Published November 1, 2007 | November 2007 issue
Recently released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau provide a snapshot of the country's American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population. According to data from the bureau's 2004 American Community Survey, about 2.2 million people, or 0.8 percent of the overall U.S. population, report their race as AIAN alone, while an additional 1.9 million report their race as AIAN plus one or more other race.
On average, the AIAN population appears younger and less affluent than the white, non-Hispanic population. The median age of people who report their race as AIAN alone is 31.9 years, about 8 years younger than the median age of non-Hispanic whites. The AIAN-alone population has a median income of $31,605 and a poverty rate of 24.6 percent. In contrast, the non-Hispanic white population has a median income of $48,784 and a poverty rate of 8.8 percent.
AIAN individuals are most likely to live in Arizona, California or Oklahoma. Alaska has the highest proportion of AIAN residents, at 12.9 percent. In several states in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, the proportion of AIAN residents exceeds the national average. For example, 7.8 percent of Montana residents report their race as AIAN alone or AIAN plus one or more races, compared to only 1.4 percent of the overall U.S. population. The proportions for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are 6.2 percent, 3.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.