Census releases data on American Indian population

Posted Jan. 25, 2012, at 8:23 p.m.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Almost half of American Indians and Alaska Natives identify with multiple races, representing a group that grew by 39 percent over a decade, according to U.S. Census data released Wednesday.

Of the 5.2 million people counted as Natives in 2010, nearly 2.3 million reported being Native in combination with one or more of six other race categories, showcasing a growing diversity among Natives. Those who added black, white or both as a personal identifier made up 84 percent of the multiracial group.

The bump in the multiracial group from 1.6 million in 2000 to nearly 2.3 million in 2010 was higher than that of those who reported being solely of Native descent.

The Blackfeet Nation in Montana had the highest proportion of people who reported being part of more than one racial group or tribe at 74 percent.

The Census figures, released during a presentation at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., also include people living in the United States who consider themselves indigenous to Central and South America.

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