The Bureau of the Census reports that there were an estimated 4.3 million American Indians and Alaska natives, or American Indians and Alaska natives in combination with one or more other races, as of July 1, 2002 — 1.5 percent of the total population.
3.1 million are American Indians and Alaska natives who claim membership in a specific tribe.
American Indian tribes with more than 50,000 members are Cherokee, Navajo, Choctaw, Blackfeet, Chippewa, Muscogee (Creek), Apache and Lumbee. Cherokee is easily the largest, with a population of 697,400 who are Cherokee alone or in combination with one or more other races or tribes. Tlingit is the largest Alaska native tribe, with 17,200 members. Other Alaska native tribes with 5,000 or more members are Alaskan Athabascan, Eskimo and Yup’ik.
538,300 American Indians and Alaska natives live on reservations or other trust lands. Of this number, 175,200 reside on Navajo nation reservation and trust lands, which span portions of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.