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North Slope Borough, Alaska facts for kids

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North Slope Borough, Alaska
Seal of North Slope Borough, Alaska
Map of Alaska highlighting North Slope Borough
Location in the state of Alaska
Map of the USA highlighting Alaska
Alaska's location in the U.S.
Founded July 2, 1972
Seat Barrow
Largest City Barrow
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

94,796 sq mi (245,521 km²)
88,695 sq mi (229,719 km²)
6,101 sq mi (15,802 km²), 6.4%
 - (2015)
 - Density

0.1/sq mi (0/km²)
Time zone Alaska: UTC-9/-8
The North Slope of Alaska
The Anaktuvuk River flows North toward the Arctic Ocean. Much of the North Slope Borough is characterized by vast, uninhabited gently rolling tundra.

North Slope Borough is a borough located largely in the North Slope region of the U.S. state of Alaska. It was established in 1972. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,430. The borough seat is Barrow. The mayor is Harry K. Brower Jr., elected in a special election in July 2016 after recall of the previous mayor by an April 2016 election.


The borough was established in 1972 by an election of the indigenous people in the region following Congressional passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. It was the first time that Native Americans had established a municipal government. The Borough had first-class status and exercised the powers of planning, zoning, taxation and schools. In 1974 it adopted a Home Rule Charter, enabling it to exercise any legitimate governmental power.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 94,796 square miles (245,520 km2), of which 88,695 square miles (229,720 km2) is land and 6,101 square miles (15,800 km2) (6.4%) is water. The borough is larger than 39 states.

Its western coastline is along the Chukchi Sea, while its eastern shores (beyond Point Barrow) are on the Beaufort Sea.

The North Slope Borough is the largest county-level political subdivision in the United States by area, with a larger land area than that of the state of Utah (UT is the 13th-largest state in the nation). Although the adjacent Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area is larger in area, it has no borough-level government. The borough is the fourth-least densely populated county-level entity in the United States. The Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area is the least densely populated county-level entity).

Adjacent boroughs and census areas

It shares its eastern border with Yukon, Canada, which has no subdivisions.

National protected areas

Map of northern Alaska showing location of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, (ANWR), and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA).
  • Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (part of the Chukchi Sea unit)
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (part)
    • Mollie Beattie Wilderness (part)
  • Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (part)
    • Gates of the Arctic Wilderness (part)
  • Noatak National Preserve (part)
    • Noatak Wilderness (part)

Other federal areas

  • National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 2,133
1970 2,663 24.8%
1980 4,199 57.7%
1990 5,979 42.4%
2000 7,385 23.5%
2010 9,430 27.7%
Est. 2015 9,687 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,385 people, 2,109 households, and 1,524 families residing in the borough. The population density was 12.03 square miles (31.2 km2) per person. There were 2,538 housing units at an average density of 35 square miles (91 km2) per unit. The racial makeup of the borough was 17.09% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 68.38% Native American, mostly Inuit, 5.92% Asian, 0.84% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 6.55% from two or more races. 2.37% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 42.84% reported speaking Iñupiaq or "Eskimo" at home, while 4.21% reported speaking Tagalog.

There were 2,109 households out of which 48.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.45 and the average family size was 4.05.

In the borough the population was spread out with 38.2% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 18.10% from 45 to 64, and 4.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 112.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.90 males.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

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