Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska.
It is the northernmost city in the United States with more than 100,000 residents and the largest community in North America north of the 60th parallel. With an estimated 298,610 residents in 2012 (and 380,821 residents within its Metropolitan Statistical Area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough), it is Alaska's most populous city and constitutes more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in the state's most populous city.
Anchorage has been named All-America City four times, in 1956, 1965, 1984-85, and 2002, by the National Civic League. It has also been named by Kiplinger as the most tax friendly city in the United States.
Russian presence in south central Alaska was well established in the 19th century. In 1867, U. S. Secretary of State William H. Seward brokered a deal to purchase Alaska from an Imperial Russia for $7.2 million (about two cents an acre). The deal was lampooned by political rivals as "Seward's folly", "Seward's icebox" and "Walrussia". By 1888, gold was discovered along Turnagain Arm.
In 1912, Alaska became a United States territory. Anchorage, unlike every other large town in Alaska south of the Brooks Range, was neither a fishing nor mining camp. The area within tens of miles of Anchorage is barren of significant economic metal minerals. While a number of Dena'ina settlements existed along Knik Arm for years, only two white men, Bud Whitney and Jack Brown, were reported to have lived in the Ship Creek valley in the 1910s prior to the large influx of settlers.