Ketchikan (/ˈkɛtʃɪkæn/ KETCH-ih-kan; Tlingit: Kichx̱áan) is a city in and the borough seat of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of Alaska. It is the state’s southeasternmost major settlement. Downtown Ketchikan is a National Historic District. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included. The surrounding borough, encompassing suburbs both north and south of the city along the Tongass Highway (most of which are commonly regarded as a part of Ketchikan, albeit not a part of the city itself), plus small rural settlements accessible mostly by water, registered a population of 13,477 in that same census. Estimates put the 2017 population at 13,754 people. Incorporated on August 25, 1900, Ketchikan is the earliest extant incorporated city in Alaska, because consolidation or unification elsewhere in Alaska resulted in dissolution of those communities’ city governments. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, so named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver.
Ketchikan’s GPS geographic coordinates are latitude 55.342 (slightly south of both Copenhagen, Denmark at 55.676 and Glasgow, Scotland at 55.864) and longitude -131.648. The city is located in southernmost Southeast Alaska on Revillagigedo Island, 700 miles (1,100 km) northwest of Seattle, Washington, 235 miles (378 km) southeast of Juneau, Alaska, and 88 miles (142 km) northwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. It is surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, which is managed by the United States Forest Service from its headquarters in the Ketchikan Federal Building downtown, and to the south by the Tongass Narrows, a narrow east-west saltwater channel, which is part of the Inside Passage.
Due to its steep and forested terrain, Ketchikan is long and narrow with much of the built-up area being located along, or no more than a few city blocks from, the waterfront. Elevations of inhabited areas range from just above sea level to about 300 feet (91 m). Deer Mountain, a 3,001-foot (915 m) peak, rises immediately east of the city’s downtown area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15.3 km). 4.4 square miles (11.3 km) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (4.0 km) of it (29.14%) is water.
The half-mile (800 m) wide channel called the Tongass Narrows separates Ketchikan from Gravina Island, where Ketchikan International Airport is located.
Ketchikan first appeared on the 1890 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of “Kichikan.” Of its 40 residents, 26 were Native, 9 were White and 5 were Creole (Mixed Russian & Native). It returned as Ketchikan beginning in 1900 and in every successive census. It incorporated as a city also in 1900.
As of 2010, there were 8,050 people, 3,259 households, and 1,885 families residing in the city. As of 2017, The population density was 1,829.5 per square mile (714.1/km). It is the most densely populated city in Alaska. There were 3,731 housing units at an average density of 848.0 per square mile (330.2/km). The racial makeup of the city was 60.7% White, 16.7% Native American (8.3% Tlingit-Haida, 1.9% Tsimshian), 10.8% Asian (9.4% Filipino), 10.0% from two or more races, 0.8% Black or African American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, and 0.7% some other race. 4.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino (2.6% Mexican) of any race.
There were 3,259 households. 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were headed by married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.2% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41, and the average family size was 3.07.
The population is spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.
In 2017, the ACS-estimated median and average annual incomes for a household in the city were $56,372 and $70,490, respectively. The median and average incomes for a family were $68,438 and $84,518, respectively. The per capita income for the city was $30,474. About 12.4% of the population, including 19.8% of those under 18-years-old, were below the poverty line. 90.0% spoke English, 5.98% Tagalog, 1.81% Spanish, and 0.7% Tsimshian as their first language.
Ketchikan Alaska neighborhoods include: Ketchikan, Nt Pt Higgins, S Point Higgins