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Facts for Features
CB11-FF.22
Nov. 1, 2011

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2011

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. This Facts for Features presents data for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major race categories.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, the data in the "Population" section refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more other races.

Population

5.2 million

As of the 2010 Census, the nation's population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.7 percent of the total population. Of this total, 2.9 million were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and 2.3 million were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.
Source: 2010 Census Brief: Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin
<http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf>

8.6 million

The projected population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race, on July 1, 2050. They would comprise 2 percent of the total population.
Source: Population projections
<http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/summarytables.html>

1.1 million

Increase in the nation's American Indian and Alaska Native population between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census. The population of this group increased by 26.7 percent during this period compared with the overall population growth of 9.7 percent.
Source: Census 2000 Brief: Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-1.pdf> and 2010 Census Brief: Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf>

723,225

The American Indian and Alaska Native population in California as of the 2010 Census. California was followed by Oklahoma (482,760) and Arizona (353,386).
Source: 2010 Census Summary File 1, Table QT-P5

15

Number of states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents as of the 2010 Census. These states were California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, New York, New Mexico, Washington, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota and Illinois.
Source: 2010 Census Summary File 1, Table QT-P5

19.5%

The proportion of Alaska's population identified as American Indian and Alaska Native as of the 2010 Census, the highest rate for this race group of any state. Alaska was followed by Oklahoma (12.9 percent), New Mexico (10.7 percent) and South Dakota (10.1 percent).
Source: 2010 Census Summary File 1, Table QT-P5

29.0

Median age as of April 1, 2010, in years, for those who are American Indian and Alaska Native, and no other race. This compares with a median age of 37.2 for the population as a whole.
Source: Intercensal population estimates and 2010 Census Demographic Profile<
http://www.census.gov/popest/intercensal/index.html> and <http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Reservations

334

Number of federal and state recognized American Indian reservations in 2010. This total excludes Hawaiian Homelands. All in all, there are 617 American Indian legal and statistical areas for which the Census Bureau provides data.
Source: Census Bureau Geography Division

22%

Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives, alone or in combination, who lived in American Indian areas or Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas. These American Indian areas include federal American Indian reservations and/or off-reservation trust lands, Oklahoma tribal statistical areas, tribal designated statistical areas, state American Indian reservations, and state designated American Indian statistical areas.
Source: 2010 Census Summary File 1

Tribes

565

Number of federally-recognized Indian tribes.
Source: Federal Register: Oct. 1, 2010, and Oct. 27, 2010
<http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/biaind.pdf>
<http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-27138.pdf>

100,000+

In the 2010 Census, the tribal groupings with 100,000 or more responses for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone-or-in-any combination population 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).
Source: 2010 Census Summary File 1, Table PCT3

Families

557,185

The number of American Indian and Alaska Native families in 2010. Of these, 57 percent were married-couple families, including those with children.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

29.6 and 26.8 years old

Median age at first marriage for American Indian and Alaska Native men and women age 15 to 54, respectively, in 2010. For the population as a whole in this age range, the respective numbers were 28.7 and 26.7 years. The difference in the median age at first marriage between American Indian and Alaska Native women and women overall is not statistically significant.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Housing

54%

The percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native householders who owned their own home in 2010. This is compared with 65 percent of the overall population.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Languages

28%

Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home, compared with 21 percent for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

73%

Percentage of residents of the Navajo Nation Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, Ariz.-N.M.-Utah, age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.
Source: 2007-2009 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder.census.gov>

Education

77%

The percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma, GED or alternative credential. Also, 13 percent obtained a bachelor's degree or higher. In comparison, the overall population had 86 percent with a high school diploma and 28 percent with a bachelor's degree or higher.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

41%

Among American Indians and Alaska Natives 25 and older who have a bachelor's degree, the percentage whose degree is in science andengineering, or related fields. This compares with 44 percent for all people 25 and older with this level of education.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

67,644

Number of American Indians and Alaska Natives 25 and older who had a graduate or professional degree.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Businesses

$34.4 billion

Receipts for American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in 2007, a 28.0 percent increase from 2002. These businesses numbered 236,967, up 17.7 percent from 2002.

45,629

Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms in California in 2007, which led the states. Oklahoma and Texas followed. Among the firms in California, 17,634 were in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metro area, which led all metro areas nationwide.

23,704

Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms that had paid employees in 2007. These businesses employed 184,416 people.

30.5%

Percent of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms that operated in construction; and repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services in 2007.

52.9%

Percent of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned business receipts accounted for by construction, retail trade and wholesale trade in 2007.

4,599

Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more in 2007.

162

Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms with 100 or more employees in 2007.

Source for data in this section: Survey of Business Owners-American Indian and Alaska Native Owned Firms: 2007.
<http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/>

Jobs

26%

The percentage of civilian-employed American Indian and Alaska Native people 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations. In addition, 25 percent worked in service occupations and 24 percent in sales and office occupations.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Veterans

156,515

The number of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Income and Poverty

$35,062

The median income of American Indian and Alaska Native households. This compares with $50,046 for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

28.4%

The percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives that were in poverty in 2010. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rate was 15.3 percent.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Health Insurance

29.2%

The percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives who lacked health insurance coverage. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding percentage was 15.5 percent.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population
<http://factfinder2.census.gov>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014