Our Leagacy

How did the Gold Rush Change the Population?

     The gold rush brought thousands of people to Alaska, both gold-seekers and the people who provided supplies and services. Before the gold rush it was estimated that there were only about 32,000 people in Alaska, about 80% were Alaska Natives. By 1900 there were over 63,000 people, an increase of about 26,000 non-Natives.

How do we know population numbers from the past?

U.S. Census Records, 1920. Draft document sent to Territorial Governor. 2 pages

     One way we keep track of population numbers is with written census records. Since biblical times governments have used census records to help them document the number of people in an area every ten years. We can learn many things by looking at census records even though they are mostly numbers. In order to explain what the numbers mean you need to recall events that happened in the area during the time being studied. Using the 1920 census records for Alaska and a timeline of the Alaska gold rushes, try to piece together the stories of Alaskan towns from 1900-1920.

     Challenge: How has the population of Alaska changed since the gold rush? What reasons explain the changes? Where would you find evidence to support your ideas?

Overview I
How did the gold rush change the population? I How did the gold rush impact Native Alaskans? I What did Alaska get from the gold rush?

Homepage I Alaska's Gold Lode I The Discovery of Gold I Traveling to the Gold Fields
Gold Mining I Daily Life Our Legacy I The Edgren Saga I Gold Rush Stories
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Alaska's Gold was developed through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development.  1999.  All rights reserved.   Alaska Gold Themes written by Cristine Crooks, Alaska Consultants in Education.  Alaska's Gold Themes website developed by WEBDesign.