Alaska as a Country

Here are a few simple comparisons to put Alaska in perspective among the nations of the world.

If Alaska was a country, it would be the least densely populated in the world.

With only 1.1 Alaskans for every square mile of land, Alaska's population density is a mere fourth of Mongolia's, (4.4) the homeland of Genghis Khan currently being the world's least densely populated nation. For comparison, the U.S. - still relatively sparsely populated - currently has 83 people per square mile, (though the number would rise significantly without Alaska), while Monaco, which tops the world's list, has 43,830.

If Alaska was a country, its population would rank as the 159th largest in the world.

There are around 700,000 Alaskans - slightly fewer than there are people in Guyana, slightly more than there are in Bhutan, and more than the population of over thirty other countries.

If Alaska was a country, it would have the world's 90th largest economy.

With a GDP higher than perhaps 100 current countries, Alaska would be at the center of the pack among the world's economies. Alaska's GDP is very similar to that of Luxembourg, a rich European microstate also mentioned on this blog here. And lastly...

If Alaska was a country, it would be the 17th largest in the world.

Only Russia, Canada, China, Brazil, the remainder of the United States (which would drop from being 3rd/4th largest to being 5th), Australia, India, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Sudan (even if it loses Southern Sudan), Algeria, the DRC, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Libya (barely) are larger in size than Alaska. All the other countries of the world, from Iran on down, can't match the amount of land in the Last Frontier.

And that's all I'll set out for you here. Alaska as a country wouldn't be the biggest or best in the world, unless you can be best at having the fewest people per unit of land, but what these statistics help to demonstrate is that there's nothing crazy about Alaska independence: There are smaller countries out there, countries with fewer people, and countries with much less money in the bank. It seems that there just aren't any countries that are more sparsely peopled - unless, of course, Greenland gains independence.

(Sources found here, herehere, and here. Vague language such as "a GDP higher than perhaps 100 current countries" is due to the limitations of the Wikipedia data, and of course the fact that the number of countries in the world is debatable. I am no statistician and I realize that a better job might be done on the numbers within this article, but please don't take it all too seriously.)