Dillingham /ˈdɪlɪŋhæm/ (Curyuk in Central Alaskan Yup’ik), also known as Curyung and (for the southwestern section) Kanakanak, is a city in Dillingham Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 2,329, down from 2,466 in 2000.
Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in the North Pacific, in southwestern Alaska. It is located at 59°02′48″N 158°30′31″W / 59.04667°N 158.50861°W / 59.04667; -158.50861 (59.046751, -158.508665).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km). 33.6 square miles (86.9 km) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.2 km) of it (7.64%) is water. This may change as the City of Dillingham will likely petition the State of Alaska to increase the size of its boundaries to include most of Nushagak Bay and Wood River, to gain revenue from the Nushagak District and Wood River Special Harvest Area commercial salmon fisheries.
Dillingham is located in the 37th district of the Alaska House of Representatives, and is represented by Independent Bryce Edgmon, who serves as Speaker for the Alaska House of Representatives.
Dillingham is not connected to the statewide road system, and the only way to reach the city is by airplane or boat. The Dillingham Airport located near the center of the city limits has a 6,400-foot (2,000 m) runway and is served by several flights daily through Alaska Airlines (seasonal – summer) and PenAir (year-round). A 20-mile (32 km) paved road connects Dillingham with Aleknagik and the Wood-Tikchik State Park. Many residents live along the Aleknagik Lake Road and roads connecting the city’s central business district with Wood River and Kanakanak.
Dillingham first appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of Kanakanak. In 1920, it returned as Chogiung and in 1930 and every successive census as Dillingham. It formally incorporated in 1963. See: Historic Locales & Confusion Over Place Names Around Dillingham
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,466 people, 884 households, and 599 families residing in the city. The population density was 73.4 per square mile (28.3/km²). There were 1,000 housing units at an average density of 29.7 per square mile (11.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.55% Native American, 35.60% White, 1.18% Asian, 0.65% Black or African American, 0.61% from other races, and 9.41% from two or more races. 3.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 884 households out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 34.6% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $51,458, and the median income for a family was $57,417. Males had a median income of $47,266 versus $34,934 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,537. About 10.1% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18.
Per-capita crime rates in Dillingham are persistently higher than state and national averages. In 2007, the city experienced the nation’s highest rate of forcible rape per person, with 1 incident for every 103.9 residents. The city ranked 22nd (out of 8,659 cities with available data) for overall violent crime, with 1 incident for every 32.8 residents. The 2013 figures again demonstrate a high per-capita incidence of rape, indicating 1 incident for every 152.4 residents. (A note of caution regarding interpretation of the UCR data from which this information is drawn can be found on the FBI/UCR website.)