The city of Fairbanks is located in Interior Alaska near the confluence of the Chena and Tanana Rivers in the Tanana Valley. We are 360 miles north of Anchorage, 125 south of the Arctic Circle, 3,500 miles from Los Angeles and 4,200 miles from Washington, DC. Nicknamed "The Golden Heart City", Fairbanks is the largest city in the interior region and the second largest in Alaska.
Founded in 1901 by Captain E.T. Barnette as a trading post on the Chena River, the community grew and was eventually named after Senator Charles Fairbanks. The discovery of Gold in the hills just north of Fairbanks caused a mass influx of residents, bringing the population to almost 11,000 in 1910. Ladd Field, now Fort Wainwright, was built in 1938 followed by the Alcan Highway in 1940's and Eielson Air Force Base, formerly Satellite Field, in 1943, bringing the military population to almost isto be just shy of 19,921.
Population by City/Municipality
|An Act of the Alaska Legislature created the Fairbanks North Star Borough in 1964; the year of the fateful Good Friday Earthquake that shook anchorage and three years before Fairbanks suffered a devastating flood at the hands of the Chena River. According to records the population of Fairbanks in 1880 was approximately 2,600 and has since swelled to almost 90,000 in the North Star Borough with projections for nearly 105,000 by the year 2018. |
The Fairbanks economy is based on tourism, the state's oil revenue and federal government expenditures for the military, administration of federal agencies and research grants. As Alaska's second largest city, Fairbanks is an important trading, transportation and military center. Residents of nearby North Pole, Fort Wainwright Army Post, Eielson Air Force Base and surrounding areas come to Fairbanks for shopping, entertainment and employment.
|Fairbanks 50 Largest Employers|
Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks 3,416
Golden Valley Electric 212
Frontier Flying Service 131
The Interior and Fairbanks in particular are known to have some of the most extreme weather conditions in the country due to significant changes in solar heat throughout the year. The winters are long, usually lasting from late September to mid-April. From November to March, daylight ranges from ten to less than four hours daily and temperatures can drop to 50 degrees below zero. The summers are very warm, often reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit and sometimes reaching the 90's. The sun is above the horizon eighteen to twenty-one hours per day. August and September tend to be the rainier months and snow tends to fall the last week of September leading back into the winter season.
Fairbanks is also home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks; the flagship campus of the University of Alaska system. Originally founded as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1917 it became the University of Alaska in 1935. UAF remains the only campus in the University of Alaska system that awards doctoral degrees and holds the distinction of being one of only thirteen Land, Sea and Space Grant Universities in the country.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks encompasses eight campuses, plus the Center for Distance Education, offering 163 degrees and 25 certificates in 115 disciplines. 9,681 students are currently enrolled at the various campuses in the UAF system with 88% pursuing an undergraduate degree. 833 certificate, associate or baccalaureate degrees and 204 master's and doctoral degrees were conferred in the spring of 2007.
Located on the main campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, The Rasmuson Library is the largest library in the State of Alaska with 1.1 million volumes and electronic access to more than 20 million titles worldwide. The UAF campus is also home to the Museum of the North which boasts a rare and unique collection of more than 1 million objects.
University athletics are also a vital part of the community. Dubbed the Nanooks; UAF athletics are composed of Division I hockey team, a Division II basketball team, mens and women's cross country skiing, rifle, women's swimming and volleyball.
Whether you're relocating with the military, your private sector employer or just looking for a wonderful place to call home, we're glad you're here. Fairbanks has grown into a thriving city while still maintaining that independent small town charm. Join us as we take you on a tour of what The Golden Heart City has to offer.
Next Stop: Surviving Alaskan Winters