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City of Fairbanks

  •   State: 
    Fairbanks North Star Borough
      County FIPS: 
    64°50′37″N 147°43′23″W
      Area total: 
    32.62 sq mi
      Area land: 
    31.75 sq mi (82.2 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.88 sq mi (2.3 km²)
    446 ft (136 m)
    1903; Incorporated November 10, 1903
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Fairbanks, AK
    Alaska Standard Time (AKST) UTC-9:00; Alaska Daylight (AKDT) UTC-8:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,024.22 residents per square mile of area (395.45/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 

Fairbanks is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the largest and coldest city in the Interior region of Alaska and the second largest in the state. The 2020 Census put the population of the city proper at 32,515, and the town's borough seat at 95,655. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the university system. Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years, although there is no known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks. In the early years of settlement, the Tanana Valley was an important agricultural center for Alaska until the establishment of the Matanuska Valley Colonization Project and Palmer in 1935. Agricultural activity still occurs today in theTanana Valley, but mostly to the southeast of Fairbank. The city is located 196 miles (315 kilometers) by road (140 mi or 230 km by air) south of the Arctic Circle. It was named after Charles W. Fairbank, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth vice president of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term. In 1940s, the Canolhorse pipeline was extended from a few miles north for a few years from the end of the war to extend the Whitehorse pipeline. The construction of Laddfield Airfield was part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New Deal to install major infrastructure in the territory for the first time.


Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years, although there is no known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks. Archaeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back well over 10,000 years. Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the ValdezEagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The settlement was named after Charles W. Fairbanks, a Republican senator from Indiana and later the twenty-sixth vice president of the United States, serving under Theodore Roosevelt during his second term. In the 1940s the Canol pipeline extended north from Whitehorse for a few years. Ladd Army Airfield starting in 1939, part of a larger effort by the federal government during the New Deal and World War II to install major infrastructure in the territory for the first time, fostered an economic and population boom in Fairbanks which extended beyond the end of the war. The presence of the U.S. military has remained strong during the period of 1953-55. The Fairbanks - Haines - Fairbanks 626 mile long 8" petroleum products pipeline was constructed in 1953. The city suffered from several floods in its first seven decades, whether ice jams during spring breakup or heavy rainfall. On August 14, 1967, after record rainfall, the Chena River began to surge over its banks, often washed out before a permanent bridge was constructed.

Geography and climate

Fairbanks is in the central Tanana Valley, straddling the Chena River near its confluence with the Tanana River. The city is extremely far north, close to 16 degrees north of the Pacific border between the U.S. and Canada. It is on roughly the same parallel as the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå and Finnish city of Oulu. Fairbanks climate is classified as humid continental (Köppen Dfb) closely bordering on a subarctic climate (Dfc) With long very cold winters and short warm summers, October through February are the snowiest months, and snow is limited from March to May. On average, the season's first accumulating snowfall and first inch of snow fall on October 1 and October 11, respectively. The snowpack is established by October 18, on average, and remains until April 23. On September 13, 1992, 8 inches (20 cm) of snow fell in the city, bending trees still laden with fall leaves. The average first and last dates with a freezing temperature are September 11 and May 14, respectively, allowing a growing season of 119 days, although freezes have occurred in June, July, and August. The plant hardiness zone is 2 with annual mean minimums below -40. The highest recorded temperature in Fairbanks was 99 °F (37 °C) on July 28, 1919, compared to the Alaska-wide record of 100 °C (38 °C), recorded on January 14, 1934.

People and culture

Fairbanks first appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census as an incorporated city. It incorporated in 1903. The population of the city in 2011 was 32,036 people, 11,075 households, and 7,187 families residing in the city. Fairbanks hosted the 2014 Arctic Winter Games from March 15-22, 2014. There are many different winter sports events in Fairbanks, including cross-country skiing, dog mushing, and ice hockey. The percentage of high school graduates or higher is 88%. 20.4% of the population 25 years and up had a bachelor's degree or higher.Fairbanks' largest newspaper is the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, which also includes a weekly entertainment guide, Latitude 65. The city is served by radio stations KFAR 660 talk radio, KCBF 820 ESPN Radio Network, KFBX 970 talk radio and KJNP 1170 religious radio. KATN (ABC) 2,2, Fox 2, CW2, KXDF-TV (NBC), KFAC (CBS), GCI (GCI) and KDF-CD (CBS) are available from Dish Network and DirecTV. KIAK-FM 102.5 country music, KZ 103.7 rock music, and KKED 104.7 religious talk radio are available on FM stations. The Fairbanks North Star Borough's population estimate for 2011 was 99,192; 6.3% identified as Hispanic or Latino.


Fairbanks is a regional center for most departments of the state of Alaska. Unlike other larger cities in Alaska, Fairbanks still has separate borough and city governments. The City of Fairbanks was incorporated on November 10, 1903. The Fairbanks North Star Borough, created by the Alaska Legislature under the Mandatory Borough Act of 1963, was incorporating on January 1, 1964. Since its establishment, three officers have died in the line of duty. The police department has also had trouble keeping their employees, as in 2021, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that "The Fairbanks Police Department hired 45 officers in the past five years and lost 50 in the same time frame" The department also reported that out of 45 sworn officer positions, only 34 were filled, or about 75%. The city is home to the Alaska National Guard. The city has a population of about 2,000. It is located in the central part of the Alaska Peninsula, near Anchorage and Juneau. The majority of state jobs are based in either Anchorage or Juneau, though the vast majority of jobs are in Fairbanks. Fairbanks is located on the Alaska Turnpike, which runs from Juneau to Anchorage. The town's population is about 1,200, with the majority of residents living in the North Star borough, which was incorporated in 1964. It also has a small percentage of residents who live in the South Star Borough. The borough is the only one in the state to have a city government.


The majority of Fairbanks is politically conservative, with three distinct geographical areas representing differing ideological views. The western part of the city, centered on the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is Democratic-leaning. The downtown area and the eastern parts near Fort Wainwright are Republican-leaning, and the North Pole area farther east is even more conservative. The district centered on downtown Fairbanks typically votes for Republican candidates for president, although Joe Biden nearly won it in 2020. Fairbanksans elected the first two Libertarian Party members to serve in a state legislature in the United States. The Fairbanks area comprises two entire districts, and most of a third district, in the Alaska Senate. The area comprises five entire districts, and a portion of one other district, of the Alaska House. The state senators for the Fairbanks areas are Democrat Scott Kawasaki and Republicans Robert Myers Jr. and Click Bishop. The House representatives for the area are Democrats Adam Wool and David Guttenberg, along with Republicans Bart LeBon, Steve M. Thompson, and Mike Prax. The election of Nov. 2020 saw the retirement of Dave Talerico and the defeat of Tammie Wilson for newcomers to the political system. The city is home to the Alaska National Guard, the Alaska Army National Guard and the Alaska Air National Guard. The U.S. Air Force has a base in Fairbanks and an air base in the Denali Borough community of Healy, which is within the North Star Borough boundaries.

Facilities and services

Interior Alaska is not connected to the electrical grid of the contiguous United States and Canada. A 138kv transmission line connects Fairbanks with electric companies serving the Southcentral Alaska area. The University of Alaska Fairbanks operates its own coal-fired generating station on campus, providing electricity and steam heat to university buildings. Until 2019, GVEA held the world record for the largest rechargeable battery BESS, which weighs approximately 1,300 tons.Broadband Internet access is provided by GCI, ACS, Ace Tekk and a handful of satellite Internet and wireless Internet services. A pair of fiber optic cables provide long-distance telephone and Internet service. In 2020, Matanuska Telephone Association's subsidiary MTA Fiber Holdings has recently completed the AlCan One fiber installation from its prior connections from Wasilla to Fairbanks and North Pole, continuing down the Alaska Highway to the Canadian border where it connects with Canadian carriers. General Communications Inc. purchased ACS's mobile phone service from ACS in 2014, when ACS had a lot of debt. Alaska Communications (ACS) had promised that Fairbanks was to be the corporate headquarters with a new building at the corner of Cushman St. and 1st Avenue. That changed as, in the process of acquiring the Fairbanks based telephone utility, the Anchorage Telephone Utility came up for sale, ACS purchased it and Anchorage became the headquarters for Alaska Communications Systems. The telephone system was sold to PTI, a subsidiary of Pacific Power and Light, a subsidiaries itself of PacifiCorp.


Doyon, Limited, an oil services company, is based in Fairbanks, Alaska. The company is one of the largest oil companies in the state. Doyon is a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, which is also based in the city of Fairbanks. The oil company is a major employer in the Fairbanks area of Alaska. It is also a major exporter of oil and gas to the U.S. Gulf Coast region of the United States. It also produces oil and natural gas for the Alaska oil industry. It has a history of being involved in the oil industry for more than 40 years. It was founded in 1881 and is now one of Alaska's oldest oil companies. It produces oil, natural gas, and crude oil for the state's oil industry, as well as natural gas and liquefied natural gas. The firm also produces gas and electricity for the city and boroughs. It operates a number of oil refineries and other energy-related businesses in the area, including a gas-fired power station and a coal-fired generating station. It employs about 1,000 people. It's also a leading provider of accommodations and other services to the city, including hotels, restaurants, and other accommodation providers. It owns a large amount of real estate in the region. The city has 20.777 mills (7.171 city/13.606 borough areawide) and has a property tax rate of 7.171%. It also has 16% tobacco tax (8% city/8% borough) and 8% accommodations tax (city only).


The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District operates public schools serving the City of Fairbanks and the FairbanksNorth Star Borough. The school board is made up 10 members in total, three of which only have advisory votes. For the 2021-2022 school year, enrollment in the district was 12,268, down 14% from the 2011-2012 school year. In February 2022, the school board made several decisions, including one to close three elementary schools. The decision was made based a on $20 million budget shortfall. The district will also restructure district middle schools to encompass grades 6 through 8, while most elementary schools will become K-5 schools. It would save the district $3 million a year, according to Alaska Public Media. It is not known if the decision will be implemented in February 2022 or in February 2023, when the next school year begins. It's not known whether the decision would be made in February 2020 or in March 2023. It has not been announced if the closure of the elementary schools would be implemented or if it would be delayed until after the 2020-2021 school year or in January 2022, when it is expected to be implemented. It was announced in February 2012 that the district would not close any of its elementary schools until after February 20, 2023 or in April 20, 2020. It will also be announced in March 2013 that three of the district's middle schools will be restructured to cover grades 6-8. The move will save the school district $2 million. The middle schools are expected to open in September 2013.


At Fairbanks' founding, the only way to reach the new city was via steamboat on the Chena River. In 1904, money intended to improve the Valdez-Eagle Trail was diverted to build a branch trail, giving Fairbanks its first overland connection to the outside world. Fairbanks is the smallest city in the United States to be served by transatlantic flights, as Condor operates direct flight to Frankfurt in the summer tourist season. In May 2005, the Alaska Railroad opened a new terminal in downtown Fairbanks, that is in operation today. The majority of its business is through the railroad, and it operates passenger trains and occasional freight trains throughout the year. The Fairbanks International Airport serves as a major hub for Alaska air travel due to its central location in the state. In the summer, the railroad operates tourist trains to and from Fairbanks and occasional passenger trains to other destinations in the lower 48 and select international destinations. The city's public transportation is provided by the Metropolitan Area Commuter System, an agency of the borough government, since 1977. The average age of a street in Fairbanks was 31 years in 2008, according to a 2008 survey of city streets. The Tanana Mines Railroad started operations in September 1905, using what had been the first steam locomotive in the Yukon Territory. The railroad continued expanding until 1910, when the first gold boom began to falter and the introduction of automobiles into Fairbanks took business away from the railroad. In 1923, the rail yards of the Tanana Valley Railroad were converted for use by the northern and Fairbanks end of the Alaska railroad, which became the Fairbanks Railroad.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska = 7. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 50. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 30. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Fairbanks = 1.4 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 32,515 individuals with a median age of 29 age the population grows by 13.44% in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,024.22 residents per square mile of area (395.45/km²). There are average 2.55 people per household in the 12,407 households with an average household income of $51,451 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 9.20% of the available work force and has dropped -2.24% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.32%. The number of physicians in Fairbanks per 100,000 population = 224.6.


The annual rainfall in Fairbanks = 12.1 inches and the annual snowfall = 64.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 106. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 155. 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and -13 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 83, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska which are owned by the occupant = 32.31%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 33 years with median home cost = $162,760 and home appreciation of 1.46%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $14.46 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,724 per student. There are 50.2 students for each teacher in the school, 450 students for each Librarian and 340 students for each Counselor. 6.42% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 12.72% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 6.70% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Fairbanks's population in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska of 1,341 residents in 1900 has increased 24,25-fold to 32,515 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 47.69% female residents and 52.31% male residents live in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska.

    As of 2020 in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska are married and the remaining 44.05% are single population.

  • 14.2 minutes is the average time that residents in Fairbanks require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    67.38% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 18.39% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.25% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 4.86% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, 32.31% are owner-occupied homes, another 57.75% are rented apartments, and the remaining 9.94% are vacant.

  • The 32.30% of the population in Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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