Native American Heritage Month: This Is Indian Country

ICTMN Staff
11/7/12

November is recognized as Native American Heritage Month and Indian Country Today Media Network is celebrating every day of the month. Please look for our special Native American Heritage Month coverage. Each day ICTMN will be presenting dedicated stories, statistics, photos, information about events and causes and more. And we welcome your participation. What does Native American Heritage Month mean to you? Send us your poems, stories and photos for possible publication to editor@ictmn.com.

Together, we hope to foster a collective understanding and sense of unity among all peoples around the celebration of Native peoples during the month of November.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, Blackfeet, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994. The Census Bureau's November Facts for Features American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, as this is one of the six major race categories, about Indian Country. We've collected some of the most notable statistics here.

5.1 million

As of the 2011 American Community Survey, the nation's population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.6 percent of the total population. Of this total, about half were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about half were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.

8.6 million

The projected population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race, on July 1, 2050. They would comprise 2 percent of the total population.

1.1 million

Increase in the nation's American Indian and Alaska Native population between the 2000 Census and 2010 Census. The population of this group increased by 26.7 percent during this period compared with the overall population growth of 9.7 percent.

31.3

Median age for those who are American Indian and Alaska Native, and no other race. This compares with a median age of 37.3 for the U.S. population as a whole.

324

Number of federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2010. All in all, excluding Hawaiian Home Lands, there are 617 American Indian and Alaska Native legal and statistical areas for which the Census Bureau provides statistics.

22%

Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives, alone or in combination, who lived in American Indian areas or Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas in 2010. These American Indian areas include federal American Indian reservations and/or off-reservation trust lands, Oklahoma tribal statistical areas, tribal designated statistical areas, state American Indian reservations, and state designated American Indian statistical areas.

100,000+

In the 2010 Census, the tribal groupings with 100,000 or more responses for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone-or-in-any combination population were Cherokee (819,105), Navajo (332,129), Choctaw (195,764), Mexican American Indian (175,494), Chippewa (170,742), Sioux (170,110), Apache (111,810) and Blackfeet (105,304).

54%

The percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native alone householders who owned their own home in 2011. This is compared with 65 percent of the overall population.

27%

Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home, compared with 20.8 percent for the nation as a whole.

68%

Percentage of residents of the Navajo Nation Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land, Ariz.-N.M.-Utah, age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.

78.9%

Among American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 25 and older who have a bachelor's degree or higher, the percentage whose bachelor's degree is in science and engineering, or science and engineering- related fields in 2011. This compares with 44 percent for all people 25 and older with this level of education.

$34.4 billion

Receipts for American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in 2007, a 28.0 percent increase from 2002. These businesses numbered 236,967, up 17.7 percent from 2002.

23,704

Number of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms that had paid employees in 2007. These businesses employed 184,416 people.

153,223

The number of American Indian and Alaska Native alone veterans of the U.S. armed forces in 2010.

$35,192

The median income of American Indian and Alaska Native alone households in 2011. This compares with $50,502 for the nation as a whole.

27.6%

The percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone who lacked health insurance coverage in 2011. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding percentage was 15.1 percent.

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