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Seward, Alaska
—  City  —
Aerial view of Seward, Alaska
Coordinates: 60°07′28″N 149°26′00″W / 60.12444°N 149.4333333°W / 60.12444; -149.4333333Coordinates: 60°07′28″N 149°26′00″W / 60.12444°N 149.4333333°W / 60.12444; -149.4333333
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Kenai Peninsula
Established 1903
Incorporated 1912
 - Mayor Willard Dunham Term Expires 10/2011
 - Total 21.5 sq mi (55.8 km2)
 - Land 14.4 sq mi (37.4 km2)
 - Water 7.1 sq mi (18.4 km2)
Elevation 0 ft (27 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,830
 Density 196.0/sq mi (75.7/km2)
Time zone Alaska (UTC-9)
 - Summer (DST) Alaska (UTC-8)
ZIP code 99664
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-68560
GNIS feature ID 1414598
Source of coordinates [1]

Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,016.[2]

It was named after William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. In 1867, he fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska which he finally negotiated to acquire from Russia.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.5 square miles (55.8 km²), of which, 14.4 square miles (37.4 km²) of it is land and 7.1 square miles (18.4 km²) of it (32.93%) is water.

Adjoining communities include Bear Creek and Lowell Point.


  • Seward is the seventh most lucrative fisheries port in the United States per value. In 2004, 49.7 million dollars worth of fish and shellfish passed through Seward according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • Another major industry in Seward is tourism.
  • Seward is also an Alaska Railroad terminus which has a maintained dock for cruise vessels and it controls a shipping terminal for coal from Usibelli. The Railroad and Aurora Energy Services employ dozens of people in the local area.


The Seward boat harbor

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 2,830 people, 917 households, and 555 families residing in the city. The population density was 196.0 people per square mile (75.7/km²). There were 1,058 housing units at an average density of 73.3/sq mi (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.12% White, 2.44% Black or African American, 16.68% Native American, 1.84% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 5.87% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 917 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 35.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 150.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 166.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,306, and the median income for a family was $54,904. Males had a median income of $36,900 versus $30,508 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,360. About 8.3% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

Population of Seward[4]
Year Population
1920 700
1930 800
1940 900
1950 2,100
1960 1,900
1970 1,600
1980 1,800
1990 2,700


Welcome sign

Seward is unique among most small Alaskan communities in that it has road access in the Seward Highway, a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, which also brings it bus service. Seward is also the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad. This keeps the port busy with freight coming on and off the trains, but also makes Seward a primary end point for north-bound cruise ships. Cruise ship passengers get off the boats and take the train farther north to Denali or other Alaskan attractions.

Seward is a very bike friendly community. A paved bike path runs from the downtown business district through the harbor and along the highway to mile 4.5. Bikes are available for rent and there are even guided bike tours of the area [2].

Seward used to receive service from the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) system, however, service was discontinued at the end of the 2005. Ferry connections are now available in Whittier (90 miles North) or Homer (150 miles by highway).

Seward Airport (PAWD/SWD) is home to (general aviation) services and flight-seeing operators. Scheduled commercial service is available at Kenai Municipal Airport in Kenai and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, both about 100 miles (160 km) away. Seasonal bus connections are also available.

International sister cities

Notable people from Seward

  • In 1927, thirteen-year old Seward resident and Native Alaskan, Benny Benson, won a territory-wide American Legion contest to design a flag for Alaska. Born in Chignik in 1913, he was three when his mother died of pneumonia. Soon after her death the family's house burned and his Swedish fisherman father sent Benny and his brother to the Jesse Lee Home in Seward. Winning the contest changed Benny’s life. The prize for designing the flag included a $1000 scholarship which he used to become an airplane mechanic. He married, raised a family, and died of a heart attack in 1972 at the age of 58. His design became the territorial flag and eventually the state flag. He is memorialized in Seward by the Benny Benson Memorial Park.[5]
  • Harry Kawabe, Japanese-American businessman sent to internment camp during WWII

Points of interest

Seward, Alaska, 1959


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ University of Alaska. "Alaska State Flag, and Song, Intertwined Around Benny Benson." UA Informational Highlights. University of Alaska, Statewide Office of Public Affairs. Retrieved on 2007-04-29.

External links


Simple English

Seward is a city in Alaska.


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