The City and Borough of Sitka (Tlingit: Sheetʼká, Russian: Ситка), formerly Novo-Arkhangelsk (or New Archangel) under Russian rule (Russian: Ново-Архангельск or Новоaрхангельск, t Novoarkhangelsk), is a unified city-borough in the southeast portion of the U.S. state of Alaska. The city is situated on the west side of Baranof Island and the south half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle). As of the 2010 census, Sitka had a population of 8,881.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough is the largest incorporated city by area in the U.S., with a total area of 4,811 square miles (12,460.4 km), of which 2,870 square miles (7,400 km) is land and 1,941 square miles (5,030 km) (40.3%) is water. As a comparison, this is almost four times the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Sitka displaced Juneau, Alaska as the largest incorporated city by area in the United States upon the 2000 incorporation with 2,874 square miles (7,440 km) of incorporated area. Juneau’s incorporated area is 2,717 square miles (7,040 km). Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest city in area in the contiguous 48 states at 758 square miles (1,960 km).
Sitka first reported on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. Of 916 residents, there were 540 Tlingit, 219 Creole (Mixed Russian & Native) and 157 Whites reported. It was the largest community in Alaska at that census. In 1890, it fell to second place behind Juneau. It reported 1,190 residents, of which 861 were Native, 280 were White, 31 were Asian, 17 Creole, and 1 Other. In 1900, it fell to 4th place behind Nome, Skagway & Juneau. It did not report a racial breakdown.
In 1910, Sitka was reported as two separate communities based on race: the village with mostly non-natives (population 539) and the part of the village with natives (population 500). Separately, they placed as the 15th and 17th largest communities. United, they would be 8th largest. For the purposes of comparison and the fact that the village was not officially politically/racially divided except by the census bureau report, the combined total (1,039) is reported on the historic population list. In 1913, Sitka was incorporated as a city, rendering the division by the census bureau for 1910 moot. In 1920, Sitka became the 4th largest city in the territory. In 1930, it fell to 7th place with 1,056 residents. Of those, 567 reported as Native, 480 as White and 9 as Other. In 1940, it rose to 5th place, but did not report a racial breakdown.
In 1950, it reported as the 9th largest community in Alaska (6th largest incorporated city). It did not report a racial breakdown. At statehood in 1960, it became the 6th largest community (5th largest incorporated city). With the annexations increasing its population to 3,237, it reported a White majority for its first time: 2,160 Whites, 1,054 Others (including Natives) & 23 Blacks. In 1970, it fell to 14th place overall (though 7th largest incorporated city) with 3,370 residents. Of those, 2,503 were White, 676 Native Americans, 95 Others, 74 Asians and 22 Blacks. In 1980, Sitka rose to 4th largest city with 7,803 residents (of which 5,718 were non-Hispanic White, 1,669 were Native American, 228 were Asian, 108 were Hispanic (of any race), 87 were Other, 44 were Black & 7 were Pacific Islander).
In 1990, Sitka fell to 5th largest (4th largest incorporated) with 8,588 residents. 6,270 were non-Hispanic White; 1,797 were Native American; 315 were Asian; 209 were Hispanic (of any race); 60 were Other; 39 were Black and 18 Pacific Islanders. In 2000, Sitka retained its 5th largest (and 4th largest incorporated) position. In 2010, it slipped to 7th largest community overall (but still remained the 4th largest incorporated city).
As of the 2010 census, there were 8,881 people residing in the borough. The racial makeup of the borough, based on one race alone or in combination with one or more other races, was, 64.6% White (including White Hispanic and Latino Americans), 1% Black or African American, 24.6% Native American, 8.1% Asian, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races. In addition, 4.9% of the population were Hispanic and Latino Americans of any race.
There were 3,545 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.6% were non-families. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.