The 1898 discovery of gold deposits in Alaska nearly doubled the population of this once unexplored territory. In 1959 Alaska became the largest state (by land-area) admitted into the United States. With the largest oil field in North America (Prudhoe Bay) and the largest crude oil pipeline in the United States (Trans-Alaska Pipeline), the energy industry dominates Alaska’s economy. Other than oil, Alaska's largest sources of wealth are seafood and tourism. Fish such as salmon, cod, pollack and crab are major exports from the state. Alaska does not charge personal sales or income taxes, so government funding comes primarily from petroleum revenues via the Alaskan Permanent Fund. This fund manages oil royalties as a capital investment and provides residents with annual dividends.

State Rankings

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