Elim, Alaska

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Elim is located in Alaska
Location in Alaska
Coordinates: 64°37′4″N 162°15′24″W / 64.61778°N 162.25667°W / 64.61778; -162.25667Coordinates: 64°37′4″N 162°15′24″W / 64.61778°N 162.25667°W / 64.61778; -162.25667
Country United States
State Alaska
Census Area Nome
Incorporated October 17, 1970[1]
 • Mayor Charles Saccheus, Sr.[2]
 • State senator Donald Olson (D)
 • State rep. Neal Foster (D)
 • Total 2.42 sq mi (6.27 km2)
 • Land 2.42 sq mi (6.27 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 330
 • Estimate (2016)[4] 340
 • Density 140.44/sq mi (54.23/km2)
Time zone Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)
 • Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
ZIP code 99739
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-22250

Elim (Neviarcaurluq in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 330, up from 313 in 2000.


Elim is located at 64°37′4″N 162°15′24″W / 64.61778°N 162.25667°W / 64.61778; -162.25667 (64.617734, -162.256705).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all of it land.

Natural history[edit]

A number of flora and fauna are found in the Elim area. This is the westernmost location for the range of Black Spruce, Picea mariana.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 162
1930 97 −40.1%
1940 100 3.1%
1950 154 54.0%
1960 145 −5.8%
1970 174 20.0%
1980 211 21.3%
1990 264 25.1%
2000 313 18.6%
2010 330 5.4%
Est. 2016 340 [4] 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

Elim first appeared on the 1920 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It was formally incorporated in 1970.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 313 people, 84 households, and 69 families residing in the city. The population density was 128.9 people per square mile (49.7/km²). There were 106 housing units at an average density of 43.7 per square mile (16.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 5.11% White, 92.65% Native American, and 2.24% from two or more races.

There were 84 households out of which 60.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.7% were non-families. 14.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.73 and the average family size was 4.16.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 41.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 131.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.0 males.

Elim, Alaska

The median income for a household in the city was $40,179, and the median income for a family was $40,893. Males had a median income of $25,938 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,300. About 8.0% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.



The Elim Airport is a state-owned airport with scheduled passenger flights. Also located in Elim is the Moses Point Airport, which is privately owned by the Elim Native Corporation.


Elim is served by the Bering Strait School District. Aniguiin School serves grades Pre-K through 12.

Boulder Creek uranium mine controversy[edit]

In 2005, mining company Full Metal Minerals announced a partnership with Triex Minerals Corporation to develop a uranium deposit north of Elim.[9] Development of the site began with survey and exploration work in Sept 2005.[10] Initial drilling exploration was completed in July 2006,[11][12] confirming deposits of "sandstone-hosted uranium" at the Boulder Creek site in Death Valley, north of Elim.[13]

The Boulder Creek mine site is located on part of the Tubutulik River. Serious water and air pollution risks, including radioactive byproducts, have been identified with "in-situ leeching", the type of uranium mining proposed for the site.[14] Villagers have raised concerns that radioactive by-products of uranium mining would adversely affect the plants, fish, and wildlife on which they rely.[15] In September 2007, Irene Murray of Aniguiin High School in Elim wrote an open letter to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, drawing attention to projected impacts on the local environment and human health.[16] Protests led by Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU)[17] have included demonstrations in 2008 and 2009 at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ceremonial start, and on the Iditarod trail in Elim.[18][19]

The village has raised legal concerns over the project that include an alleged failure by the federal Bureau of Land Management to provide adequate public notice and public comment periods regarding the Boulder Creek mine project.[20] Portions of the regulatory process are under the purview of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[14]


  1. ^ 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 53. 
  2. ^ 2015 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League. 2015. p. 59. 
  3. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Black Spruce: Picea mariana, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Full Metal Options Boulder Creek Uranium Property to Triex" Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. 2005-09-28. Full Metal Minerals Press Release. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  10. ^ "Full Metal and Triex Boulder Creek Uranium Deposit - 2006 Drill Programs" Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. 2006-01-16. Full Metal Minerals Press Release. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  11. ^ "Triex and Full Metal Continue Uranium Exploration at Boulder Creek" Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. 2006-09-07. Full Metal Minerals Press Release. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  12. ^ "Boulder Creek Project" Triex Minerals Corporation. Retrieved 2009-08-13
  13. ^ "Full Metal and Triex Announce Results from Drilling and Reconnaissance Exploration, Boulder Creek Uranium Project, Alaska" Archived 2011-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. 2006-11-16. Full Metal Minerals Press Release. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  14. ^ a b "ACF Partners Join Village to Stop Uranium Mine: Effects could be devastating" 2008. Alaska Conservation Foundation. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  15. ^ "Iditarod a stage for mining protest", 2008-03-13. Sandra L. Medearis. The Nome Nugget
  16. ^ "Student Letter to Governor Palin" 2007-09-20. BSSD Strait Talk. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  17. ^ "Elim Students Against Uranium" 2008-10. Indigenous Environmental Network. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  18. ^ "Alaska Natives protest uranium exploration on Iditarod Trail" 2009-03-14. Atlantic Free Press. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  19. ^ "Uranium mine threatens subsistence fishery in Native village of Elim, Alaska" Center for Water Advocacy. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  20. ^ "Native Village of Elim Alaska Fights Uranium Mine" Center for Water Advocacy. Retrieved 2009-08-11.