Alaska is one of two U.S. states not bordered by another state; Hawaii the other. Alaska has more ocean coastline than all of the other U.S. states combined. About 500 miles (800 km) of Canadian territory separate Alaska from Washington State. Alaska is thus an exclave of the United States that is part of the continental U.S. but is not part of the contiguous U.S. Alaska is also the only state whose capital city is accessible only via ship or air.]clarification needed[ No roads connect Juneau to the rest of the continent.
The state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia, Canada to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west, and the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
The United States is a country in the Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, and the Eastern Hemisphere. It consists of forty-eight contiguous states in North America, Alaska, a peninsula which forms the northwestern most part of North America, and Hawaii, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. There are several United States territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. The term "United States", when used in the geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The country shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and maritime (water) borders with Russia, Cuba, and the Bahamas in addition to Canada and Mexico.
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or simply the Arctic Sea, classifying it a mediterranean sea or an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean. Alternatively, the Arctic Ocean can be seen as the northernmost part of the all-encompassing World Ocean.
Almost completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America, the Arctic Ocean is partly covered by sea ice throughout the year (and almost completely in winter). The Arctic Ocean's surface temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes; its salinity is the lowest on average of the five major oceans, due to low evaporation, heavy fresh water inflow from rivers and streams, and limited connection and outflow to surrounding oceanic waters with higher salinities. The summer shrinking of the ice has been quoted at 50%. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) uses satellite data to provide a daily record of Arctic sea ice cover and the rate of melting compared to an average period and specific past years.
West Coast or Pacific Coast are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the United States, usually California, Oregon, and Washington. More specifically, the term refers to an area defined on the east by the Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Census groups the five states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii together as the Pacific States division.
As of the 2010 Census, the estimated population of the Census Bureau's Pacific Region was approximately 47.8 million (56.9 million if Nevada and Arizona are included) - about 15.3% (18.2% with Nevada and Arizona) of US population.
The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply the West, traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time. Prior to about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. Since then, the frontier moved further west and the Mississippi River was referenced as the easternmost possible boundary of the West.
The West mostly comprises arid to semi-arid plateaus and plains and forested mountains.
The Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the south central region of Alaska.
As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 380,821.
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost city in the United States with more than 100,000 residents and the largest community in North America north of the 60th parallel. With an estimated 298,610 residents in 2012 (and 380,821 residents within its Metropolitan Statistical Area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough), it is Alaska's most populous city and constitutes more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in the state's most populous city.
Anchorage has been named All-America City four times, in 1956, 1965, 1984-85, and 2002, by the National Civic League. It has also been named by Kiplinger as the most tax friendly city in the United States.