FACTS ABOUT ALASKA
(Borrowed from the Alaska Baptist Convention [SBC])
The 49th state, Alaska:
- It has one million acres of land for every day of the year. It is 2 ½ times larger than Texas. Its 586,000 square miles would cover 20% of the contiguous United States.
- It has more coastline (33,904) Miles) than the rest of the U.S. combined. 2 oceans and 3 seas border it.
- There are 3,000 rivers; 3 million lakes; 5,000 glaciers; 70 active volcanoes; and 17 of the 20 highest mountains in North America are in Alaska.
- Point Barrow to Ketchikan is further than Seattle to Mexico. Alaska is the northern most state, the westernmost state (Amatignak Island) and the easternmost state – yep – look it up! (Semisopochnoi Island).
- There are 3 major native cultures: Eskimo, Indian and Aleut, with numerous sub-cultures.
- The majority of communities are small with no roads leading to them. Transportation in and out of them is by airplane, boat, train, snow machine or ATV. Many communities do not, yet, have electricity, indoor plumbing or running water.
- The 4 largest employers are government, oil, fishing and tourism.
- Wildlife abounds with deer, elk, moose, caribou, musk ox, bear (black, brown and polar), wolf, mountain goat, dall sheep, fox, mink, martins, walrus, sea lions, 2 species of dolphins, 2 species of porpoises, 15 species of baleen and toothed whales., seals, eagles, falcons, geese, ducks, swans , beaver, otters and innumerable species of fish, just to name a few.
- Total state population is 725,000 people with the 3 largest cities being Anchorage with 350,000 people, Fairbanks with 75,000 people and Juneau (the capital) with 30,000 people.
- Alaska has a unique climate. Some communities can get up to 300 inches of rain and 30 feet of snow a year. In Barrow, there are 3 months of 24 hours a day sunlight and 3 months of 24 hours a day darkness. Temperatures can range from -100 °F to 100 °F.
- 95-97% of Alaskans are unchurched & that church has no relevance or meaning to the average Alaskan. In the Lower 48, often when people do not go to church on Sunday, the question is asked, “I wonder what is wrong with them today?” In Alaska, this question is often asked about those who go to church.