A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada
Cold Bay, Alaska
Census Data for Cold Bay ...
The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2017 and it gave Cold Bay a population of 128 people.
The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Cold Bay a population of 108 people.
When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Cold Bay, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually shaped as a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.
Things like the population, area and housing for Cold Bay reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Cold Bay might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Cold Bay has a total area of 71.7 square miles [185.6 km²]. Of this total, 53.2 square miles [137.8 km²] is land, with the balance (25.76%) being water (18.46 square miles [47.8 km²]).
Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
Lat: 55° 12' 56" (or 55.2°) [Map]
More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Population Density ...
Using the population (108 people) and land area (53.2 square miles [137.8 km²]) values from the 2010 Census, Cold Bay had a population density of 1.51 people per square mile [0.58 people/km²].
In comparison, the 2000 Census shows Cold Bay had a population of 88 people and a land area of 54.4 square miles [140.8 km²]. This gives a population density of 1.24 people per square mile [0.48 people/km²]
NOTE: Be aware that when comparing population density between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Cold Bay. You need to be careful when making such a comparison, the differences are likely to lead to a questionable comparison. More information about these differences can be found in the section Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Housing Units ...
At the time of the 2010 Census, Cold Bay had 82 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 108 people, this averages 1.32 people per Housing Unit.
The 2010 Census shows Cold Bay had a land area of 53.2 square miles [137.8 km²]. This translates to 1.14 Housing Units per square mile [0.44 housing units/km²].
From the Census of 2000: Cold Bay had 98 Housing Units, a population of 88 people and a land area of 54.4 square miles [140.8 km²]. This gives a density of 0.9 people per Housing Unit and 1.38 Housing Units per square mile [0.53 housing units/km²].
NOTE: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2000 and the 2010 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Cold Bay and you need to be careful when comparing numbers between the censuses. More information about these differences can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).
Population Rings for Cold Bay ...
To help identify the number of people who live in Cold Bay and the surrounding area, we have drawn concentric rings centered on Cold Bay. We counted the number of communities within each ring and summed their populations.<4>
Census-to-Census Observations ...
When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Cold Bay, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Cold Bay. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change. If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.
The sampling area (or polygon) given for the 2010 Census is 1.03% larger than the 2000 Census.
The 2010 Census shows that the total area for Cold Bay was 71.7 square miles [185.6 km²]. Of this total, 53.2 square miles [137.8 km²] is land, with the balance (25.76%) being water (18.46 square miles [47.8 km²]).
The 2000 Census shows a total area of 70.9 square miles [183.7 km²]. Of this total, 54.4 square miles [140.8 km²] is land, with the balance (23.11%) being water (16.56 square miles [42.9 km²]).
While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Cold Bay, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Cold Bay.
For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
Lat: 55.215583° (or 55°12'56" N) [Map]
For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
Lat: 55.209038° (or 55°12'32" N) [Map]
The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 2 miles to the west<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2419372) to Cold Bay. This identifier also marks a GSP point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Cold Bay. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
Lat: 55.212870° (or 55°12'46" N) [Map]
The GSP location given for the 2010 Census lies 6,459 feet to the west<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Cold Bay. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Cold Bay.
Miscellaneous Information for Cold Bay ...
The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either or the city of Cold Bay:
The GNIS Codes ...
The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Cold Bay:
GNIS ID for Cold Bay: 2419372
The FIPS Codes ...
An earlier (and largely obsolete) identification method was called the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS):
State Code: 02 (Alaska)
Place Code: 16530 (Cold Bay)
Misc. Census Codes ...
Cold Bay is located in Census Region #4 (the West Region) and Division #9 (the Pacific Division).
The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...
While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Cold Bay, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Cold Bay. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.
The ZIP code for Cold Bay: 99571<7>
Census ZCTA Codes ...
The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).
ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.
For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Cold Bay.
Other Roadside Stops ...
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau
Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Cold Bay. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
The official website for State of Alaska: alaska.gov/
The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.
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This page was last modified: 28 Apr 2019