Akiak, Alaska

Akiak (ACK-ee-ack) (Akiaq in Central Yup'ik) is a city in Bethel Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 309 at the 2000 census.

Geography and climate

Akiak is located at (60.912220, -161.21389) (Sec. 32, T010N, R067W, Seward Meridian).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (7.9 km²), of which, 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) of it (35.62%) is water.

Akiak is located on the west bank of the Kuskokwim River, 42 air miles northeast of Bethel, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Akiak is located in the Bethel Recording District. Precipitation averages 16 inches in this area, with snowfall of 50 inches. Summer temperatures range from 42 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter temperatures range from -2 to 19 degrees Fahrenheit.

History and culture

In 1880, the village of "Ackiagmute" had a population of 175. The name Akiak means "the other side," since this place was a crossing to the Yukon River basin during the winter for area Eskimos. The Akiak post office was established in 1916. A U.S. Public Health Service hospital was built in the 1920s. The city was incorporated in 1970.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Akiak Native Community. Akiak is a Yup'ik Eskimo village with a reliance on subsistence and fishing activities. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.


As of the census of 2000, there were 309 people, 69 households, and 54 families residing in the city. The population density was 157.2 people per square mile (60.6/km²). There were 76 housing units at an average density of 38.7/sq mi (14.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 4.85% White, 92.88% Native American, and 2.27% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 69 households out of which 53.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 20.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.48 and the average family size was 5.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 43.4% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 14.6% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females there were 122.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $36,875. Males had a median income of $21,875 versus $11,667 for females. The per capita income for the city was $8,326. About 25.0% of families and 33.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.3% of those under the age of eighteen and 6.7% of those sixty five or over.

Public services

A new well, water treatment plant and storage tank were recently completed. The school and clinic are connected directly to the water plant. Individual wells, septic systems and plumbing were installed in 14 HUD homes during 1997. Sewage disposal is currently by septic tanks, honeybuckets or privies, but major improvements are underway. A piped water and gravity sewer system is under construction, with household plumbing. 67 homes need water and sewer service. Most residents are dependent upon the washeteria for laundry and bathing. The City provides septic pumping services. Electricity is provided by City of Akiak. There is one school located in the community, attended by 99 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Edith Kawagley Memorial Clinic (907-765-7125). Edith Kawagley Memorial Clinic is a Primary Health Care facility. Akiak is classified as an isolated village, it is found in EMS Region 7A in the Yukon/Kuskokwim Region. Emergency Services have river and air access. Emergency service is provided by a health aide.

Economy and transportation

The majority of the year-round employment in Akiak is with the City, schools or other public services. Commercial fishing or BLM fire-fighting also provide seasonal income. 27 residents hold commercial fishing permits. The community is interested in developing a fish processing plant and tourism. Subsistence activities are important to residents. Poor fish returns since 1997 have significantly affected the community.

The airport has a gravel runway in good condition, it measures 3,196' long by 75' wide, at an elevation of 30'. The strip provides chartered or private air access year-round. Arctic Circle Air Service, Grant Aviation and Hageland Aviation offer passenger flight service. Snow machines, ATVs and skiffs are used extensively for local transportation to nearby villages. There are no docking facilities.

Taxes: Sales: None, Property: None, Special: None


External links

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