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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 1.2: Geographic Distribution of the Population

A greater proportion of American Indians/Alaska Natives live in western states than northeastern, midwestern, and southern states.

In 2000, almost half (48 percent) of all American Indians/Alaska Natives alone, including those of Hispanic origin, resided in western states.2 Seven percent lived in northeastern states, 16 percent in midwestern states, and 29 percent in southern states.

In 17 states-most of them western-American Indians/Alaska Natives alone, including those of Hispanic origin, composed more than the national average, 1 percent, of the total state population. Among these, California had the largest American Indian/Alaska Native alone population with about 333,300 people. Texas and New York ranked among the 10 states with the largest American Indian/Alaska Native alone populations, with 118,400 and 82,500 people in this category, respectively.

Alaska had the largest percentage of its population identified as American Indian/Alaska Native alone: almost 16 percent. Although some states, such as Texas and New York, had relatively large American Indian/Alaska Native alone populations, their proportion was less than 1 percent of the total state population.

In 2000, some 47 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives, not including those of Hispanic origin, lived on reservations and off-reservation trust lands, Oklahoma tribal statistical areas, tribal designated statistical areas, state designated American Indian statistical areas, Alaska Native village statistical areas, or Alaska Native Regional Corporations.3 In 2000, 25 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives lived on federal reservations and off-reservation trust lands, 11 percent lived on Oklahoma tribal statistical areas, 4 percent lived on state designated American Indian statistical areas, and less than 1 percent lived in tribal designated statistical areas and state reservations and off-reservation trust land. Alaska Native village statistical areas were home to 3 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives, while 5 percent lived on Alaska Native Regional Corporation land.

It should be noted that most residents of reservation or trust land, tribal areas, statistical areas, or Alaska Native Regional Corporation land are not American Indian/Alaska Native. In 2000, people of other racial/ethnic backgrounds represented 84 percent of the population in these areas.

View Table View Table 1.2a

View Table View Table 1.2b

View Table View Table 1.2c

View Table View Table 1.2d


2 "Alone" refers to respondents who selected American Indian/Alaska Native and not any other race category.
3 According to the Census Bureau, these are the federally recognized legal entities for which census data are gathered. Federal American Indian reservations are areas that have been set aside by the United States for the use of tribes, the exterior boundaries of which are more particularly defined in the final tribal treaties, agreements, executive orders, federal statutes, secretarial orders, or judicial determinations State reservations are areas established by individual states for tribes recognized by the state. Off-reservation trust lands (both federal and state) are areas for which the United States holds title in trust for the benefit of a tribe or for an individual Indian. The U.S. Census Bureau recognizes and tabulates data for reservations and off-reservation trust lands because American Indian tribes have primary governmental authority over these lands. Oklahoma tribal statistical areas are statistical entities identified and delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau in consultation with federally recognized American Indian tribes in Oklahoma that do not currently have a reservation, but once had a reservation in that state. Tribal designated statistical areas are statistical entities identified and delineated for the U.S. Census Bureau by federally recognized American Indian tribes that do not currently have a federally recognized land base (reservation or off-reservation trust land). State designated American Indian statistical areas are entities for state recognized American Indian tribes that do not have a state recognized land base. Alaska Native village statistical areas are statistical entities that represent the densely settled portion of Alaska Native villages, which constitute associations, bands, clans, communities, groups, tribes or villages, recognized pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1972. Alaska Native Regional Corporations are corporate entities organized to conduct both business and nonprofit affairs of Alaska Natives pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (U.S. Department of Commerce 2000).

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