According to acronymmonster, the Alaska is the 49th state of the United States of America since 1959, counted, as of 1970, 302,173 inhabitants (including about 35,000 soldiers), of which 236,767 whites, 16,276 Indians, 916 Japanese, 1498 Filipinos, 228 Chinese, 8911 Negri, 37,577 Eskimo and Aleutini. If we compare these values with those of 1950, we note an increase of over 100% in the total population and the appearance of new ethnic groups, which have moved into Alaska attracted by its new and very important wealth: oil. Consequently, the number of inhabitants of the most industrialized cities has increased (Anchorage, Fairbanks and Ketchikan, which have respectively 46,000, 14,000 and 7,000 inhabitants), while the capital Juneau has doubled to the
Given the particular climatic conditions, agriculture continues to be of rather modest importance; in 1970 it affected just over 10,000 ha and the area intended for meadows and pastures was about 951,000 ha. The prevailing productions continue to be represented by potatoes, barley and oats, whose production increases are, however, less than proportional to the increases in the population, so the Alaska remains highly subject to the other regions of the United States as well as to other states (Canada) for the satisfaction of its food needs. Even the zootechnical patrimony has remained rather modest, despite the Alaska, it ranks among the major producers of fur animals: in 1970 31,000 reindeer were registered; also very widespread is the breeding of silver foxes. Greater importance in the economic context of the region preserves the forest, which currently covers an area of about 53 million ha, equal to 35% of the entire territory of Alaska, and feeds the production of wood pulp, mainly concentrated in some large Ketchikan and Ditka plants. Fishing also plays a role in economic activities, which in 1971 allowed the capture of about 203,000 tonnes of salmon, cod and herring which, in addition to satisfying domestic needs, feed a certain export current. The main fishing port is Kodiak. mainly concentrated in some large factories in Ketchikan and Ditka. Fishing also plays a role in economic activities, which in 1971 allowed the capture of about 203,000 tonnes of salmon, cod and herring which, in addition to satisfying domestic needs, feed a certain export current. The main fishing port is Kodiak. mainly concentrated in some large factories in Ketchikan and Ditka. Fishing also plays a role in economic activities, which in 1971 allowed the capture of about 203,000 tonnes of salmon, cod and herring which, in addition to satisfying domestic needs, feed a certain export current. The main fishing port is Kodiak.
But the true wealth of the Alaska today is represented by its subsoil, the exploitation of which has always represented the goal first of individual researchers (the gold rush), then of increasingly better organized groups (the search for various mineral resources, and in particular oil). Although gold production is currently quite good (it was around 400 kg in 1970), and the quantities of coal, copper, silver and tin remain significant, the major resource of this American region is now represented by oil. Discovered in 1951 near Umiat, it gradually came to light in ever larger regions and currently affects the Swanson River-Soldatna area, Cook Inlet and Prudhoe Bay.
Current oil production, which is around 12 million tonnes per year, is derived from the vast oil aquifer that extends under the tundra, three kilometers deep, along the northern coast; it contains at least ten billion barrels of crude oil. This is the largest deposit discovered so far in the United States, the use of which was made possible following an agreement between the nascent state and the federal government. In fact, in 1959 the Alaska obtained from the central government the right to appropriate about one third of the federal state property. The choice of the new state fell, among other things, on 800,000 hectares between the Brooks chain and the Beaufort sea, on the northern coast. It was an area where the Eskimos, for centuries, they had burned the oil pits that surfaced to boil the whale fat. The first oil concessions date back to 1963. On February 18, 1968, after having invested almost 80 billion in useless drilling, the company Atlantic Richfield finally found the field. For the transport of crude oil, since the Beaufort sea is frozen for most of the year, an oil pipeline has been devised based on very advanced construction techniques, which will allow transport to the port of Valdez on the Pacific Ocean. It is a colossal work, completed by 1977, with an initial transport capacity of over one million barrels of oil per day. The Prudhoe Bay sea-level pipeline climbs to 1450m to cross the M. Brooks range, still climbing over 1000m in the Alaska before reaching Valdez after a journey of 1,300 kilometers.
Ultimately, for the author, oil represents a historic turning point: taxes and royalties now reach almost one billion dollars a year, that is almost double the current state budget.