Letters to the Editor

Letter: Iceland compared to Alaska

A recent letter made multiple comparisons touting Iceland as a model that Alaska should be following. I do want to point out that such comparisons are like comparing a rhinoceros to a rhinoceros beetle.

Some additional facts to compare the comparisons: Alaska is 17 times larger than Iceland.

Alaska is 665,384 square miles; Iceland is 39,800 square miles — the approximate size of Kentucky.

Alaska’s population is 724,357 (2020 census); Iceland’s population is 366,000 (2020). Anchorage contains about 40% of the state’s population, 292,000 people.

Anchorage has a population density of 172 per square mile; Iceland’s population density is 9 people per square mile.

In Iceland, a Big Mac cost $5.29 (in U.S. dollars); a 20% price increase to $6.36 forced the closure of Mc-Donald’s in Iceland. A Big Mac in Anchorage costs $5.

Alaska uses 3,175 GWH of electricity annually; Iceland uses 700 GWH annually — Alaska is third in the nation for energy consumption.


Reykjavík, Iceland is 106 square miles. Anchorage is 1,704 square miles.

It’s a rhinoceros compared to a rhinoceros beetle. The costs for Alaska compared to the costs in Iceland are about as far apart as the two locations on the planet. And let us not forget that in 2008, Iceland banks defaulted because their national debt was 7 times the country’s GDP — although I won’t argue that Alaska is not very far behind that on the current trajectory and inability to balance a budget or create revenue flow, but that’s a different story for a different time.

— Jerome McArthur


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