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American Indian and Alaska Native Population in the 2010 U.S. Census


What information did the 2010 U.S. Census provide about the American Indian and Alaska Native population?

by Jennie Wood

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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, of the 308.7 million people who lived in the U.S. on April 1, 2010, 2.9 million (0.9 percent) were American Indian or Alaska Native. In addition, another 2.3 million (0.7 percent) were American Indian or Alaska Native in combination with one or more races. Those two groups together made up 5.2 million people (1.7 percent) of the entire U.S. population in 2010. The total population in the U.S. increased 9.7 percent over the decade, from 281.4 million in 2000 to 308.7 million in 2010. The American Indian and Alaska Native alone population grew nearly twice as fast, increasing by 18 percent, from 2.5 million to 2.9 million. The American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination population grew even quicker over the decade from 4.1 million to 5.2 million or 27 percent.

Growth by Region

The American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination group experienced growth in all regions of the United States over the decade. The biggest increases came in the South, with a 36 percent jump in population, and in the Northeast, with 35 percent. The American Indian and Alaska Native alone population also increased in every region of the U.S., but at a slower rate than the alone or in combination group. In the Northeast, the American Indian and Alaska Native alone population had the biggest increase, at 31 percent.

Growth by State

The American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination population group increased in every state over the decade. Of all people who identified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with another race, California had the largest population—14 percent. Oklahoma was next, followed by Arizona, Texas, and New York. The results were similar with the American Indian or Alaska Native alone population group. The top three states in that population category were California, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The American Indian or Alaska Native alone population grew in every state except Vermont. There that population group decreased by 9 percent.

Even though the American Indian and Alaska Native alone as well as the American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination population grew from 2000 to 2010, the American Indian and Alaska Native in combination population increased even more, by 39 percent. Within this population group, the American Indian and Alaska Native-White-Black population increased by 50 percent. These population increases were signs that the United States continued to move away from a white baby-boomer culture toward a more diverse country.

Source: United States Census Bureau



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