In the winter of 1925, an epidemic among Eskimos in Nome was halted when, during fierce blizzard conditions, a sled team arrived with serum. The sled driver was Gunnar Kaasen and the sled dog was Balto. A statue of Balto by F.G. Roth stands near the zoo in Central Park, New York. The annual Iditarod sled-dog race commemorates this historic event.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 55.9 km² (21.6 mi²). 32.5 km² (12.5 mi²) of it is land and 23.5 km² (9.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 41.99% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 3,505 people, 1,184 households, and 749 families residing in the city. The population density is 108.0/km² (279.7/mi²). There are 1,356 housing units at an average density of 41.8/km² (108.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 51.04% Native American, 37.89% White, 1.54% Asian, 0.86% Black or African American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 8.19% from two or more races. 2.05% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,184 households out of which 38.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% are married couples living together, 12.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% are non-families. 27.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 3.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.79 and the average family size is 3.45.
In the city the population is spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 115.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 117.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $59,402, and the median income for a family is $68,804. Males have a median income of $50,521 versus $35,804 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,402. 6.3% of the population and 5.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 4.3% are under the age of 18 and 6.9% are 65 or older.