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Wasilla, Alaska

From Academic Kids

For the Sarmatian god of the same name, see Wasilla (god)

Wasilla (population 5,469) is a town in southcentral Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Contents

Geography

Missing image
AKMap-doton-Wasilla.PNG
Location of Wasilla, Alaska

Wasilla is located at 61°34'54" North, 149°27'9" West (61.581732, -149.452539)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.2 km² (12.4 mi²). 30.4 km² (11.7 mi²) of it is land and 1.8 km² (0.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.64% water.

Wasilla is located midway between the Matanuska Valley and the Susitna Valley, on the George Parks Highway. It lies between Wasilla Lake and Lake Lucille, 43 highway miles (69 km) northeast of Anchorage, about one hour's drive, and about 10 miles (16 km) west of Palmer.

Climate

January temperatures range from 4°F to 23°F; July temperatures vary from 47°F to 68°F. The average annual precipitation is 17 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 5,469 people, 1,979 households, and 1,361 families residing in the city. The population density is 180.2/km² (466.8/mi²). There are 2,119 housing units at an average density of 69.8/km² (180.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.46% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 5.25% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 1.32% from other races, and 5.94% from two or more races. 3.68% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,979 households out of which 43.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% are married couples living together, 13.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% are non-families. 23.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.76 and the average family size is 3.27.

In the city the population is spread out with 33.6% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $48,226, and the median income for a family is $53,792. Males have a median income of $41,332 versus $29,119 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,127. 9.6% of the population and 5.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.6% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Description

Approximately 30 percent of the Wasilla workforce commutes to Anchorage, Alaska. The local economy is diverse, and residents are employed in a variety of city, borough, state, federal, retail and professional service positions. Tourism, agriculture, wood products, steel and concrete products are part of the economy. One hundred twenty area residents hold commercial fishing permits. Wasilla is home to the Iditarod Trail Committee.

The George Parks Highway, Glenn Highway and other roads connect the city to Anchorage, the remainder of the state and Canada. The Alaska Railroad serves Wasilla. A city airport, with a paved 3,700 foot (1,130 m) airstrip, provides scheduled commuter and air taxi services. Floatplanes land at Wasilla Lake, Jacobsen Lake and Lake Lucille. There are 10 additional private airstrips in the vicinity.

History

The history of Wasilla begins with the history of Knik (see Knik River, Alaska), the first boom town in the Mat-Su Valley which, by 1915, boasted a population of 500. The town served the early trappers and miners working the gold fields at Cache Creek and Willow Creek.

Wasilla was established in 1917 with the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Wasilla’s proximity to the gold fields and railroad service lured Knik residents to relocate in the new town -—some of them even dragging their homes and businesses with them. In a few short years, Knik became a ghost town. The current townsite was established in 1917 at the intersection of the Knik-Willow mining trail and the newly constructed Alaska Railroad. It was a supply base for gold, notably at Hatcher Pass, and coal mining in the region through World War II.

The town of Wasilla was incorporated in 1974.

In 1994 a statewide ballot initiative to move the capital of Alaska to Wasilla was defeated 96,398 to 116,277.

Name

The Dena’ina (Tanaina) Indians called the area Benteh, meaning "among the lakes." Wasilla is surrounded by many lakes including Lake Lucille and Wasilla Lake.

Wasilla was named after a respected local Dena'ina Indian, Chief Wasilla. In the Dena'ina Athabascan Indian dialect, "Wasilla" is said to mean "breath of air." Other sources claim the chief derived his name from the Russian language and that "Vasili" is a variation of the Russian name "William."

Sources

  • United States Census Bureau
  • Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development


Regions of Alaska Missing image
Alaska_state_flag.png
Flag of Alaska

Alaskan Bush | Interior | North Slope | Panhandle | South Central | Tanana Valley
Largest cities
Anchorage | Barrow | Bethel | Fairbanks | Homer | Juneau | Kenai | Ketchikan | Kodiak | Kotzebue | Nome | Palmer | Petersburg | Seward | Sitka | Unalaska | Valdez | Wasilla
Boroughs and census areas
Aleutians East | Aleutians West | Anchorage | Bethel | Bristol Bay | Denali | Dillingham | Fairbanks North Star | Haines | Juneau | Kenai Peninsula | Ketchikan Gateway | Kodiak Island | Lake and Peninsula | Matanuska-Susitna | Nome | North Slope | Northwest Arctic | Prince of Wales - Outer Ketchikan | Sitka | Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon | Southeast Fairbanks | Valdez-Cordova | Wade Hampton | Wrangell-Petersburg | Yakutat | Yukon-Koyukuk


External links

Template:Mapit-US-cityscalede:Wasilla

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