Kaltag, Alaska

From Academic Kids

Kaltag is a city located in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 230.



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Location of Kaltag, Alaska

Kaltag is located at 64°19'31" North, 158°43'37" West (64.325145, -158.727030)Template:GR.

Kaltag is on the west bank of the Yukon River, 120 km (75 miles) west of Galena. It is located on a 10 m (35 foot) high bluff at the base of the Nulato Hills, west of the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 70.9 km² (27.4 mi²). 60.3 km² (23.3 mi²) of it is land and 10.6 km² (4.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 14.97% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 230 people, 69 households, and 52 families residing in the city. The population density is 3.8/km² (9.9/mi²). There are 78 housing units at an average density of 1.3/km² (3.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 12.61% White, 0.00% Black or African American, 84.35% Native American, 0.00% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 3.04% from two or more races. 0.00% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 69 households out of which 49.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% are married couples living together, 18.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.2% are non-families. 21.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.33 and the average family size is 3.83.

In the city the population is spread out with 37.0% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 25 years. For every 100 females there are 132.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 126.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $29,167, and the median income for a family is $25,625. Males have a median income of $20,938 versus $48,750 for females. The per capita income for the city is $9,361. 33.9% of the population and 29.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 45.7% of those under the age of 18 and 0.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Kaltag was a Koyokon Athabascan area used as a cemetery for surrounding villages. It is located on an old portage trail which led west through the mountains to Unalakleet. The Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River.

Kaltag was named by Russians for the Koyokon man named Kaltaga.

There was a smallpox epidemic in 1839 that killed a large part of the population of the area.

After the Alaska Purchase, a United States military telegraph line was constructed along the north side of the Yukon River. A trading post opened around 1880, just before the gold rush of 1884-85. Steamboats on the Yukon, which supplied gold prospectors ran before and after 1900 with 46 boats in operation on the river in the peak year of 1900. A measles epidemic and food shortages during 1900 reduced the population of the area by one-third. The village Kaltag was established after the epidemic when survivors from three nearby villages moved to the area.

There was a minor gold rush in the area in the 1880s. In 1906, gold seekers left for Fairbanks or Nome; however, the Galena lead mines began operating in 1919. Kaltag was downriver from the mines and grew as a point on the transportation route for the mines. It declined in the 1940s as mining declined.

The old cemetery caved into the river around 1937. An airport and clinic were constructed during the 1960s.

Kaltag has a yearly week long Stick Dance Festival that draws visitors from many neighboring villages. This festival is sponsored by relatives of the recently deceased, in appreciation of those who helped during their time of mourning.

Much of the economy around Kaltag is based on subsistence hunting and fishing. Salmon, whitefish, moose, bear, waterfowl and berries are elements of the subsistence economy.

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