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The USA's northernmost town
Utqiagvik (a.k.a. Barrow), Alaska
Alaska,_Alaska Alaska 

A couple of days ago, I noticed a video about the northernmost town in the United States of America. This is the town of Utqiagvik, in Alaska, which is home to an estimated 4,335 people. Previously, this town was known as Barrow; however, following a 2016 referendum among the residents, it officially reverted to the name used in the local Iñupiaq language. 

So, here's the Wendover Productions video, made by a guy who visited the town to see what it's like: 

Here's a summary: 
  • 4,335 people may not sound like a lot, but it's very large for a town as far north as this. In fact, it contains about 50% of the entire population of northern Alaska;
  • For 65 days in the summer, the Sun never sets - and for 65 days in the winter, it never rises;
  • There are no roads connecting the town to the outside world. When the sea is iced up (as it is for much of the year), the only way in or out is by plane (although, fortunately, the planes are very frequent!);
  • Because of the cost of transport, lots of items are very expensive - particularly those that need refrigerating (e.g. $17 for a frozen pizza);
  • So, why does anybody live there? Around 60% of the population come from the local Iñupiat tribe, who have lived there for over 1,500 years. The other 40% are mostly there to work in the petroleum industry (and they make a lot of money, even if much of it is eaten up by the insane cost of living!) 

Utqiagvik presents an interesting contrast: it feels very isolated and disconnected from its own state capital, let alone Washington DC (it's actually closer to Moscow and Tokyo than it is to the US capital) - and yet, it's still as much a part of America as New York City or Los Angeles is. 

I can't say I'd like to live there myself - but I admire those who do, because it must present all kinds of immense challenges!
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