Ketchikan, Alaska: Wikis


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Ketchikan, Alaska
—  City  —
Ketchikan Skyline
Nickname(s): Salmon Capital of the World, Rain Capital of Alaska, Alaska's First City
Location in Alaska
Coordinates: 55°21′00″N 131°40′24″W / 55.35°N 131.67333°W / 55.35; -131.67333Coordinates: 55°21′00″N 131°40′24″W / 55.35°N 131.67333°W / 55.35; -131.67333
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Ketchikan Gateway
 - Mayor Lew Williams III
 - Governing Body City Council
 - Total 4.1 sq mi (10.7 km2)
 - Land 3.4 sq mi (8.7 km2)
 - Water 0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
Elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2007)[1][2]
 - Total 7,368
 Density 2,245.5/sq mi (851.7/km2)
Time zone AKST (UTC-9)
 - Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
ZIP codes 99901, 99903, 99918, 99919, 99950[3]
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-38970
GNIS feature ID 1423039

Ketchikan (pronounced /ˈkɛtʃɪkæn/) is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, and the southeasternmost sizable city in that state. With an estimated population of 7,368 in 2007, it is the fifth most populous city in the state.[1]

Ketchikan's economy is based upon tourism and fishing, and the city is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions.

Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. Ketchikan comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle."[4]

Ketchikan's secondary post office box zip code, 99950, is the highest zip code ever assigned in the United States. Most residents use the zip code 99901. The lower end of the U.S. ZIP Code system is in the town of Agawam, MA, with its reservation defined at 01001. [3][5][6] Ketchikan also has the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, located at three major locations: Saxman Village, Totem Bight, and the Totem Heritage Center.



A panorama of downtown Ketchikan and surrounding terrain from the peak of Deer Mountain in October 2004. Pennock Island divides the Tongass Narrows on the left, and Gravina Island lies on the distant side of the Narrows.

Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, 90 miles (145 km) north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and 235 miles (378 km) south of Juneau, Alaska.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 sq mi (10.7 km²). 3.4 sq mi (8.7 km²) of it is land and 0.8 sq mi (2.0 km²) of it (18.60%) is water.

  • Average annual rainfall is 152 inches (3,900 mm); annual average snowfall is 37 inches (94 cm).
  • The average high temperature in July is 65 °F (18 °C), and the average high temperature in January is 39 °F (4 °C).

The ½-mile-wide channel called the Tongass Narrows separates Ketchikan from Gravina Island, where Ketchikan International Airport is located. In August 2005 the 2005 Highway Bill provided for $223m to build the Gravina Island Bridge (nicknamed "the Bridge to Nowhere" by its critics) between Ketchikan and Gravina Island. The bridge would have connected the island of Ketchikan to Gravina island where the airport is located so you can drive to the airport rather than taking the ferry across the waters. After years of national and international ridicule over the expense of this project, the Alaska government ultimately chose not to build the bridge, and will spend the appropriated funds elsewhere.


A view of downtown Ketchikan on a typical rainy day in May 2002
Ketchikan's Liquid Sunshine Gauge. The town experienced record annual rainfall in 1949, with 202.55 inches (5,144.77 mm) measured.

As of 2004, there were 8,044 people, 3,300 households, and 1,997 families residing in the City. The population density was 2,348.6/sq mi (907.6/km²). It is the most densely populated city in Alaska. There were 3,645 housing units at an average density of 1,080.6/sq mi (417.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.31% White, 0.84% Black or African American, 19.80% Native American, 6.85% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 6.68% from two or more races. 3.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,300 households out of which 52% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.09.

The population is spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 32.95% from 25 to 44, 22.35% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 101.93 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,807, and the median income for a family was $52,529. Males had a median income of $41,926 versus $30,411 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,484. About 4.9% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, the population of the city of Ketchikan was reported at 7,685.[7]

Population of Ketchikan[8]
Year Population
1900 1,000
1920 2,500
1930 3,800
1940 4,700
1950 5,300
1960 6,500
1970 7,000
1980 7,200
1990 8,300
2000 7,900


A Ketchikan sign that arches over Mission Street. Front Street is in the immediate foreground.

Ketchikan is home to the radio stations KTKN, KGTW, KFMJ, and KRBD.

Ketchikan also houses the publishing offices of the Ketchikan Daily News. The region has local television programming provided by Ketchikan Public Utilities CommVision, which boasts 12 local channels of constantly updating entertainment, borough assembly, city council, school board, and planning commission meetings, Southeast Alaska programming, Ketchikan High School sports and events, local history, gardening and scenes, and a calendar of upcoming local events; local television signals are also translations of Seattle and Anchorage stations.

Government and infrastructure

The Alaska Marine Highway System has its headquarters in Ketchikan.[9]


Ketchikan serves as both an air and marine transportation hub for southern Southeast Alaska.

The Ketchikan International Airport serves as both a gateway for Alaska Airlines jet service from Seattle and a bush carrier and charter aircraft hub for destinations like Hyder, Metlakatla, Alaska, and Prince of Wales Island.

Looking down Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska. Salmon travel up the creek during spawning season to lay their eggs.

Ketchikan receives service to two separate ferry lines. Ketchikan sits on the Alaska Marine Highway's Inside Passage route and sees a large number of ships northbound (to the rest of Alaska) and southbound (to Prince Rupert, British Columbia — where a six hour connection can be made to the BC Ferries system — and Bellingham, Washington). Ketchikan also sees regular day service from the Alaska Marine Highway vessel M/V Lituya, a day boat that shuttles between Ketchikan and Metlakatla, its homeport.

The Inter-Island Ferry Authority serves Ketchikan daily (and, in the summer, twice daily) with the dayboat M/V Prince of Wales from its homeport in Hollis on Prince of Wales Island. Ketchikan often serves as a connection between the Prince of Wales and mainline Alaska Marine Highway vessels that run to the rest of Southeast Alaska.



Colleges and universities

Public education

Sister cities

Ketchikan's former sister city of Kanayama along with four other cities were incorporated into the larger city of Gero on March 1, 2004.[10]


  • Sean M. Burke, a computer programmer and linguist.
  • Ray Troll, an artist who blends art and science in his fish-laden drawings.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Alaska" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 9 2006. 
  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Alaska". United States Census Bureau. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  3. ^ a b "ZIP Codes by City" (HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  4. ^ Ketchikan in the Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. ^ "United States Postal Service Facts" (HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Find All Cities in a ZIP Code" (HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  7. ^ 2007 Community Legislative Priority List
  8. ^ Lahmeyer, Jan (2003-02-11). "ALASKA historical demographical data of the urban centers". Population Statistics. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Alaska Marine Highway. Retrieved on October 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Alaska sister cities index
  11. ^ "Artist Ray Troll's creations are filled to the gills". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 1991-10-22. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  12. ^ Sudermann, Hannelore (Spring 2007). "Ray Troll-A Story of Fish, Fossils and Funky Art". Washington State Magazine. Washington State University. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 

External links

Simple English

Ketchikan is a city in Alaska.


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