Monday, April 26, 2021

Are They Sending Us Their Best People?

"Alaska population grew by 3.3% in past decade, far below national rate, Census Bureau reports."

According to the United States Census Bureau, Alaska has seen 23,160 new people arrive in its icy Arctic Entry over the last decade, which still makes us the third least populous state in the country after Vermont and Wyoming. I guess maple syrup and cowboys still don’t beat tanzanite and bear claw salad tongs.

So, who are these folks? Is the rest of the country/world really sending Alaska its best people? Let's take a closer look behind the numbers:

FLORIDA MEN/WOMEN/NB (4,999): Alaska is sometimes called "Cold Florida" due to the prevalence of dentists who are convicted for practicing dentistry on a Hoverboard, mayors who sext themselves out of a job, and senators who get banned from the state's largest commercial airline for performative anti-masking shenanigans. Approximately 4,999 of the State's increased population is obviously from Florida (if not in letter, then at least in spirit), including one prior resident, MAGA Stan blogger Suzanne Downing, who pretends to live in Alaska but secretly shit-posts from a pool noodle in Hot Florida, thus keeping this number south of 5,000.

PUBLIC RADIO REPORTERS, TEACHERS, & AMERICORPS VOLUNTEERS: (2,000): At least 2,000 of Alaska's population increase can be attributed to plucky young public radio reporters, Americorps/JVC volunteers, and teachers looking for that career-making experience and also a good deal on lightly used AT-bindings, if anyone hears of one. Please don’t leave us! We love to see it!

CLIMATE APOCALYPSE REFUGEES: (7,000): It's probably too soon to tell, but the climate crisis could be fueling Alaska’s horrendously bullish housing market. There appears to be a burgeoning cottage industry in climate apocalypse escapism by bourgeois Lower 48’ers seeking a bugout spot for when the shit goes beyond hurricanes and wildfires and really hits the fan with actual zombies.

PLAIN VANILLA FUGITIVES (3,000): *narrator voice on cold case true crime show* “He was subsequently apprehended by a joint task force of state and federal authorities in a remote cabin 200 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.” We’ve all heard this one before, amirite? (NOTE: there might be some overlap between this data point and Florida Person).

YOUR GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND/PERSON (4,160): They followed you here, and there’s a better than 50% chance that you’re no longer a thing. Show me the lie.

PFD HUNTERS (2,000): You can blame reality TV and the Simpsons movie for letting the rest of the country know that the State government pays us to live here while going broker than a clock radio in the process. In short, you can have your ATV, but it’s gonna hit a few million potholes. Sorry!

QUILL THE HEDGEHOG (1): While not officially a person, and thus ineligible for the PFD, my 10 year-old son has convinced me to get a hedgehog that he plans to call “Quill,” a name his teen sister has scornfully dismissed as “so basic.”

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