The City and Borough of Yakutat (/ˈjækətæt/, YAK-ə-tat) (Tlingit: Yaakwdáat) is a borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and was the name of a former city within it. The name is Tlingit, Yaakwdáat (“the place where canoes rest”) but it originally derives from an Eyak name diyaʼqudaʼt and was influenced by the Tlingit word yaakw (“canoe, boat”). The borough covers an area about six times the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island, making it one of the largest counties (or county equivalents) in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 662, down from 680 in 2000.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 9,463 square miles (24,510 km), of which 7,649 square miles (19,810 km) is land and 1,813 square miles (4,700 km) is water. The 2010 census also defines a smaller census-designated place named Yakutat which has a total area of 104.1 square miles (269.6 km), of which 100.5 square miles (260.3 km) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.3 km) is water.
Yakutat’s population center is located at 59°32′49″N 139°43′38″W / 59.54694°N 139.72722°W / 59.54694; -139.72722, at the mouth of Yakutat Bay. It lies in an isolated location in lowlands along the Gulf of Alaska, 212 miles (341 kilometres)) northwest of Juneau.
Yakutat borders the Gulf of Alaska to the west, Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska to the northwest, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska to the southeast, Stikine Region, British Columbia to the northeast-east and Yukon Territory to the north.
The borough contains part of the protected areas of Chugach National Forest, Glacier Bay National Park, Glacier Bay Wilderness, Tongass National Forest, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness and the Russell Fjord Wilderness.
One unique feature in the Borough is Hubbard Glacier, North America’s largest tidewater glacier. In 1986 and 2002, the glacier blocked the entrance to Russell Fiord. The resulting Russell Lake rose 83 and 61 feet until the glacial dam failed. If Russell Lake rises to 135 feet, the water will spill over a pass and flow into the Situk River. This will have a major impact on a world-class fishery. Yakutat will not be impacted unless the glacier advances to the townsite, which could take a thousand years. The vegetation in the area indicates that water was flowing over the pass until about 1860.
Yakutat first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated Tlingit-Yakutat village. All 300 residents were listed as Tlingit. In 1890, it reported 308 residents, and this included the populations of the native villages at Dry Bay & Lituya (Bay). 300 were listed as Native, 7 Whites and 1 Creole (Mixed Russian & Native). It continued to report on every successive census. In 1948, Yakutat formally incorporated. In 1992, it broke away from the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area to form its own borough of Yakutat. It disincorporated at its formation and became a census-designated place (CDP).
As of the census of 2010, there were 662 people, 502 households, and 201 families residing in the Yakutat. The racial makeup was 50.37% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 39.60% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.74% Pacific Islander, and 7.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.
5.78% reported speaking Tlingit at home.
There were 265 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.5% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.30.
The population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 5.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 145.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 161.7 males.
The median income for a household in Yakutat was $46,786, and the median income for a family was $51,875. Males had a median income of $41,635 versus $25,938 for females. The per capita income was $22,579. About 11.8% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
At the 2000 census, central Yakutat was treated as a census-designated place (CDP), even though census-designated places “are not legally incorporated under the laws of the state in which they are located.” This area, consisting of about 100 square miles (slightly more than 250 km²), contained the vast majority of the population of the entire city-borough.
As of the census of 2000, there were 680 people, 261 households, and 157 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 6.8 people per square mile (2.6/km²). There were 385 housing units at an average density of 3.9 per square mile (1.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 41.47% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 47.06% Native American, 1.47% Asian, 0.88% Pacific Islander, and 8.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.
There were 261 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 31.0% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 117.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 123.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $47,054, and the median income for a family was $51,875. Males had a median income of $42,404 versus $26,875 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,330. About 11.8% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
Yakutat Borough Alaska neighborhoods include: Auke Recreaction, Aurora Harris Boardwalk, Back Loop Road, Dobson Landing, Douglas Terrace, Downtown, Dredge Lake, Engineers Cutoff, Fritz Cove Road, Garnet – Threadneedle, Glacier / Aurora, Glacier Hwy & Sunny Point, Highlands, Killewich to Gee, Lemon Creek, Linda Ave, Long Run and Northland, McGinnis, Mendenhall, Mendenhaven – Valley Blvd, Montana Creek, Northern Riverside, Norway Point, Parkwood/Riverwood, Radcliffe Road, River Road, Salmon Creek, South Douglas, Sprucewood/Duck Creek, Switzer, Tee Harbor, Thunder Mountain, Tongass Blvd, West Juneau, White Glacier Hwy, Wren Steelhead