Alaska is a
state situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent.
Bordering the state to the east is Yukon, a Canadian territory, and the Canadian
province of British Columbia, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific
Ocean to the west and south, with Russia (specifically, Siberia) further west
across the Bering Strait.
is the largest state in the United States
by area, the 4th least populous and the least densely populated of the 50 United
States. Approximately half of Alaska's
731,449 residents live within the Anchorage
metropolitan area. Alaska's
economy is dominated by the oil, natural gas, and fishing industries, resources
which it has in abundance. Tourism is also a significant part of the economy.
Although it had been occupied for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, from
the 18th century onward, European powers considered the
ripe for exploitation. The
March 30, 1867,
for $7.2 million ($121 million adjusted for inflation) at approximately two
cents per acre ($4.74/kmē). The area went through several administrative changes
before becoming organized as a territory on
May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the
January 3, 1959.
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