Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U.S. state on continental North America; about 500 miles (800 km) of British Columbia (Canada) separates Alaska from Washington. It is technically part of the continental U.S., but is sometimes not included in colloquial use; Alaska is not part of the contiguous U.S., often called “the Lower 48”. The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system. Alaska was officially proclaimed a state on January 3, 1959.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States in land area at 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2), over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas, California, and Montana. It is also larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U.S. states.


Nickname: The Last Frontier
Motto: North to the Future
Population: 1,431,603 as of 2015
Capital‎: Juneau
Official languages‎: ‎English, Inupiat, Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup’ik, Alutiiq, Aleut, Dena’ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich’in, Lower Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Coast Tsimshian
Largest city‎: ‎Anchorage
Area: 663,268 square miles
Population Density: 1.26 people per square mile


The climate in Southeast Alaska is a mid-latitude oceanic climate in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic climate in the northern parts. On an annual basis, Southeast is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high precipitation throughout the year. Juneau averages over 50 in (130 cm) of precipitation a year, and Ketchikan averages over 150 in (380 cm. This is also the only region in Alaska in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter months. The climate of Anchorage and south central Alaska is mild by Alaskan standards due to the region’s proximity to the seacoast. The climate of Western Alaska is determined in large part by the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. It is a subarctic oceanic climate in the southwest and a continental subarctic climate farther north. The climate of the interior of Alaska is subarctic. Some of the highest and lowest temperatures in Alaska occur around the area near Fairbanks.


The oil and gas industry dominates the Alaskan economy, with more than 80% of the state’s revenues derived from petroleum extraction. Alaska’s main export product (excluding oil and natural gas) is seafood, primarily salmon, cod, pollock, and crab. Agriculture represents a very small part of the Alaskan economy. Agricultural production is primarily for consumption within the state and includes nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, and livestock. Manufacturing is limited, with most foodstuffs and general goods imported from elsewhere. Employment is primarily in government and industries such as natural resource extraction, shipping, and transportation. Military bases are a significant component of the economy in the Fairbanks North Star, Anchorage and Kodiak Island boroughs, as well as Kodiak.


The cost of goods in Alaska is higher than in the contiguous 48 states. Federal government employees, particularly United States Postal Service (USPS) workers, and active-duty military members, receive a Cost of Living Allowance usually set at 25% of base pay. Rural Alaska has extremely high prices for food and consumer goods compared to the rest of the country, due to a limited transportation infrastructure.


The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development administers many school districts in Alaska. There are more than a dozen colleges and universities in Alaska. Accredited universities in Alaska include the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Southeast, and Alaska Pacific University. Alaska is the only state that has no institutions that are part of the NCAA Division I.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development operates AVTEC, Alaska’s Institute of Technology. Campuses in Seward and Anchorage offer 1 week to 11-month training programs in areas as diverse as Information Technology, Welding, Nursing, and Mechanics.


Severe weather fluctuations can make it a challenge to plan your move to or from Alaska, but Compass has the experience to move your belongings to your new home in the Land of the Midnight Sun – no matter what time of year or how remote your destination.

Wondering what to move to Alaska with you? We advise you to take as much of your furniture and appliances with you as you can. With the cost of living in Alaska higher than in the lower 48, purchasing items there can be more expensive than moving them. Consider buying items you’ll need like snow blowers and such before you leave and move them with you. The cost of moving these goods is usually less than buying them once you arrive.

You’ll definitely want to invest in some good cold-weather gear, especially if you live in an area like Fairbanks where the winters are extremely cold. A good pair of boots, synthetic fabric clothing and a heavy coat can go a long way in staying warm. When choosing a wardrobe in Alaska, function beats fashion every time.

In regards to transportation, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. If you don’t have a vehicle with 4-wheel drive, you will need to equip it for traveling in extreme winter weather (studded tires, chains, etc.). Compass is ready to assist you in moving your vehicle to Alaska – just ask for a quote!


Anchorage is the most populated city in the state, with more than 250,000 residents (about 40% of all Alaskans live there). If you want to live a “big city” lifestyle, Anchorage is for you.

Fairbanks is like a smaller version of Anchorage. About 98,000 people call the city home. Air quality can be a real issue during the winter months as the density of the cold air causes car exhaust to hug the ground.

Mat-Su Valley includes the towns of Palmer and Wasilla and is home to about 85,000 people. If you are looking to live your life in the great outdoors, this might just be the place for you!

Juneau is the state’s capital, and it’s accessible by ferry. If you want to escape from typical city life, Juneau’s the place to be! Juneau has a population of 31,275 as of 2016, while another 32,000 reside throughout the rest of southeastern Alaska.

The rest of the Alaskan population lives in rural areas with 10,000 people or less situated throughout the state. Want to live in small, tight-knit rural community? Check out Ketchikan, Kenai, Sitka, Kodiak, Bethel, Homer, Barrow, Unalaska, Soldotna, Valdez, Nome, or Seward for rural Alaskan living.


To enter Alaska with your pet, you should have their current health certificate and a current rabies vaccination if your pet is three months or older. If you’re driving to Alaska, you should be ready with all the documentation for traveling through Canada with your pet. The Government of Canada can refuse entry to any animal that does not meet its import requirements.


Compass isn’t just your average moving company. Moving to or from Alaska requires more than packing boxes and transporting them.

Rely on our years of moving families like yours. Ask us for advice, tips, and information. From planning your move to adjusting to life in or outside of Alaska, we’re always here to listen and help.


Alaska – Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from




    “I’ve relocated several times and must admit that your company was by far the best company I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing business with. Thank you for such a wonderful professional service experience. I will certainly use your services and will gladly suggest your company to others.”

    — Pam G.


    “I’ve relocated several times and must admit that your company was by far the best company I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing business with. Thank you for such a wonderful professional service experience. I will certainly use your services and will gladly suggest your company to others.”

    — Pam G.