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American Indian & Alaska Native Populations


American Indian and Alaska Native Populations

American Indians and Alaska Natives are people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

The American Indian and Alaska Native population includes people who marked the “American Indian or Alaska Native” checkbox or reported entries such as Navajo, Blackfeet, Inupiat, Yup’ik, or Central American Indian groups or South American Indian groups.

There are 566 Federally-recognized tribes plus an unknown number of tribes that are not Federally-recognized. Each tribe has its own culture, beliefs, and practices.

Starting in 1997, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires federal agencies to use a minimum of five race categories:

  • White;
  • Black or African American;
  • American Indian or Alaska Native;
  • Asian; and
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

The OMB defines Hispanic or Latino as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.”

In data collection and presentation, federal agencies are required to use a minimum of two ethnicities: “Hispanic or Latino” and "Not Hispanic or Latino".

In addition, on October 31, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published final standards for data collection on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status, as required by Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act.

Demographics

According to U.S. Census Bureau in 2013, there were roughly 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the U.S., representing approximately 2% of the U.S. total population.

The projected U.S. population of American Indians and Alaska Natives for July 1, 2060 is estimated to reach 11.2 million, constituting approximately 2.7% of the U.S. population by that date.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, tribal groupings with 100,000 or more responses were: Cherokee (819,105), Navajo (332,129), Choctaw (195,764), Mexican American Indian (175,494), Chippewa (170,742), Sioux (170,110), Apache (111,810), and Blackfeet (105,304).

AIAN Woman teaching her granddaughter to weave


In 2013, there were 14 states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents: California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and Minnesota.

In 2013, the states with the highest percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native population were Alaska (14.3%), followed by Oklahoma (7.5%), New Mexico (9.1%), South Dakota (8.5%), and Montana (6.8%).

AI/AN Girl with her sled dog puppy The percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives who lacked health insurance in 2013 was 26.9%.

For more information, see:

US Census Bureau, Facts for Features:
American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month: November, 2014

US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs:
The American Indian & Alaska Native Population: 2010 issued January, 2012

US Census Bureau, American Indian and Alaska Native
Census 2010

US Census Bureau, Current Population Reports:
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the US: 2010 issued September, 2011

US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs:
Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010

US Office of Management and Budget (OMB):
OMB Bulletin Guidance on Aggregation and Allocation of Data on Race

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