Navajo Nation was the most frequent response among people who identified as a single detailed American Indian group in the 2020 Census, according to new data recently released by the Census Bureau.
The 2020 Census collected data for a diverse range of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) responses, including federally and state recognized tribes and villages as well as those that did not represent a specific recognized tribe.
Over half (50.9%) of the American Indian alone population lived in five states; Oklahoma had the largest American Indian alone population (14.2%), followed by Arizona (12.9%), California (9.9%), New Mexico (9.1%) and Texas (4.8%).
In this article, we present race alone and race alone or in any combination data tabulated from the AIAN write-in responses to the 2020 Census race question.
The race alone population includes respondents who reported only one response, such as Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government, and no other response.
The race alone or in any combination population includes individuals who gave one response, such as Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government, and those who reported multiple responses like Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government and Arctic Slope Corporation or Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government and Black or African American.
These data are important to frame the discussion of racial and ethnic composition and help us understand our country’s changing demographics as it becomes more multiracial.
We focus on four broad categories of the AIAN population: American Indian, Alaska Native, Canadian Indian and Latin American Indian.
From 2010 to 2020:
The largest Alaska Native alone group in the United States in 2020 was Yup'ik (Yup'ik Eskimo) with 9,026 people or 6.8% of the total Alaska Native alone population. The largest Alaska Native alone or in any combination group was Tlingit with 22,601 people or 9.3% of the Alaska Native alone or in any combination population (Table 2).
Among federally recognized tribes, the three largest Alaska Native alone tribes and villages were the Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government (1.9%), the Nome Eskimo Community (1.4%) and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes (1.1%).
The Navajo Nation made up the largest share of the American Indian alone population (14.6%), followed by Cherokee (10.0%), Choctaw (3.2%) and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina (2.5%) (Table 3).
Cherokee made up the largest share of the American Indian alone or in any combination population (23.8%), followed by the Navajo Nation (6.7%), Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana (4.7%) and Choctaw (4.0%).
Chippewa/Ojibwe Canadian made up the largest share (14.9%) of the Canadian Indian alone population, while French Canadian/French American Indian made up the largest share (52.3%) of the Canadian Indian alone or in any combination population (Table 4).
Aztec and Maya, which were added as new examples on the questionnaire for the AIAN category for the 2020 Census, made up 74.0% of the Latin American Indian alone population and 67.1% of the Latin American Indian alone or in any combination population (Table 5).
Two of the top five Latin American Indian groups were Mexican Indian (Aztec and Mexican Indian). Together they made up over half (52.5%) of the Latin American Indian alone and 46.8% of all the Latin American Indian alone or in any combination populations.
Among the Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas (ANVSAs), the Knik ANVSA had the largest AIAN alone and AIAN alone or in any combination populations.
The largest Alaska Native alone group in Knik ANVSA was the Yup’ik (Yup’ik Eskimo), with 5.2%, followed by Inupiat (Inupiaq) with 5.1%. Over 20% of the AIAN alone population in Knik ANVSA reported “Alaska Native” without providing a detailed race response.
In Barrow ANVSA, 59.0% of the AIAN alone population identified as Native Village of Barrow Inupiat Traditional Government, followed by 16.0% identifying as Inupiat (Inupiaq).
In 2020, the five largest American Indian reservations were all west of the Mississippi River (Table 7). On four of the top five reservations, a single tribe in each reservation made up at least 77% of the AIAN alone responses.
Distribution of AIAN population on reservations:
The distributions of the broad AIAN categories varied widely by state in 2020:
The Detailed Races and Ethnicities in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2020 Census data visualization provides more information about the 2020 population size of all detailed AIAN alone and alone or in any combination tribes and villages for the nation, states and counties.
Data comparisons between the 2020 Census and 2010 Census race data should be made with caution, taking into account improvements we made to the race question and the ways we coded what people told us.
Information on the application of differential privacy and data accuracy for the 2020 Census at various levels of geography are available on the 2020 Census Data Products: Disclosure Avoidance Modernization webpage.
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