U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Census reports minimal state population growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

Data collected during the 2020 census show that Alaska had the least amount of population growth since statehood. That’s according to the Alaska Economic Trends Magazine’s December 2021 edition, which explored Alaska-specific census results in depth.

Alaska’s population grew by about 23,000 people — or 3.3% — between the 2010 and 2020 census. That’s compared to decades like the 1980s, when Alaska’s population grew by nearly 150,000 people — or by 36.9%. The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 5,700 people between the 2000 and the 2010 census, compared to a growth of about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

“Population growth during the 2010s was the lowest since territorial days,” the article states. “The state added the smallest number of people since the 1930s and grew at the slowest rate since the 1910s.”

The Municipality of Anchorage remains the state’s most populated area, with about 291,247 people — about 39.7% of the state’s total population of about 733,391 people. It’s almost triple the population of the next highest region — the Matanuska-Susitna Borough with about 107,081. The Mat-Su, however, saw the most population growth over the past 10 years — about 20.3%.

Central peninsula cities have also slipped in the ranks of largest Alaska cities. Kenai, for example, was the eighth-largest city in Alaska in 1980, with roughly 4,324 people, but fell to the 14th-largest city after the 2020 census. Of 29 geographies, 15 saw population growth, while 14 saw population loss. Sterling and Kalifornsky saw population growth over the last decade and were in the top 20 most populous Alaska geographies.

Data from the 2020 census shifted some of the peninsula’s state legislative boundaries under the once-in-a-decade redistricting process, which wrapped up last month. Seward will vote with Kodiak, not Nikiski, under redistricting plans adopted by the Alaska Redistricting Board during a public hearing on Nov. 5.

The full December issue of Trends can be found on the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development website at labor.alaska.gov/trends/home.htm.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Data from the state of Alaska show a steep increase in COVID-19 cases in January 2022. (Department of Health and Social Services)
Omicron drives COVID spike in Alaska as officials point to decreasing cases in eastern US

On Friday, the seven-day average number of daily cases skyrocketed to 2,234.6 per 100,000 people

Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, stands in front of a ship on May 14, 2021.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Judge sides with attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Alaska judge says the firing violated free speech and associational rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (left) swears in student representative Silas Thibodeau at the Kenai City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai junior sworn in as council student rep

Thibodeau says he wants to focus on inclusivity and kindness during his term

Branden Bornemann, executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the forum on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A voice for this river’

Forum reflects on 25 years protecting peninsula watershed

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center provides information on a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck at approximately 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The quake struck approximately 17 miles southeast of Redoubt volcano or 41 miles southwest of Kenai, Alaska, at a depth of 72.8 miles. (Screenshot)
Quake near Redoubt shakes peninsula

The quake was centered 41 miles southwest of Kenai.

Most Read