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Showing posts from June, 2017

Fighting Southeast Alaska's Youth Drain

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A few months ago, I read this article about a presentation by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough's new manager, Ruben Duran. Near the end, the article states the following:


I have to admit, this statement annoyed me a little. As a 26-year-old raised in Ketchikan who returned to living and working here as an adult, I believe there's a shortage of people my own age on the island, not people my parents' age. It seems to me that Ketchikan should prioritize attracting Millennials—young working people who will counterbalance the increasing number of residents who are retirement age or older.

Over the last few years, media outlets have highlighted how Southeast has become the oldest region in Alaska, even calling the phenomenon a "silver tsunami." (See here and here.) Apparently, the biggest factor behind this trend is that older people are now better able to keep living in Southeast, rather than being forced to move elsewhere out of necessity, as often happened in the past.…