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Fairbanks North Star Borough hits population milestone

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

Despite having crushingly expensive heating fuel, winter cold that thermometers sometimes can't measure, and mosquitoes the size of small airplanes, the Fairbanks North Star Borough has reached a population milestone, surpassing 100,000 people, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

Between 2010 and 2012 the borough gained around 2,800 new residents, the Alaska Department of Labor reported on Friday, an increase of 2.8 percent, bringing the population to an estimated 100,343.

The reason for the growth? Babies.

In fact, more people left Fairbanks than moved there in the last two years, a common scenario for the area, which sees many people come and go, due in part to the large military presence.

“In general, Fairbanks has usually had close to zero net migration, but with these big flows in and out,” state demographer Eddie Hunsinger told the News-Miner.

But while many of the people leaving are in their 50s and 60s, those coming to Fairbanks are typically younger, in their 20s and 30s, the typical childbearing decades.

“It’s skewed toward older people leaving and younger people taking their place,” Hunsinger told the News-Miner.

Anchorage and Mat-Su saw the largest population increase in Alaska during 2010-12, seeing around 17,000 new residents settle in, or about 3.1 percent. Juneau saw a 5-percent increase with 1,500 new residents during those years.

The state's population also grew at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the U.S., with a growth of 3.1 percent compared to the national average of 1.7 percent during 2010-12.

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