SAVOONGA ALASKA Latitude and Longitude:
|Incorporated||October 6, 1969 |
|• Mayor||Myron Kingeekuk |
|• State senator||Donald Olson ( D)|
|• State rep.||Neal Foster (D)|
|• Total||6.10 sq mi (15.79 km2)|
|• Land||6.10 sq mi (15.79 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|Population ( 2010)|
|• Estimate (2016) ||705|
|• Density||115.65/sq mi (44.66/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-9 ( Alaska (AKST))|
|• Summer ( DST)||UTC-8 (AKDT)|
Savoonga ( Central Siberian Yupik: Sivunga) is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska. It is located on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. As of the 2010 census, Savoonga's population was 671, up from 643 in 2000.
Savoonga was incorporated in 1969. In 1971, it became joint owner of St. Lawrence Island along with the island's only other city, Gambell.
The local economy consists largely of subsistence hunting for walrus, seals, fish, and bowhead whales. The city calls itself the "Walrus Capital of the World". A dogsled mail service operated until 1963.
Savoonga is located at (63.696732, -170.460907).
Savoonga is on the northern coast of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. It is 63 km (39 mi) southeast of Gambell.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), all of it land.
Most people on St. Lawrence Island speak Siberian Yupik, while some of Alaska's people are losing their native languages.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
Savoonga first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It formally incorporated in 1969.
At the 2000 census, there were 643 people, 145 households, and 113 families residing in the city.  The population density was 105.5 people per square mile (40.7/km²). There were 160 housing units at an average density of 26.2 per square mile (10.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.33% Native American, 4.35% White, 0.16% Asian, and 0.16% from other races.
There were 145 households out of which 55.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.4% were non-families. 16.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 0.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.43 and the average family size was 5.22.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 36.1% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 16.5% from 45 to 64, and 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,438, and the median income for a family was $27,917. Males had a median income of $30,500 versus $29,167 for females. The per capita income for the city was $7,725. About 29.3% of families and 29.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.6% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
St. Lawrence Island has been inhabited sporadically for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan Yup'ik and Siberian Yupik people. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island had a population of about 4,000 in numerous villages.
Between 1878 and 1880, a famine devastated the island's population. Many who did not starve left. The remaining population of St. Lawrence Island was nearly all Siberian Yupik.
In 1900, reindeer were introduced on the island and by 1917, the herd had grown to over 10,000 animals. A reindeer camp was established near present-day Savoonga in 1916. The village of Savoonga was established near the camp in the 1930s. Good hunting and trapping in the area attracted more residents.
Gambell and Savoonga received joint title to most of the land on St. Lawrence Island under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
- Annie Aghnaqa (Akeya) Alowa (1924-1999), Yupik environmental activist, healer, and leader in health and justice advocacy for indigenous peoples
- Edna Korth, star of the Discovery Channel show The Last Alaskans 
- "Directory of Borough and City Officials 1974". Alaska Local Government. Juneau: Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. XIII (2): 71. January 1974.
- 2015 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League. 2015. p. 139.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 22, 2017.
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- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
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- Garland, Sarah (2013-03-01). "In remote Alaskan villages, teachers struggle to make school meaningful". The Hechinger Report. Retrieved 2017-02-14. - Also published in The Atlantic