The Aleutian Islands are famous for being remote islands. But they are also famous for something else: holding the northeasternmost territories in the USA.

I am already a US citizen, and live in one of the lower 48 states. I don't have the resources to move there right now, but I am curious. Is it legally and physically possible to move to any of the eastern hemisphere part of the Aleutian islands and if so which ones?

  • 1
    I don't think I'd actually do this, but I want to know if it's possible. Oct 22, 2021 at 20:55
  • 1
    You can visit Attu for 2 weeks as part of a birding tour for only USD $9000 or so. Oct 22, 2021 at 23:13
  • 1
    @DavidSupportsMonica the only definition I can think of that makes any sense in this context is "places less than 180 degrees east of the Greenwich meridian." (Obviously, a definition taking the international date line into account isn't applicable, because under such a definition there are no Aleutian islands in the eastern hemisphere.) Is there an alternative definition I'm overlooking?
    – phoog
    Oct 23, 2021 at 6:54
  • @phoog You're spot on, I was obviously not thinking clearly (or at all) when I wrote that. I'll delete my comment. Oct 23, 2021 at 14:24
  • Nope. Everything east of the 180-degree line is either a military base or part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
    – Mark
    Oct 27, 2021 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


Attu Island is part of the state of Alaska.

At longitude 172°E it is to the west of the 180° longitude, which places it in the eastern hemisphere geometrically.

However it is to the east of the International Date Line, which places it in the western hemisphere geographically.

enter image description here

The population of Attu in the 2010 census was 20 people, all coast guard personnel at Attu Station, but they all departed later in the year when the station closed. It then became the largest uninhabited island in the United States. Its population is currently 0.

Semisopochnoi Island is similarly placed, but at longitude 179°E is the easternmost location of the USA (further east than Maine) (and paradoxically not as far from Alaska's mainland as Attu).

Perhaps you could volunteer to be a coast guard on Attu.

  • 1
    This doesn't really answer the question though -- can you settle on either of those islands, or are they off limits? Oct 23, 2021 at 1:13
  • The first aerial photos I looked at showed few signs of humanity on the island—no roads, buildings, only the two runways at the former coast guard station. A Russian island about 250 miles away doesn't even have that. But Google had better images, and there are still some roads. Legalities aside, living there would be quite a challenge. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attu_Island
    – WGroleau
    Oct 23, 2021 at 2:45
  • 1
    Perhaps Shemya longitude 174°E would be a better bet. At one time there was a scheduled passenger/freight service. A former military base, it is still maintained as an emergency landing site for civil aircraft. Oct 23, 2021 at 6:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.