Wales (Kiŋigin in Iñupiaq) is a town in the Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 152. It is the westernmost town (or settlement of any sort) on the American mainland.

Wales is located at 65°36′44″N 168°5′21″W / 65.61222°N 168.08917°W / 65.61222; -168.08917 (65.612116, -168.089285).

Wales is located on the westernmost point of the American mainland, Cape Prince of Wales, on the western tip of the Seward Peninsula. It is 111 miles (179 km) northwest of Nome.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all of it land.

As of the census of 2000, there were 152 people, 50 households, and 28 families residing in the city. The population density was 53.9 people per square mile (20.8/km²). There were 59 housing units at an average density of 20.9 per square mile (8.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84% (127 people) Native American, 9% (13 people) White, 7% (10 people) from two or more races, 1% (1 person) Black or African American, 1% (1 person) Hispanic or Latino, and one person registered as other .

There were 50 households out of which 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38% were married couples living together, 8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44% were non-families. 40% of all households were made up of individuals and 6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 4.43.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 38.2% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 3.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 111.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 141.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,333, and the median income for a family was $39,583. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $22,188 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,877. About 17.2% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under the age of eighteen and 50.0% of those sixty five or over.

A burial mound from the Birnirk culture (A.D. 500 to 900) was discovered near Wales and is now a National Landmark.

In 1827, a Russian Navy report listed the Inupiat villages of "Eidamoo" near the coast and "King-a-ghe" inland in the area.

In 1890, the American Missionary Association established a mission at the site of present-day Wales. In the 1890s, reindeer (domesticated caribou) were brought to the area and in 1894 a reindeer station was established. Wales became an important whaling center due to its location along whale migratory routes, and it was the region's largest and most prosperous village, with more than 500 residents. Wales is named after the principality in the United Kingdom.

The influenza epidemic from 1918 to 1919 decimated the population and economy of Wales.

In 2002 a wind-diesel system became operational.

On November 9, 2011, the city experienced the 2011 Bering Sea superstorm. Wind gusts of 89 mph were recorded in Wales.


Luciano Mende

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