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Facts for Features
CB12-FF.22
Oct. 25, 2012

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American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2012

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 statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major race categories.

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

Population

5.1 million

As of the 2011 American Community Survey, the nation's population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.6 percent of the total population. Of this total, about half were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about half were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~009>

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>

689,320

The American Indian and Alaska Native population in California as of the 2011 American Community Survey. California was followed by Oklahoma (502,934) and Arizona (346,380).
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~009>

14

Number of states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents as of the 2011 American Community Survey. These states were California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, North Carolina, New York, Florida, Michigan, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Minnesota.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~009>

19.7%

The proportion of Alaska's population identified as American Indian and Alaska Native as of the 2011 American Community Survey, the highest rate for this race group of any state. Alaska was followed by Oklahoma (13.3 percent), South Dakota (10.4 percent), and New Mexico (10.4 percent).

Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~009>

31.3

Median age for those who are American Indian and Alaska Native, and no other race. This compares with a median age of 37.3 for the U.S. population as a whole.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006>

Reservations

324

Number of federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2010. All in all, excluding Hawaiian Home Lands, there are 617 American Indian and Alaska Native legal and statistical areas for which the Census Bureau provides statistics.
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 in 2010. 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

566

Number of federally recognized Indian tribes.
Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs
<http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc015898.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
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_SF1/PCT3>

Families

557,425

The number of American Indian and Alaska Native family households in 2011 (households with a householder who was American Indian and Alaska Native alone). Of these, 56.6 percent were married-couple families, including those with children.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B11001C>

29.3 and 27.7

Median age at first marriage for American Indian and Alaska Native men and women age 15 to 54, respectively, in 2011. For the U.S. population as a whole in this age range, the respective numbers were 28.9 and 26.9 years. The differences in the median age at first marriage between American Indian and Alaska Native women and women overall, and between American Indian and Alaska Native men and men overall, were not statistically significant. These statistics include only the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population 15 to 54 years.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey, Table B12007C
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B12007C>

Housing

54%

The percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native alone householders who owned their own home in 2011. This is compared with 65 percent of the overall population.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006>

12.4 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/index.html>

Languages

27%

Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home, compared with 20.8 percent for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006>

68%

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: 2011 American Community Survey, Table S0601
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0601>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0601/2500000US2430>

Education

78.9%

Among American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 25 and older who have a bachelor's degree or higher, the percentage whose bachelor's degree is in science and engineering, or science and engineering- related fields in 2011. This compares with 44 percent for all people 25 and older with this level of education.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/C15010C>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/C15010>

65,356

Number of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 25 and older who had a graduate or professional degree in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B15002C>

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

26.2%

The percentage of civilian-employed American Indian and Alaska Native alone people 16 and older who worked in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2011. In addition, 24.8 percent worked in service occupations and 22.8 percent in sales and office occupations.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201>

Veterans

153,223

The number of American Indian and Alaska Native alone veterans of the U.S. armed forces in 2010.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001C>

Income and Poverty

$35,192

The median income of American Indian and Alaska Native alone households in 2011. This compares with $50,502 for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006>

Health Insurance

27.6%

The percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone who lacked health insurance coverage in 2011. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding percentage was 15.1 percent.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006>

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>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 09, 2014