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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 1.1: Population Composition and Growth

Figure 1.1. Percentage of the resident population by selected race/ethnicity: Selected years, 1980 to 2003 and projections to 2050
Percentage of the resident population by selected race/ethnicity: Selected years, 1980 to 2003 and projections to 2050
NOTE: Numbers for the year 2000 are from the Decennial Census. All other years are population estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000, Population Estimates Program, 1980 to 2000; Population Projections Program, 2001 to 2050; and Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex, Race and Hispanic or Latino Origin for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 (NC-EST2003-03), released June 14, 2004.

In 2003, there were 4.4 million American Indians/Alaska Natives in the United States, representing 1.5 percent of the total U.S. population.

In 2003, 4.4 million persons living in the United States were American Indian/Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more other races.1 Of these persons, 2.8 million were American Indian/Alaska Native alone and 1.6 million were American Indian/Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. Furthermore, of the American Indian/Alaska Native alone population, 2.2 million were non-Hispanic while 0.6 million were Hispanic. Of the American Indian/Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races population, 1.4 million were non-Hispanic and 0.2 million were Hispanic.

While the 2003 population estimates are the most recent information on the American Indian/Alaska Native population, the most comprehensive information to date on the demographics of the U.S. population comes from the 2000 Decennial Census. In the 2000 Census, respondents who selected American Indian/Alaska Native as the race that best described them were then asked to provide the name of their tribe or village. Respondents who provided the name of a tribe or village were classified as American Indian, or Alaska Native, or both American Indian and Alaska Native, based on the origin of the tribe(s) and/or village(s). Respondents were classified as both American Indian and Alaska Native if they provided the names of two or more tribes/villages, with at least one classified as an American Indian tribe and at least one classified as an Alaska Native village or tribe. If a respondent did not provide a tribe or village, they were categorized as "tribe not specified." In 2000, the American Indian/Alaska Native alone population, including those of Hispanic origin, was about 75 percent American Indian, 4 percent Alaska Native, and less than 1 percent both American Indian and Alaska Native, while 21 percent did not specify their background beyond American Indian/Alaska Native.

The Census Bureau projects that by 2050 the non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native alone population will grow to 3.2 million. The projected rate of increase between the years 2000 and 2050 (55 percent) will exceed that for the White population (9 percent), but will be slower than the expected rate of increase for Hispanics (178 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (233 percent) and slightly slower than the rate for Blacks (56 percent). According to these projections, in 2050 the U.S. population will be 24 percent Hispanic, 13 percent Black, 9 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native (appendix table A-1.1). The differences in the projected rates of increase indicate that the distribution of the population will change. According to these projections, between 2003 and 2050, the percentage of the population who are White will decrease (68 to 53 percent), and the percentages of the population will increase for those who are Black (12 to 13 percent), Hispanic (14 to 24 percent), Asian/Pacific Islander (4 to 9 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (0.7 to 0.8 percent).

View Table View Table 1.1a

View Table View Table 1.1b


1 "Alone" refers to respondents who selected American Indian/Alaska Native and not any other race category. "In combination with one or more other races" refers to respondents who selected American Indian/Alaska Native and one or more other race categories.


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