U.S. Census Marks Increase in Urban American Indians and Alaska Natives
February 28, 2013
The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area* as a “densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements.” From 2000 to 2010, the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) alone or in combination with other races residing in urban areas grew by 34% (almost 1 million people) (Table 1). Not only has the number increased, but also the proportion of AI/ANs living in urban areas increased from 67% to 71%, an overwhelming majority (Figure 1).1
Table 1: AI/AN+ Population in 2000 and 2012
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Additionally, more than 1 in 5 urban AI/ANs lives in poverty according to an American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimate of a sample of urban AI/ANs.2 While the Affordable Care Act may benefit urban AI/ANs living in poverty by expanding Medicaid and insurance coverage, uncertainty remains regarding how ACA implementation will impact health care costs and availability for AI/ANs.
The growing number of urban AI/ANs, many of whom live in poverty, will need increased health care resources. The UIHI encourages you to use these data in your own materials to emphasize the growing urban AI/AN population requiring health and social services.
+ American Indians and Alaska Natives alone or in combination with other races
1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Census 2010 American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File; Table: PCT2; Urban and rural; Universe Total Population; Population group name: American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more races.
2. U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010 American Community Survey. (2010). Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months By Sex By Age Universe; Table: SF4; Urban; Population group name: American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination with one or more races.