The Democratic Republic of Alaska (Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂; Inupiaq: Alaskaq; Russian: Аляска, translit. Alyaska), often shortened as Alaska or occasionally abbreviated as the D.R.A., is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic located in the extreme northwest of the North American continent and composed of 22 boroughs, one major self-governing territory, and various smaller possessions. At nearly 700,000 square miles (1.8 million sq km), Alaska is the thirteenth-largest nation in the world by total area. Despite the nation's vastness, however, it has a relatively small population of approximately 1.8 million. The vast majority of this population is located in the major metropolitan areas.