Economy

Economy

chart Alaska’s economy is driven by
the following industries:
  • Oil
  • Tourism
  • Fishing

Other important industries
are:

  • Timber
  • Mining
  • Agriculture

The oil and gas industry is the largest component of Alaska’s economy. Nearly 85 percent of the state budget is supplied by oil revenues. The fortunes of Alaska’s oil industry, and therefore many sectors of the economy, are dependent upon world oil prices.

Oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay, on the arctic coast, in 1968. Pipeline construction began in 1974 and was completed in 1977. The 800 mile pipeline is the largest privately financed construction project in history. The pipe is 48 inches in diameter and oil moves at about 5.5 miles per hour, requiring just under six days to travel from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

Tourism is also a major sector of Alaska’s economy attracting over 1.1 million visitors annually. The tourism industry is Alaska’s second largest primary employer.

The rich fishing waters off Alaska’s coast make it one of the world’s finest sources for wild seafood. Each year nearly 6 billion pounds of seafood are harvested. Alaska is the number one producer of wild salmon in the world and has the only salmon industry certified as "sustainable" by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Forests add to Alaska’s beauty and provide a renewable economic resource. With 28 million acres of commercial forest, Alaska’s timber industry supplies world markets with logs, lumber, pulp, and other forest products. Much of Southeast Alaska is part of the Tongass National Forest, a 16.8 million acre rainforest. The Chugach is the nation's second largest national forest with 4.8 million acres.

Alaska contains half the nation’s coal reserves, and its largest silver and zinc mines. Glittering gold in Alaska’s streams and mountains still lure miners to work private claims.

About 15 million acres of soil in Alaska are suitable for farming, with 1 million acres currently in production. The long daylight hours of summer produce vegetables of extraordinary size. Farmers in the Matanuska Valley grow cabbages weighing more than 90 pounds.

Need more info? Click here: Alaska Economic Information System

Alaska Facts

State Nick Name: "The Last Frontier" - the name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word "Aleyska," meaning "great land."

State Motto: "North to the Future"

State Capital: Juneau, located in the Southeast region of Alaska, has a population of 31,275 (2010 Census)

Alaska Map:

Map of Alaska

Alaska Flag:

Alaska state flag is dark blue with yellow stars in the shape of the big dipper with the North star

NOTE: The State of Alaska is not responsible for the content/information on any site outside of a State of Alaska department.