As many people say, everything is bigger in Texas. But is it? Let’s start with the most basic stat by comparing the size of the state with the rest of the United States. Is Alaska bigger than Texas?
Alaska is bigger than Texas. Alaska’s land size is 571,951 square miles (1,481,346 km2), while Texas has a land size of 261,232 square miles (676,587 km2). This means Alaska is about double the size of Texas. Even if you take the historical Republic of Texas at 393,093 square miles (1,018,107 km2), Alaska is still bigger.
This article will explore whether Alaska is bigger than Texas and why Alaska is so large. We also try to answer some other questions related to Alaska and Texas state itself.
Is Alaska Bigger Than Texas?
Alaska is bigger than Texas when it comes to land size. Alaska’s land size is 571,951 square miles (1,481,346 km2), which is slightly more than double of Texas. Texas has a land size of 261,232 square miles (676,587 km2).
When it comes to land size, yes, Alaska definitely wins. If you include the water territory of these states as well, the gap becomes even more significant.
When you include Alaska’s water territory, the size balloons to 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2). Texas does not have much water territory, which means when you include that into the total size of the state, Texas is only about 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2).
That means with water territories included, Alaska is almost three times bigger than Texas.
This makes sense as if you look at the map, Texas is almost surrounded by land borders. Texas has land borders with Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and the country of Mexico itself. Only the state’s southeastern border faces a body of water, the Gulf of Mexico.
Alaska is pretty much the opposite. Only its easterly border is a land border with Canada. The north, west, and south are bodies of water. The north faces the Arctic Ocean, the east the Bering Strait, while the southeast and south face the Pacific Ocean.
Alaska also has many islands along the Pacific. Some are more known than others, such as Attu and Kiska, as the Japanese occupied them during World War II.
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Has Alaska Always Been Bigger Than Texas?
In general, if you trace back the history to the earliest reliable surveying data, Alaska has always been larger than Texas. Alaska’s land size is mentioned as 586,412 sq. mi (1,518,800 km2) during the Alaska Purchase, while the Republic of Texas 393,093 square miles (1,018,107 km2)
Alaska was practically founded when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. At the time of purchase, the territory is listed as 586,412 sq mi (1,518,800 km2).
When you compare that against Alaska today, it has shrunk slightly, possibly due to the better topography measurement technology we have today.
Texas would be difficult to determine as it has a much longer history than Alaska. The most significant extent Texas ever got was probably during its days as the Republic of Texas. At this time, Texas was a sovereign state, independent from Mexico, before joining the United States in 1846.
The Republic of Texas is 393,093 square miles (1,018,107 km2), which means it is still not as large as Alaska.
How Big Is Alaska Compared To The US?
Alaska is largest in land size in the United States, with Texas second. Alaska is large enough to fit the 19 smallest US states in it. In fact, if you combine the size of the second, third, and fourth largest states in the US, they still fail to beat Alaska.
Alaska is huge. It is the largest state in the United States by a wide margin.
Alaska is so large that if you combine the size of the United States’ second, third, and fourth largest state, it can still not beat Alaska. Texas has a land size of 261,232 square miles (676,587 km2), California has a size of 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2), while Montana is at 147,040 sq mi (380,800 km2).
If you add all that up, you will get 571,968 square miles (1,481,390 km2). Alaska alone has 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2).
Alaska can also fit in all the 19 smallest states in the United States. Some of these states include Rhode Island, Hawaii, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Maine, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, etc.
In fact, Alaska itself is the 7th largest subdivision of territory in the world, behind the state of Queensland, Australia. The world’s largest subdivision is the Republic of Sakha in Russia, at 1,190,555 square miles (3,083,523 km2)
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Why Is Alaska So Huge?
Alaska is huge as it does not host a large population with strong political desires, is sparsely populated, and also incorporates many islands in the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean.
If you notice, most of the world’s largest political subdivisions are in places with very little population, such as Alaska, Western Australia, or Greenland.
This usually happens as these places have a small population. Less population means less pressure on the natural resources in the area. With more resources to share, there is less need to form political movements to fight for them.
Plus, when an area is sparsely populated, it is easier to lump the whole large area into a political subdivision. The logic that guided such decision is that it makes no sense to create a state just to govern a few thousand people. Even at such a size, there are only 736,081 Alaskans in the 2020 census.
Often territories get subdivided because people form political divisions and then fight for some form of self-determination. This has not happened in Alaska since there are so few Alaskans; they figure they should stay together.
Another reason why Alaska is so huge is that it also incorporated many far flung islands in the Arctic Ocean and also in the Pacific Ocean. This significantly enlarges Alaska’s size.