Arctic Yearbook 2014
leading them towards larger urban centers in Alaska and elsewhere. They tend to gain more
education, which many young men view as a more female activity. In four regions of rural Alaska –
Bethel, Nome, the North Slope, and Northwest Arctic – the bulk of settlements of less than 1,000
people have less than 50 percent female among those ages 20 to 39 years. In the hub towns in each
of these regions – Bethel, Nome, Barrow, and Kotzebue – women outnumber men in this age group
as young women take advantage of job and educational opportunities more than young men.
In a trend seen elsewhere in the Arctic, there are growing numbers of Alaskan Natives residing
outside of Alaska. In 2010, more than a quarter or persons who identified as Alaskan Native lived
outside of Alaska, with 9 percent of the national total residing in Washington State, the closest state
and the first stop of many flights to and from Alaska (Hunsinger & Sandberg, 2013).
Population growth from migration in the Canadian North is subject to the same boom and bust
patterns found elsewhere in the Arctic. In the first population census following the Klondike Gold
Rush, the population of Yukon had swelled to 27,219 and that of the Northwest Territories (which
then included Nunavut) to 20,129 (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Population of the Northern regions of Canada, 1901 to 2011
Northwest Territories (including
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 051-0001 and Catalogue no. 11-516-X.
In what had been previously been a largely indigenous population (including North American Indian
(First Nation), Métis, and Inuit), the percent non-indigenous was 85 percent of the population.
Following realization that most miners would not make their fortunes in the North, the population
fell to less than one-third of its 1901 level by 1911. The percent non-indigenous would continue to
decline, reaching a low of just 14 percent of the northern population in 1931. The population of the
NWT would not reach the levels seen during the Gold Rush period until 1961 and the Yukon would
Migration in the Arctic