IN THE vast domain beyond the Yukon is a distinctive civilization which spreads across the entire drainage of the Koyukuk River lying north of the Arctic Circle, an area embracing approximately 15,000 square miles. While this territory seems rather small when blocked out on the map of Alaska, in comparison with more familiar places it takes on a greater significance. Belgium contains in all less than 12,000 square miles. New Jersey has but 7,500 and Massachusetts barely 8,000 square miles. It would take Massachusetts and New Jersey combined to equal the area of the upper Koyukuk.
But there is this striking difference between the places mentioned and the Arctic Koyukuk. Belgium has a population of 8,060,189 people. New Jersey has some 4,041,334 citizens. Massachusetts shelters 4,249,614 people, while the two states together have a population of 8,290,948. The upper Koyukuk has a total population of 127.
Stated in terms of density of population, it is interesting to compare this region with more familiar places:
per Square Mile
|Upper Koyukuk .................||0.0085|
|Nevada (least densely populated state)||0.8|