Alaska News

By the numbers: Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

Some Alaskans may profess a love-hate relationship with oil but even vocal industry critics each year apply for the Permanent Fund dividend, an annual payout that practically every Alaskan is entitled to, and which is born out of Alaska's hydrocarbon wealth.

The 2012 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend is $878. Distribution of this year's dividend will begin Oct. 4. The Alaska Department of Revenue reports that 646,805 Alaskans will receive PFD checks. Below you'll find some facts and figures about the Alaska Permanent Fund and its history.


Value (in dollars) of state's first Prudhoe Bay oilfield lease sale in 1969: $900 million

Dollar value today, adjusted for inflation: $5.65 billion

Population of Alaska in 1968-69: 294,600

Year that an Alaska Permanent Fund bill first passed the Legislature: 1975

Governor who vetoed Alaska Permanent Fund legislation: Jay Hammond


Year Alaskans voted by constitutional amendment to establish permanent fund: 1976

Governor who championed permanent fund constitutional amendment: Jay Hammond

Value (in dollars) of initial permanent fund investment: $734,000

Initial investment value today, adjusted for inflation: $2.98 billion

Population of Alaska in 1975-76: 409,800

Market price of a barrel of oil in November 1976: $8.69 ($35.18 in today's dollars)

Year Alaska Legislature repealed state income tax: 1980

Year of first PFD check distribution: 1982

Value (in dollars) of first PFD check: $1,000

Adjusted for inflation: $2,387.35

Population of Alaska in 1981-82: 464,300

Market price of a barrel of oil in November 1982: $28.74 ($68.61 in today's dollars)

Year (and value) of smallest PFD: 1984 ($331.29)

Year (and value) of largest PFD: 2008/$2,069

Actual amount given to every PFD recipient in 2008: $3,269

Population of Alaska in 2007-08: 679,220

Value of 2011 PFD: $1,174


Value of permanent fund end of fiscal year 2012: $40.3 billion

Basis of PFD check: Formula that accounts for five-year average of Alaska Permanent Fund earnings and size of Alaska population, minus cost of program operations

Who appropriates funds for Alaska PFD distribution: Alaska Legislature

Number of 2012 Alaska PFD applicants: 677,733

Number of 2012 Alaska PFD recipients: 646,805

Value of 2012 PFD: $878

Difference between 2011 PFD and 2012 PFD: -$296

Estimated total amount of PFD distributions from state to Alaskans in 2012: $567,338,304.39


Date eligible Alaskans can expect first distribution of 2012 PFD: Oct. 4

Number of Alaskans who chose PFD electronic deposit in 2012: Approximately 515,000

Estimated average PFD distribution per Alaskan over life of Permanent Fund: $34,243.41

Value (in dollars) of Alaska PFD checks paid out by state to residents since dividend program inception: $20.1 billion

Facts and figures curated from the state of Alaska Department of Revenue, the Divisions of Labor and Permanent Fund Dividends, the Alyeska Pipeline Co. and U.S. Department of Energy. Contact Eric Christopher Adams at eric(at)