Charter as consolidated city-borough||October 1, 2013|
|Fairbanks||32,036||Charter||October 8, 2013|
|Sitka||8,952||Charter as consolidated city-borough||October 1, 2013|
|Ketchikan||8,119||Charter||October 1, 2013|
|Wasilla||8,092||General law||October 1, 2013|
|Kenai||7,218||Charter||October 1, 2013|
|Kodiak City||6,256||Charter||October 1, 2013|
|Bethel||6,219||General law||October 1, 2013|
|Palmer||6,122||General law||October 1, 2013|
Full List of Cities
|A guide to local ballot initiatives|
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.
|List of Cities and Population in Alaska|
|Juneau and borough||32,164|
|Sitka and borough||8,952|
|Wrangell and borough||2,382|
- Local Government Types and Numbers Research Spreadsheet
- Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, Local Boundary Commission website homepage
- Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, "Local Government in Alaska", February 2000
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- Alaska Statute Sec. 29.10.010
- Alaska Statute Sec. 29.05.011
- Alaska Constitution, Article X, Section 11
- Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state
- US Census Bureau "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011 (Population figures as of 2011 Census estimates)
- US Census "March 2011 Estimate of Alaska cities"