Despite the low census figures, Prudhoe Bay is actually quite a busy place; at any moment, there are several thousand temporary workers running the Prudhoe Bay oil field or supporting it in some way. The airport, lodging, and general store are clustered in a location called Deadhorse, while the rigs and processing facilities are located on scattered gravel "pads" laid on top of the tundra. Winter is just as busy as summer, since only at that time is the surface hard enough to support heavy equipment, and so all new construction happens then.
A small number of tourists, many arriving by bus after a two-day ride up the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks, come to see the tundra, the Arctic Ocean, and the midnight sun, staying in extremely basic lodgings assembled from "modular" buildings.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1,445.3 km² (558.0 mi²). 1,078.1 km² (416.3 mi²) of it is land and 367.2 km² (141.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 25.40% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there is one household in the town, consisting of one married couple between 25 and 44 and two boys and one girl under 18; the median age of the family is 12 years. One person is White, one is Native American, and three from two or more races. The income for this household is $90,957, or $19,880 per capita. The population density is 0.0/km². There is 1 housing units.