Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion  

Alaska Health Data Geographic Descriptions​

Alaska health data are often available by federally- and/or Alaska-defined geographic units described below.

Federally Defined Units:

  • Alaska Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Areas​
  • There are 2 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) and 2 micropolitan statistical areas (μSAs) in Alaska. The Anchorage metropolitan statistical area is composed of the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The Fairbanks MSA and the 2 μSAs are each composed of single boroughs. The boroughs and census areas outside of the metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas are considered rural.

  • Alaska Boroughs/Census Areas​
  • There are 19 boroughs and 10 U.S. Census Bureau-designated census areas in Alaska. These two systems have been aggregated into 29 geographic u​​nits, which correspond to 2015 census area designations. Alaska boroughs/census areas are equivalent to counties.

Alaska-Defined Administrative Areas:

  • Alaska Public Health Regions​
  • Alaska Public Health Regions are based broadly upon the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s 6 Economic Regions (Anchorage and Mat-Su, Gulf Coast, Interior, Northern, Southeast, and Southwest), except that Matanuska-Susitna Borough is reported separately from the Municipality of Anchorage. For combined Anchorage and Mat-Su data, see the Metropolitan/Microplitan Statistical Areas. The 7 Public Health Regions represent an internal reporting standard for the Alaska Division of Public Health.

  • Alaska Behavioral Health Systems Regions
  • The Alaska Division of Behavioral Health has divided Alaska into 11 regions for assessment and reporting purposes. Each region contains at least 20,000 individuals, which complies with the HIPAA Privacy Rule for public dissemination of health data.

  • Alaska Tribal He​alth Regions
  • The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Alaska Native Epidemiology Center has divided Alaska into 12 tribal health regions​. The boundaries of the tribal health regions do not always follow those of boroughs and census areas.