World Facts

Is Alaska A Country?

Alaska is the 49th state of the country of the United States of America.

A country is a self-governing autonomous entity with well-laid systems of governance. The government branches are the legislature, judiciary, and the executive. The governing authority of a country has the right to tax citizens and manage all resources. Alaska is a vast territory located in North America. Despite the vastness, Alaska is not a country as it is not an independent sovereign state. Alaska is instead the 49th State of the United States of America. On July 17, 1958, Alaska gained statehood leading to its proclamation as a state on January 3, 1959.

Geography

Alaska is geographically located in the westernmost and northernmost part of the United States. Alaska borders Canada to the east and shares a maritime border with Russia on the western end. The Beaufort and Chukchi seas and the Arctic Ocean are to the north while the Pacific Ocean borders Alaska on the southern side. Both the Bering Strait and the Bering Sea are to the west. Of all the US States, Alaska is the largest by geographical size though it is the third least populated of the 50 States. The total area is 1,717,856 square kilometers. The state was initially owned by the Russian Empire who sold it to the US at $7.2 Million US dollars on March 30, 1867.

The capital city of Alaska is Juneau which is located on the mainland. The coastline of Alaska is the longest of all the US states. The vast territory is divided into six regions namely Southcentral, Southeast, Southwest, North Slope, Aleutian Island, and Interior. Alaska is home to more than 3 million lakes. The land is covered by marshlands, glacier, and permafrost. Alaska has witnessed various active volcanos in the Aleutians area and the coastal region.

Demographics and Religion

Alaska is home to about one million people. It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world. The spoken language is mostly English though Alaskan native languages account for 5.2% of the spoken languages. Spanish and Tagalog are also widely spoken. 34% of Alaskans are affiliated to a certain religious group with Christians being the majority, followed by Jews, Hindus, and Muslims.

Economy

Oil and gas are the backbones of the Alaskan economy. Other contributors to the economy are seafood, tourism, and shipping. The highest number of employment opportunities are in government institutions and industries. Military personnel contributes substantially to the economy since Alaska is a military base.

Transport and Communication

The road network is not well developed across Alaska. The railway infrastructure built in 1915 played a critical role in opening up the interior. Cruise ships and the ferry system are well organized and maintained by the state. Sea transport connects the vast State to the rest of the world. Air transport remains the only most efficient mode of transport to and from the state due to limited access to other modes of transport.

Governance

The state is governed as a republic with three branches of government: namely the executive, judiciary, and the legislature. The executive is headed by the Governor of Alaska who is elected by the electorate. The legislature is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judiciary consists of the supreme court and other lower courts. Alaska has one representative to the US House of Representatives. Alaskans have always supported a Republican presidential candidate.

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