North Slope Borough
Location within the U.S. state of Alaska
Alaska's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 69°18′N 153°27′W / 69.3°N 153.45°W / 69.3; -153.45
Country United States
State Alaska
IncorporatedJuly 2, 1972[1][2]
Named forAlaska North Slope
Largest cityUtqiaġvik
 • Total94,796 sq mi (245,520 km2)
 • Land88,695 sq mi (229,720 km2)
 • Water6,101 sq mi (15,800 km2)  6.4%%
 • Total9,430
 • Estimate 
 • Density0.099/sq mi (0.038/km2)
Time zoneUTC−9 (Alaska)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−8 (ADT)
Congressional districtAt-large
The Anaktuvuk River flows North toward the Arctic Ocean. Much of the North Slope Borough is characterized by vast, uninhabited gently rolling tundra.
The Anaktuvuk River flows North toward the Arctic Ocean. Much of the North Slope Borough is characterized by vast, uninhabited gently rolling tundra.

The North Slope Borough is the northernmost borough in the US state of Alaska. The borough seat and largest city is Utqiaġvik (known as Barrow from 1901 to 2016), which is also the northernmost settlement in the United States.


The borough was established in 1972 by an election of the majority Indigenous people in the region following Congressional passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. It was named for the Alaska North Slope basin. The borough has first-class status and exercises the powers of planning zoning taxation and schools. In 1974 it adopted a Home Rule Charter, enabling it to exercise any legitimate governmental power.[3]

In 2020 Ravn Alaska went into bankruptcy and ended operations. The government of North Slope Borough attempted to take property of the airline in an attempt to keep flights and shipments coming to the community, but the Alaska Attorney General stated that the borough did not have that authority.[4]


It has a seven-member assembly body, elected to staggered three-year terms. The borough's executive and administrative powers are vested in a mayor, who is limited to two consecutive three-year terms.


The current mayor, Harry K. Brower Jr, was first elected in July 2016 in a run-off election to serve the rest of former mayor Charlotte Brower's second term. Brower was recalled in April 2016, after it was reported the year before that her office had made numerous donations to individuals (including family members), sports clubs and other groups that amounted to more than $800,000 since 2011.[5] Former mayor, Eugene Brower, Charlotte's husband, was convicted of tax evasion involving contractor kickbacks three decades earlier.[6]

Harry Brower is Charlotte's brother-in-law. Her predecessor, Edward Itta, had succeeded George Ahmaogak and served two terms, 2005–2011.[7] in 2011 Charlotte Brower defeated former mayor, George Ahmaogak, in a runoff after it was revealed that he had billed the Borough for a family vacation in Hawaii. Ahmaogak's wife Maggie, had been convicted of embezzlement from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission in 2015.[6][8] Harry Brower ran for a full term as mayor in October 2017, but was forced into a November runoff against his nephew, Frederick Brower, where he easily won a full 3-year term.[9][10]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 94,796 square miles (245,520 km2), of which 88,695 square miles (229,720 km2) is land and 6,101 square miles (15,800 km2) (6.4%) is water.[11] The borough is larger than 39 states.[12]

Its western coastline is along the Chukchi Sea, while its eastern shores (beyond Point Barrow) are on the Beaufort Sea.

The North Slope Borough is the largest county-level political subdivision in the United States by area, with a larger land area than that of the state of Utah (Utah is the 13th-largest state in the nation). Although the adjacent Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area is larger in area, it has no borough-level government. The borough is the fourth-least densely populated county-level entity in the United States. (The Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area is the least densely populated county-level entity).

Adjacent boroughs and census areas

It shares its eastern border with Yukon, Canada, which has no subdivisions.

National protected areas

Map of northern Alaska showing location of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA).
Map of northern Alaska showing location of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA).

Other federal areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)9,832[13]4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
1790-1960[15] 1900-1990[16]
1990-2000[17] 2010-2018[18]

As of the census[19] of 2010, there were 9,430 people, 2,109 households, and 1,524 families residing in the borough. The population density was 12.03 square miles (31.2 km2) per person. There were 2,538 housing units at an average density of 35 square miles (91 km2) per unit. The racial makeup of the borough was 33.37% White, 1% Black or African American, 54.08% Native American, mostly Inuit, 4.51% Asian, 1.1% Pacific Islander, 0.71% from other races, and 5.23% from two or more races. 2.64% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.[20] 42.84% reported speaking Iñupiaq or "Eskimo" at home, while 4.21% reported speaking Tagalog.[21]

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,385 people. The racial makeup was 17.09% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 68.38% Native American, mostly Inuit, 5.92% Asian, 0.84% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 6.55% from two or more races. 2.37% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,109 households, out of which 48.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 1.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.45 and the average family size was 4.05.

In the borough, the population was spread out, with 38.2% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 18.10% from 45 to 64, and 4.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 112.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.90 males.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated places

See also


  1. ^ "North Slope Borough Local Emergency Planning District (LEPD)". Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. December 31, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  2. ^ 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 13.
  3. ^ "Your Government", North Slope Borough; accessed 3 November 2016
  4. ^ "Attorney general: North Slope Borough can't seize Ravn assets". Associated Press. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Lisa Demer, "North Slope Borough mayor ousted in recall election", Alaska Dispatch News, 17 May 2016; accessed 3 November 2016
  6. ^ a b Mayor Brower investigated for ethics violation, Arctic Sounder, Carey Restino, July 18, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  7. ^ DeMarban, Alex (November 6, 2016). "Edward Itta dies: Inupiaq whaling captain and former North Slope mayor". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Whaling panel's former director gets prison time, Alaska Journal of Commerce, November 30, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Associated Press, "Former mayor's brother-in-law elected North Slope Borough mayor", KTUU News
  10. ^ Harry Brower retains mayoral seat in North Slope Borough runoff election, Alaska Dispatch News, Lisa Demer, November 8, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ Reiss, Bob (July 18, 2010). "The Mayor at the Top of the World". Parade. Retrieved July 5, 2013. He governs the Wyoming-sized North Slope Borough of Alaska, a territory larger than 39 of our 50 states
  13. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  17. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  18. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  20. ^ "Population of North Slope County, AK - Census 2010 and 2000 Interactive Map, Demographics, Statistics, Quick Facts - CensusViewer". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  21. ^ "MLA Language Map Data for North Slope County, Alaska". Retrieved October 14, 2011.

Coordinates: 69°18′N 153°27′W / 69.30°N 153.45°W / 69.30; -153.45