How Big Is Alaska? You’d be surprised

how big is alaska

The United States of America is without doubt a very large country, both in landmass and in population. So when you hear that Alaska is the largest state in the U.S you might just wonder how large the state is. If you have been curious about this, then you are on the right page.

How Big Is Alaska?

Let us begin with the statistics. Alaska has a total area of 663,268 sq mi (1,717,856 sq. km). It has a land area of 571,951 sq mi (1,481,346 sq. km) and a water area of 91,316 sq mi (236,507 sq. km).

We know that not everyone will be able to understand the numbers, so have no worries. We have other ways of explaining so that you can get the picture of how large Alaska is.

Alaska Alone Compared to the United States?

Alaska alone is not larger than the rest of the United States. If you take Alaska and place it in top of the United States, it will cover just about one-fifth of the landmass.

Make no mistake, this is very large and an impressive feat for just one state.

To explain further, Texas which is the second-largest state has 261,232 sq. miles of land. Alaska’s land area is over 300,000 sq. miles more than that of Texas. Do you know what this means? It means that Alaska can very comfortably contain Texas two times over.

Now you are beginning to see the picture.

How Many States Can Fit in Alaska?

Seeing that Alaska has the title of the largest state in America, it means that it can very comfortably contain each of the states within its borders one at a time.

Now, the number of states that Alaska can contain at the same time is a different thing entirely. It would depend on the states in question.

How about this? Alaska can contain the next three largest states (that is Texas, California and Montana) at the same time.

If you are looking at other smaller states, Alaska can contain about 22 of them at the same time.

Is Alaska Bigger Than The Entire Europe?

You might think Alaska so big that you are wondering whether the state is larger than Europe. You will soon understand that that is not the case. Alaska, despite the fact that it is a very large state is not bigger than Europe.

Recall that Alaska has a total area of 663,268 square miles. Well, Europe has a total area of 3,837,081 square miles. As you can see, they are not even close.

But when you take into consideration the fact that Europe is a whole continent while Alaska is only a state, you will see that Alaska’s size is really huge.

How Many Countries Can Fit into Alaska?

Just as was the case when we were discussing how many states in the US can fit into Alaska, the number of countries that can fit into the state depends on the particular countries in question.

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Currently there are 195 countries in the world and Alaska is bigger than all but 16 when it comes to total area. What this implies is that one at a time, Alaska can take 178 different countries within its borders.

When it comes to only land area, Alaska comes in at number 49. This means that Alaska can contain 149 different countries within its land area.

As for how many countries can fit into the state at the same time, it depends on the total area of the countries in consideration.

Can Alaska Contain the Population of the Whole World

You may be surprised to know that indeed Alaska can contain the population of the whole world. You read right, the state can fit over 7.8 billion people. Hypothetically, it will be ~11,800 people per square mile.

To give you a better picture it will be just about the population density of Washington, D.C. When you try imagining it, just remember that New York City has a population density of about 27,000 people per square mile.

More Big Things in Alaska

The total area of Alaska is not the only big thing that Alaska boasts of. There are other huge things in the state that we will discuss now.

1. BIG National Parks

There are various really huge national parks in Alaska and this is not surprising at all.

The Denali National Park which surrounds Mount Denali is about 6.1 million acres. If you think that this is very big, wait till you hear about the other parks.

The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve spans 8.5 million acres. This is not even the largest national park in the area.

There is the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve which covers a whopping 13.2 million acres. This National Park comprises of glaciers, volcanoes and wonderful scenery.

There is also the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve covering 3.3 million acres and the Katmai National Park and Preserve spanning 4.3 million acres.

Exploring all these parks is a very exciting and fun activity that you can enjoy in the state.

2. “The Big 5” Wildlife

Alaska is also home to the “The Big 5” Wildlife which includes grizzly bears, grey wolves, Dall sheep, moose, and caribou.

You can find these animals in the national parks or at other wilderness regions. You should also know that animals here are not that scared of humans, as the state is quite remote. Don’t be too taken aback when you sight a moose leisurely moving down the road.

3. Elevation (Highest Point)

Alaska has the highest elevation not just in the whole of the United States but also the entirety of North America.

The highest point in the state which is Denali is as much as 20,310 feet. This is about 800 feet higher than Mount Logan in Canada. Standing at 19,551 feet, Mount Logan is the next highest mountain in North America.

4. Water & Coastline

With a coastline of 6,640 miles, Alaska has the most coastline compared to any other state in the U.S. It also boasts of over 46,000 miles of coastal habitat making for abundant marine life.

Population of Alaska and Density

You might think that since Alaska has such a large land area, the population of the state would be massive. However that is not the case. Alaska is actually the third least populous state in the U.S.

The state has a population of just about 731,158 people. This goes to say that the population density of Alaska is just 1.27 people per square mile. If you go into the Alaskan wilderness, you can go miles or days before you even see another human being.