Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska

Matanuska-Susitna Borough (often referred to as the Mat-Su Borough) is a borough located in the U.S. state of Alaska. Its county seat is Palmer, and the largest community is the census-designated place of Knik-Fairview.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Ruth Glacier
Map of Alaska highlighting Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Location within the U.S. state of Alaska
Map of the United States highlighting Alaska
Alaska's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 62°24′N 149°35′W / 62.4°N 149.58°W / 62.4; -149.58
Country United States
State Alaska
IncorporatedJanuary 1, 1964[1][2]
Named forMatanuska River and Susitna River
Largest CDPKnik-Fairview
 • Total25,258 sq mi (65,420 km2)
 • Land24,608 sq mi (63,730 km2)
 • Water650 sq mi (1,700 km2)  2.6%%
 • Total107,801
 • Density4.3/sq mi (1.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−9 (Alaska)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−8 (ADT)
Congressional districtAt-large

The borough is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area, along with the municipality of Anchorage on its south.

The Mat-Su Borough is so designated because it contains the entire Matanuska and Susitna Rivers. They empty into Cook Inlet, which is the southern border of the Mat-Su Borough. It is one of the few agricultural areas of Alaska.


Mount Bradley in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, 2014

The borough seat is Palmer,[3] and the largest community is the census-designated place of Knik-Fairview, Alaska.

As of the 2020 census, the population was 107,081, up from 88,995 in 2010. It is the fastest growing subdivision in Alaska.[4]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 25,258 square miles (65,420 km2), of which 24,608 square miles (63,730 km2) is land and 650 square miles (1,700 km2) (2.6%) is water.[5]

Adjacent boroughs and census areasEdit

National protected areas in the boroughEdit


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2020[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 59,322 people, 20,556 households, and 15,046 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km2). There were 27,329 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 87.55% White, 0.69% Black or African American, 5.50% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 4.57% from two or more races. 2.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,556 households, out of which 42.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 9.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.80% were non-families. 20.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 32.20% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.10 males.

Schools in the borough are administered by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.

Politics and governmentEdit

The midway area of the Alaska State Fair, held annually in Palmer during late August and early September

Republicans have carried the borough in every election except for 1964.[12]

Edna DeVries is the mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The borough has a strong-manager form of government. Mike Brown is the borough manager. Long-time Manager John Duffy retired in 2010.[13]

Sarah Palin was previously the mayor of Wasilla, the largest city in the borough.



Census-designated placesEdit

Other locationsEdit

Cyber attackEdit

In July 2018, the borough's computer systems, including the library and animal shelter, were hit by a ransomware attack, forcing employees to do without computers, using electric typewriters where available.[14] The borough declared a state of emergency[15] and incurred over $2 million in costs.[16] The method is thought to have been a targeted phishing e-mail; data left by the malware indicated Mat-Su was the 210th target attacked.[17]


A freshwater pond on Trimble Glacier, in the Tordrillo Mountains, in the far south-west of Mat-Su Borough

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "History". Matanuska-Susitna Borough Joint Land Use Study. 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  2. ^ 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 12.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "2020 Census Data - Cities and Census Designated Places" (Web). State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Alaska Results by County Equivalent, 1960-2020". April 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  14. ^ "Town dusts off typewriters after cyber-attack". BBC News. August 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Leroy Polk; Beth Verge (August 2, 2018) [August 1, 2018]. "'This is not somebody in his mother's basement': Massive cyberattack prompts Mat-Su disaster declaration". KTUU.
  16. ^ Zaz Hollander (October 12, 2018) [October 11, 2018]. "Price tag for cyberattack on Mat-Su Borough now tops $2 million". Anchorage Daily News.
  17. ^ Chris Baraniuk (January 9, 2019). "In Depth: The cyber-attack that sent an Alaskan community back in time". BBC News.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 62°24′N 149°35′W / 62.40°N 149.58°W / 62.40; -149.58