Alaska is the 49th state of the United States. U.S. Secretary of State William Seward purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in 1867. Alaska became a U.S. territory after the purchase (known as Seward’s Folly among critics), but was not granted statehood until January 3, 1959.
Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. The area of Alaska’s land is larger than the area of the next three largest states, Texas, California, and Montana, combined.
Alaska is also the least densely populated state, with only about 1 person per square mile of land. For comparison, the most densely populated major city in the U.S. is New York City, with a population of about 8.5 million and over 27,000 people per square mile. In 2014, the total population of Alaska was about 737,000.
The state capital is Juneau, located in the Southeast region of Alaska. Juneau is the third largest city in Alaska, after Anchorage in the Southcentral region and Fairbanks in the Interior region.