Native Americans In The Census:  A First People's Almanac 

November is American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month. The U.S. Census Bureau Shares the following facts from its surveys on the American Indian and Alaska Native population. Most figures come from the April 2000 census.

tribes and nations

4,100,000   said  they are American Indian or Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more races. 

1.5%   of the  total U.S. population composed  this ethnic group.

3,100,000   said they belonged to a specific tribe.

American Indian tribes with
50,000 or more individuals were Cherokee, Navajo, Choctaw, Blackfeet, Chippewa, Muskogee, Apache and Lumbee. 

Tlingit is the most populous Alaska Native tribe.
17,200 claim to be  Tlingit alone or in combination with one or more other races or American Indian or Alaska Native tribes. 

Alaska Native tribes with 5,000 or more responses are Tlingit, Alaska Athabaskan, Eskimo and Yup'ik.


936,000:   Number of American Indian and Alaska Native families at the time of the 2000 census. Of them:

 63%  consisted of married couples.

 33% were married couples with children under 18.

Population Distribution

The 2000 census was the first in which respondents could specify more than one race. People who chose American Indian and Alaska Native alone increased  26%  Since 1990. Those  who chose American Indian and at least one other race increased 110%

By comparison, the total U.S. population grew by

43%   of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in the West.

31%   live  in the South.

17%   live in the Midwest.

9% live  in the Northeast.

538,300   live on reservations or other trust lands. 

175,200   people   residing on the Navajo Nation reservation, by far the most populous reservation.

11   states had  more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents.

States with highest number of AI and AN residents are California (628,000), Oklahoma (392,000), Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, New York, Washington, North Carolina, Michigan, Alaska and Florida.

19 states had an American Indian and Alaska Native population that exceeded  the national average of 1.5%. 

(19%), Oklahoma (11%) and New Mexico (10%) had the highest rates.

87,200 people in New York City reported themselves to be American Indian and Alaska Native. New York City has the largest population of American Indians and Alaska natives followed by Los Angeles, Phoenix, AZ, Tulsa, Okla,  and Oklahoma City, Okla.

10% of Anchorage Alaska residents are American Indian and Alaska Native, the  highest of large cities. 


197,300: Number of American Indian and Alaska Native-owned businesses in the United States in 

298,700: Number of people employed by those businesses. 

$34.3 billion: Revenues generated by these businesses.

0.9%    of the nation's 20.8 million nonfarm businesses represented by these businesses. 

6.5%  of the nation's 3.0 million minority-owned firms represented by these businesses. 

$174,100   Average receipts of an American Indian and Alaska Native-owned firm.

2%  of all American Indian and Alaska Native-owned firms with annual sales of $1 million or more.


11% of American Indian and Alaska Natives over 25 have bachelor's degree.

71%  have at least a high school diploma in the same group.

Income and Poverty

$32,116   Median household income for American Indians and Alaska Natives

24.5%   Poverty rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives

800,000   Number of American Indians and Alaska Natives below the poverty line

Census Bureau update provides look at Indian Country

The U.S. Census Bureau has published findings about Native populations:
 2,400,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives live in the United States.
Native Americans are only about 0.8% of the total population, but their ranks grew by nearly 10% in just one year.
Counting mixed-raced Native Americans, the number jumps to 4,200,000 million, a nearly 4% increase from 2004.
Cherokee, (310,000), Navajo (294,000), Sioux (120,000) and Ojibwe (115,000) have the most prominent tribal affiliations, making up nearly 43% of overall American Indian population.
Choctaws have population of 88,00 members.
Pueblo population is 75,000.
Among Alaska Natives, Eskimo is the largest group at  52,000. Athabascan and Tlingit-Haida have about 16,000 each.
Alaska has the largest Native population (14.8%); New Mexico (9.6%);  South Dakota (8.4%);  Oklahoma (7.4%);  Montana (6.0%);  North Carolina (1.3%);  Oregon (1.3%); Nevada, (1.2%).
Arizona has more Native Americans than any other state. Oklahoma is second.  California is third.
Native women make up 51% of the Native population.
An equal number of Native men and women over age of 25 completed high school.
More Native women obtained a bachelor's degree than men.
More Native men went onto graduate school than Native women.
About 19% of all Native males have served in the military.



SOURCES -- 2000 census, Current Population Survey, demographic supplements to the Population Survey, and the Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises. The data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. 

The Anchorage Daily News:

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