Historian bother Ritter as soon as wrote the Alaska is “like i do not have anything else—wild, extreme and also amazing.”

That being said, whenyou’re considering a move to Alaska, you might want to know a bit more about what you’re gaining into.

You are watching: How big is alaska compared to the lower 48

Or, if you exiting Alaska for the reduced 48, you could want to understand what you leaving behind.To provide you a far better sense of exactly how Alaska sizes approximately the rest of the unified States(and the world!), we’ve put together a couple of comparisons. Take away together, they’ll offer you a new perspective on just how life in theLand of theMidnightSunstacks up.

So, How big Is Alaska?

Alaskameasures 665,384 square miles. This provides it, by far, the biggest state.Below,takea look at athow it compares to the other top contenders.Plus, to provide you a far better sense that what life in Alaska is like, we additionally included some numbers on population and populace density, i m sorry will expose just exactly how much space is waiting for girlfriend in Alaska.

Largest states by complete Area:


Land area: 665,384 square miles

Population: 731,545i

Population Density: 1.10 people/mi²


Land Area 268,596 square miles

How much Bigger Is Alaska? 2.5 times

Population: 28,995,881 ii

Population Density: 108.0 people/mi²


Land Area 163,694 square miles

How much Bigger Is Alaska? 4.1 times

Population: 39,512,223 iii

Population Density: 241.4 people/mi²


Land Area 147,039 square miles

How lot Bigger Is Alaska? 4.5 times

Population: 1,068,778 iv

Population Density: 7.3 people/mi²

New Mexico

Land Area 121,590 square miles

How lot Bigger Is Alaska? 5.5 times

Population: 2,096,829 v

Population Density: 17.2 people/mi²


Land Area 113,990 square miles

How lot Bigger Is Alaska? 5.8 times

Population: 7,278,717 vi

Population Density: 63.9 people/mi²

To further put thesestatsintoperspective:

Alaska is around one-fifth the size of theentireLower 48. If you linked the area the Texas, California,and Montana, it would certainly still be much less than the dimension of Alaska.

In fact, Alaska is the seventh-largest nation subdivision in the world. It ranking just below the State the Queensland in Australia—but consider this fact: if Queensland boasts a populace just over 5 million,Alaskaonlyhas737,438residents.In fact, let’s take a more worldwide perspective top top Alaska’s size.

How large Is Alaska in comparison to other Countries?

When you’re considering how big Alaskais in comparison to the countries of the world, you can be tempted come pull out a map and simply look.

However, this wouldn’t give you a completely accurate accounting of Alaska’s size. Why?Itcenters aroundthe fact that maps room aflat,two-dimensional depiction of a three-dimensional globe.

The Mercator Projection and Why it Distorts the dimension of Alaska

You might be surprised to learn that the maps we use todayarebased top top amodel publishedway backin1569called the Mercator projection.The 16thcentury wasa time ofsignificantglobal exploration, andthis modelwasdesigned primarily to assist in that mission. As a result,whileMercator projectionmaps made navigationeasy, castle distort the size of geographical objects much from the equator.

Greenland is a an excellent example.Although it’s roughly similar in size to Saudi Arabia, itcertainlydoesn’t watch that method on a Mercator forecast map.vii

So what does this typical for Alaska?Because it’sfar from the equator, Alaska look at much larger than Mexico. However, they’re about the very same size!

What’s the best way to understand how large Alaska yes, really is?Tryout a fascinating app calledThe True Size.You’ll be able to drag the rundown of Alaska almost everywhere the world. The application automaticallyadjuststhe size of the stateproportionally as you navigate.


Land Area: 6,323,482 mi² Population: 144,104,080 viii Population Density: 22.8 people/mi2


Land Area: 3,600,950 mi² Population: 1,402,112,000 ix Population Density: 389.4people/mi2


Land Area: 3,511,023mi² Population: 38,005,238 x Population Density: 10.8 people/mi2


Land Area: 3,266,584 mi² Population: 212,559,409 xi Population Density: 65.1 people/mi2


Land Area: 2,947,336mi² Population: 25,687,041 xii Population Density: 8.7 people/mi2

lower 48

Land Area: 3,119,884mi² Population: 328,571,074 (2020 Census) Population Density: 111.04 people/mi2

Now the you know exactly how Alaska stacks up to the biggest countries in the world, let’s talk about one more distinction.

What about Water vs. Land Area?

Interestingly enough, once you look at the United says in terms of the bodies of water within state boundaries, you’ll discover some new names in the optimal fivelargest states:

States with biggest Water Area:

Alaska – 94,743 mi2 Michigan – 40,174 mi2 Florida – 12,132 mi2 Wisconsin – 11,338 mi2 Louisiana – 9,174 mi2

You’ll notice, however, the Alaska still tops the list. even if it is you’re looking in ~ water, land,or total an unified area, Alaska is #1 in every category. Even Michigan’s an excellent Lakes can not compete, square-footage-wise through Alaska’s much more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes. In fact, the Yukon River, which starts in brother Columbia and also flows with Alaska into the Bering Sea, is the third-longest flow in the unified States.

EvenWhen It come to shore Alone,Alaska Is quite Impressive!

Clocking in at 6,640 miles, Alaska’s shore is pretty impressive.In fact, theU.S. Census procedures the shore of the whole U.S. At12,383 miles. In other words, the state the Alaska alonemakes up fifty percent of the U.S. Coastline. That’s a pretty exceptional number!xiii

How Many civilization Live in Alaska?

As we hinted when comparing Alaska to the Australian state that Queensland, the population density is low in the Frontier State—the lowest of every the states, v a density of1.1people every square mile.

To provide you some contrast, examine out this statistics from various other regions the the U.S.:

0- people/mi2
The populace density the Wyoming, the state v the next- lowest populace density
0- people/mi2
The population density of new Jersey, the state v the highest populace density
0- people/mi2
The population density of the ar of Columbia

To assist us visualize the true dimension of Alaska, we supplied the True size tool to compare Alaska by miles² to other areas of the globe. Let’s take it a look:

Imagine a square parcel of floor that measures a mile on every side. Visualize 1.3 civilization in it—or also two people—and climate think around what the same item of land would certainly look choose with 10,859 civilization in it.

That visual will provide you a feeling for just exactly how much land Alaska needs to offer—and how couple of people occupy it.That being said, peoplein Alaska obviously aren’t spread out out evenly. Instead, numerous can be uncovered in Alaska’s cities and towns.

How big Are Alaska’s best Cities?

Some civilization move to Alaska because that the off-the-grid lifestyle. Others just want to enjoy quiet, open acreage with couple of other people around. Because that those whocrave company, there’s Alaska’s biggest city, Anchorage, v a population of288,970.xiv

If you’ve never resided in a city the size, recognize that that the 68th biggest city in the unified States. It’s simply a little smaller, population-wise, than Cincinnati, Ohio and just a small larger 보다 St. Louis, Missouri.

If Anchorage sounds also crowded, you can want to pick a different spot in Alaska, such together the next-largest city, Fairbanks. Its population of30,917xvmakes it the 1,002nd–largest city in the U.S.

To put it right into perspective, Fairbanks share a similar population with these 3 U.S. Cities:

Manassas, VA (35,205) Lewiston, ME (35,131) san Juan Capistrano, CA (34,793)

Now once you’re picking where you desire to live in Alaska, friend might also want to think about how an overwhelming or basic it will certainly be to gain yourself home.

What about Roadways in Alaska?

You could have heard that Alaskans like to get creative with obtaining around: planes, ferry boats, snow devices (you might know them as snowmobiles),and also dog sleds are typical forms of transport in the Frontier State.

This is probably partially because of the Alaskan “can do”attitude—andthe truth that over there are just 14,336 mile of public roads in Alaska, which place it fine behind the other biggest states, as you can see in this chart:

Miles of public Roads:

Alaska: 14,336 Texas: 679,917 California: 394,383 Montana: 150,257 new Mexico: 161,015 Delaware: 14,069xvi

(You’ll notice that, in terms of mileage of windy roads, Alaska has approximately as plenty of as the state that Delaware, the second-smallest statein the U.S.!)That gift said, you’llwant to master the state’s various modes that transportation because there room plenty of especially sites come see.

What renders Alaska So different from other States?

A lot of things—and the answer will be different, depending on who girlfriend ask. This list of the topninereasons to relocate to Alaska is a good start.In addition, we’d like to highlight two features of Alaska the make it stand out from the remainder of the country.Alaska is house to twelve that the thirteen highest mountain peaks in the joined States, including the highest, Denali (formerly well-known as Mt. McKinley):

Highest significant Summits in the joined States

Denali: 20,310 ft. (AK) mount Saint Elias: 18,009 ft. (AK & Canada’s Yukon) mountain Foraker: 17,400 ft. (AK) mountain Bona: 16,550 ft. (AK) mount Blackburn: 16,390 ft. (AK) mountain Sanford: 16,237 ft. (AK) MountFairweather: 15,325 ft. (AK & brother Columbia) mount Hubbard: 14,951 ft. (AK & Canada’s Yukon) mount Bear: 14,831 ft. (AK) mountain Hunter: 14,573 ft. (AK) mount Whitney: 14,505 ft. (California) MountAlverstone: 14,500 ft. (AK & Canada’s Yukon) university Peak: 14,470 ft. (AK)xvii

In addition to breathtaking hill peaks, Alaska likewise hosts the second-most nationwide parks in the unified States. The peak spot goes come California, which has nine parks. Alaska is ideal behind through eight.

That gift said, ifyou’re measure up by acreage, Alaska wins, hands-down. The state has dedicated 32,526,051 acres to national Park Land, whileCalifornia only has 6,313,164. Additionally, you’ll discover the largest National Park in Alaska: the 8.3 million-acre Wrangell-St. Elias national Park and also Preserve.

To amount it up, you won’t discover a lot of huge cities, people,or roadways in Alaska, however you will discover plentiful floor that’s just waiting to be exploredin Alaska’s five regions.

Discover the 5 unique Regions of Alaska

As girlfriend exploreAlaska’sfiveregions, you’ll find that life deserve to be radically differentin each. Your experienceinJuneau inthe rainy Southeastern regionwill stand in dramatic contrast tolife inurban Anchorage in SouthcentralAlaska. For a full review of every area, check out our blog “The ideal Places come Live in Alaska”

To offer you a far better sense of what each an ar is like, here’s a fast run-down of every five:

Southcentral Alaska – plenty ofroads and accessibility to Alaska’s largestcity, Anchorage, make this one of the many convenient locations to live in Alaska.Plus, there’s many of Alaska’s herbal beauty to reap in the area, consisting of the sights withinKenai Fjords national Park, Wrangell-St. Elias national Park, and the Chugach national Forest.Ifit’s a popular contest, Southcentral Alaska wins far and also away:40% that Alaska’s populace lives in Anchorage and also 54% live in the broaderAnchorage/Mat-Su financial Region.xviii Southeast Alaska – additionally known together the within Passage, the terrain in south east Alaska is largely comprised of islands and also mountains. And while you’ll gain milder winter (relatively; this is quiet Alaska, ~ all),this stunningregiongetswetweather nearlyyear-round.You’ll find very few roads in the area, sotransportation islargely via boat and also airplane. Southwest Alaska – lot of the population in Southwest Alaska is focused in the Kodiak Island Borough.Additionally, you’ll find a far-ranging Native population in the area.27% of residents determine as American Indian or AlaskaNative,xixand theYup’ikand Aleut communitieshave a significant presencein SouthwestAlaska.The regionis not linked by roads, so life in this area method navigating by aircraft and boat. Interior Alaska – Fairbanksis oneof the large hubs in this region, i beg your pardon is additionally home to the college of Alaska Fairbanks.There’s additionally a far-ranging military populationin the interior, withpersonnel stationed at clear Air pressure Station basic in Denali Borough, fort Wainwright or ft Greely army Bases in Fairbanks, or Eielson Air force Base in phibìc Pole. Far north Alaska – The television showIce road Truckersmade the highway that traverses this an ar famous.Extreme weather and extreme darkness in the heart of winter do this a complicated place to live, return the Inupiat people still live in an ext than 30 towns in the region.

For more details, check out our article on thebest places to live in Alaska’s five regions.

Getting a Clearer snapshot of the Frontier State

Now that we’ve taken friend on a tour of some of the much more prominent attributes of the Frontier State—and how they to compare to those that the other United States—you can have a far better sense the what renders Alaska therefore unique. Whether that inspires you come head for the land of the Midnight Sun, pack up because that the reduced 48 or stay right whereby you are—well, that’s as much as you.

However, if you’re moving to, indigenous or approximately Alaska, we’d be happy to help.

See more: How To Polish A Titanium Ring, Polishing A Titanium Ring To Like

our Anchorage-based team has comprehensive experience relocating to even the remotest parts of the state. Just contact us for a quote. Wednesday be happy to assist you uncover your residence in the largest state in the Union.