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--> 2 The Size and Distribution of the American Indian Population: Fertility, Mortality, Migration, and Residence C. Matthew Snipp Knowledge about the size and distribution of the American Indian1 population is fundamental for understanding its demography. In particular, such knowledge represents a logical point of departure for any effort to assess other salient characteristics of the population. This paper examines the natural events determining the size of the American Indian population—fertility and mortality—as well as data showing how the American Indian population is distributed and the migration processes responsible for these patterns. The American Indian population is an especially interesting and challenging subject for demographic research. Data are often sparse and difficult to locate. An even more vexing problem is the fluid boundaries of the population. Over the past 20 years, the American Indian population has grown remarkably as a result of the increased numbers of persons choosing to claim American Indian as their racial identity, as opposed to some other category, such as black or white (Passel, 1976; Passel and Berman, 1986; Snipp, 1989; Harris, 1994). Harris (1994) reports the percentages of population growth exceeding natural increase among the American Indian population as 8.5 for 1970, 25.2 for 1980, and 9.2 for 1990. This growth in the population numbers makes temporal comparisons 1 Although the term ''American Indian" is used throughout this paper, this is done purely for editorial convenience. Readers should be mindful that the data presented are for American Indians and Alaska Natives, unless otherwise specified.
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--> difficult, but it also makes such comparisons imperative for purposes of understanding how compositional changes may be reflected in statistics for the American Indian population (Eschbach et al., 1995). The next section reviews briefly the most important literature on patterns of fertility, mortality, and migration among American Indians. This is followed by some observations about the limitations of available data on these patterns. With these limitations in mind, we turn to examine what the data can tell us about the patterns in these three areas. The final section presents concluding remarks. Review Of The Literature Fertility Modern American Indian fertility patterns are the subject of several publications from the 1930s and 1940s. These studies were carried out by anthropologists working within a single tribe or region (Aberle, 1931; Aberle et al., 1940; Wissler, 1936). Of course, the findings from this research have limited applicability to other groups of American Indians. After a long hiatus of several decades in the study of American Indian fertility, anthropologists were joined in their study of the subject by demographers and other social scientists (e.g., Kunitz, 1976; Rindfuss and Sweet, 1977). A brief report published by Thornton et al. (1991) presents data from the 1910 U.S. census showing that early in this century, fertility rates for American Indians were relatively low. The mean number of children even born to so-called "full-blood" couples was 4.5, notably lower than the number born to interracial couples involving mixed-race and full-blood Indian spouses, with 5.4 and 5.1 children ever born, respectively. Likewise, nearly 11 percent of endogamous full-blood couples were childless in 1910, compared with about 8 percent of full-blood/white couples and 4 percent of mixed-blood/white couples. These decidedly lower rates of fertility among full-blood American Indians led the Census Bureau to predict their eventual disappearance (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1915). In the absence of data, it is impossible to determine conclusively why endogamous American Indians had lower fertility than those married to whites in the early part of this century. Since that time, however, fertility rates among American Indians have risen apace. In 1940, there was a marked shift in the fertility of endogamous American Indian couples vis-à-vis that of American Indian women with non-Indian spouses—the former now had higher fertility than the latter. This pattern persisted
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--> through the baby boom years; indeed, the gap between endogamous and exogamous couples became larger (Thornton et al., 1991). As in the rest of the nation, American Indian fertility declined noticeably in the 1970s. By the late 1970s, however, it was rising again, and now outstrips by a substantial margin the fertility of either the white or the black populations. In addition, the fertility of endogamous American Indian couples or American Indians residing on reservations was noticeably higher than that of exogamous couples or couples living in urban areas. Predictably, endogamous American Indian couples are more common on reservations (Snipp, 1989). Mortality In the nineteenth century (and earlier), epidemic disease, warfare, and occasionally genocide were recurring events that took a spectacular toll on American Indians (Thornton, 1987). Once American Indians had settled on reservations, most were plagued by the loss of traditional subsistence, economic impoverishment, and unsanitary living conditions. Episodes of epidemic disease continued to be a problem on many reservations (Campbell, 1991), and the influenza epidemic of 1918 caused an observable decline in the American Indian population between 1910 and 1920. The Meriam Report (Institute for Government Research, 1928) documented the dire conditions and noted the ill health of American Indians. In addition to outbreaks of influenza and dysentery, tuberculosis and alcoholism were widespread. High levels of infant mortality were also noted, no doubt due to poor prenatal and neonatal care, as well as poor sanitation. Indoor plumbing was uncommon in many Indian communities until the 1950s, and it is still uncommon in many Alaska Native villages (Snipp, 1989). Nonetheless, the conditions that contributed to the rise in fertility among American Indians during the middle of this century very likely also contributed to the observed declines in mortality among American Indian populations in the United States, as well as in Canada (Snipp, 1989; Young, 1994). In 1940, the life expectancy of American Indians was about 52 years, lower than that of either blacks or whites at that time. However, the life expectancy of American Indians improved remarkably in subsequent decades, reaching 71.5 years in 1987-1989—higher than the 70-year expectancy for blacks and lower than the 75.6-year expectancy for whites (Snipp, 1989). These gains in life expectancy were no doubt the function of a remarkable decline in rates of infant mortality among American Indians (Young, 1994). Indeed, of all the changes in patterns of American Indian
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--> mortality, the decline in infant mortality has been perhaps most dramatic. In the period 1956-1960, the infant mortality rate for American Indians was 53 per 1,000 live births, while that for the rest of the United States was 26 per 1000 live births. However, by 1981-1985, infant mortality among American Indians had declined to 11 per 1,000 live births, the same rate as that for the rest of the United States.2 This decline coincides with the transfer of the Indian Health Service to the Public Health Service in 1955. Sorkin (1988) argues that this transfer led to an expansion of American Indian healthcare services, and indeed appropriations for such services tripled between 1955 and 1965. The result was a number of improvements in public health measures such as sanitary waste disposal and water supplies, vaccinations, and prenatal and neonatal care. As a consequence, deaths from most infectious diseases declined during this period. Taffel (1987) also documents higher-than-average birth weights for American Indian babies during this same period, no doubt improving their chances for survival. In a frequently cited article, Omran (1971) describes a shift in mortality patterns that he labels an "epidemiologic transition." This transition takes place in a population when degenerative diseases, such as cancer, supplant infectious diseases as the major causes of death. As Sorkin (1988) points out, the public health measures introduced by the Indian Health Service in the 1950s and 1960s succeeded in significantly reducing infectious disease. At the same time, however, the American Indian population has continued to be plagued by violence and substance abuse, health problems rooted deep in conditions stemming from economic disadvantage, family disorganization, and personal malaise (Bachman, 1992). Rogers and Hackenberg (1987) extend Omran's model by presenting their concept of the "hybristic stage" of the transition, in which deaths from causes associated with risky behavior, such as AIDS, drug abuse, and accidents, supplant other causes of death as a major source of mortality. This concept appears to be an apt characterization of the American Indian population, especially among its younger members. Accidents and violence continue to be major causes of death among the American Indian population. For example, in the years 1989-1991, the suicide rate for American Indians was 16.5 per 100,000 population—85 percent higher than the suicide rate of 11.5 per 100,000 for the rest of the United States (Indian Health Service, 1994). Likewise, in 1989-1991, the alcoholism mortality rate for American Indians was 51.8 per 100,000 population—630 percent higher than the total U.S. rate of 7.1 per 100,000. 2 Young (1994:40) reports infant mortality rates of 10 and 16 per 1,000 live births, respectively, for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
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--> Social pathologies are not the only distinctive characteristic of American Indian mortality. Historically, tuberculosis has been a persistent problem among American Indians, though in recent years infection rates have been low in absolute terms (Young, 1994). Nonetheless, according to the Indian Health Service, deaths from tuberculosis are about seven times higher for American Indians than for the general population. Moreover, diabetes mellitus, primarily type II maturity-onset, is a serious problem among American Indians. Young (1994:145) points out that diabetes increases among populations undergoing urbanization and life-style changes, factors that characterize the American Indian population. Diabetes rates vary substantially across the American Indian population, but deaths due to this disease are more than 230 percent greater for American Indians than for the U.S. population as a whole (Indian Health Service, 1994). Migration American Indians began their occupation of the western hemisphere by migration approximately 20,000 years ago. In the intervening centuries, they established permanent settlements across the North American continent. The American Indian population also included a substantial number of nomadic societies, especially on the Great Plains, until they were forcibly settled in the late nineteenth century. The distribution of the American Indian population across the continent was profoundly altered by the arrival of Europeans and most directly by the actions of the U.S. federal government. About three-fourths of the American Indian population is concentrated in the western United States, and a relatively small proportion is found in New England or the southeast. This pattern is not a coincidence. The tribes in New England were decimated by disease and warfare with colonial settlers (Thornton, 1987; Merrell, 1989). American Indians in the south and the Ohio River Valley were subjected to forced migrations that began early in the nineteenth century and accelerated when Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. Eventually, the entire American Indian population was resettled on reservations or in the Indian territory of what is now Oklahoma. American Indians continue to be concentrated not only in the west, but also in rural areas. The purpose of the removal legislation and the creation of reservations was to place American Indians in remote sites distant from the mainstream of American society. These policies were remarkably successful. In 1930, barely 10 percent of the American Indian population lived in urban areas, as compared with slightly over half of all Americans (Snipp, 1989). In 1990, after more than half a century of rural-urban
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--> migration, nearly half of the American Indian population remained outside of metropolitan areas, while more than three-quarters of all Americans were living in cities. Two events, one unplanned and the other planned, were responsible for the rapid urbanization of American Indians. The first and obviously unplanned event was the outbreak of World War II. Small numbers of American Indians had participated in World War I, but over 25,000 American Indians were active in military service in World War II, while another 50,000 joined the war effort by working in munitions plants, shipyards, and other war-related industries (Hagan, 1979; Bernstein, 1991). The impact of World War II on American Indians, especially those in the service, is difficult to underestimate. For many if not most, it was an opportunity to become immersed in non-Indian culture and to learn to adapt to the expectations of the dominant society. For some, it provided job skills that helped them become employed once they left the military. For many others, the GI Bill was an opportunity to acquire an education and job skills that helped them find employment. The upshot was that many of these American Indians chose to remain in urban labor markets instead of returning to the poverty and joblessness of reservation life (Fixico, 1986; Bernstein, 1991). Besides World War II, American Indians were affected by federal plans intended to cause the greatest resettlement of American Indians since the Indian Removal Act. Following World War II, the federal government enacted a series of policies that have become known as "Termination and Relocation." The objectives of these policies were to settle outstanding claims made by American Indian tribes against the federal government, dissolve the reservation system, and move American Indians to preselected urban locations. It was expected that once American Indians had been relocated from reservations to urban locations, they would become employed and assimilated into the mainstream of American society (Fixico, 1986). It has been estimated that from 1952 to 1972, approximately 100,000 American Indians were relocated to cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago (Sorkin, 1978). Of course, not all of these urban immigrants remained in cities; a substantial number returned to their reservation homes, and this became grounds for criticizing the relocation program (O'Brien, 1989). These programs also were criticized for being ineffective, and although some studies showed that some of those who relocated benefited from the program (Clinton et al., 1975), other studies were more equivocal about the prospects for these rural-urban migrants (Gundlach and Roberts, 1978; Snipp and Sandefur, 1988). The policies of termination and relocation were widely attacked, especially by American Indian advocacy groups. Eventually, these policies were repudiated symbolically
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--> by the restoration of the once-terminated Menominee reservation and officially by the passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act, both of which took place in 1975. The impacts of participation in World War II and the relocation program cannot be judged separately. In combination, these two events had a major impact on the settlement patterns of American Indians. By one estimate, fewer than 10,000 American Indians lived in cities in 1926. By 1960, this number had risen to about 160,000, and by 1970, it had risen to 340,000. Between 1960 and 1970, the percentage of American Indians in urban areas climbed from 30 to 45. However, the decreased emphasis on the relocation program in the late 1960s and early 1970s may have slowed this trend. In 1980, 51 percent of the American Indian population lived outside of metropolitan areas, and in 1990, this number had decreased modestly to 49 percent. Such temporal comparisons are fraught with methodological problems, changing census definitions for urban areas, compositional changes in the Indian population due to changes in self-identification noted earlier, and procedural changes in the census. Nonetheless, it should be beyond question that the American Indian population can be characterized as having experienced recent and rapid urbanization and as still having large numbers concentrated in rural areas. Some Observations About The Data Fertility and Mortality Data Data for studying fertility and mortality are extremely sparse for American Indians as compared with other groups, but there are several sources from which these data can be obtained. The decennial census is the largest and most comprehensive source of demographic information about American Indians. It provides information about social and economic characteristics, as well as details about family and household structure. As noted earlier, in terms of fertility, the census is limited to identifying the number of children ever born to Indian women. However, it is possible to use this information to examine the relationships between total fertility and other characteristics, such as education or labor force participation. Because the census is conducted only once a decade, it is not useful for calculating annual birth rates, and it contains no data about mortality. Vital statistics produced by the National Center for Health Statistics include birth and death data about American Indians, yet these data provide little additional information about newborns or deceased persons. As a result, it is nearly impossible to use these data for anything except
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--> the computation of simple rates. A third source, also produced by the National Center for Health Statistics, is a special data file in which birth and death records are linked (National Center for Health Statistics, 1995:261). Hahn et al. (1992) have used these data very effectively to uncover racial classification errors in birth and death records. Migration Data It might be accurate to say that migration data for American Indians are plagued by relatively fewer problems than the data for fertility and mortality—but only because there are fewer migration data and because those data have just one source: the decennial census. Although there are a number of case studies dealing with American Indian migration (Price, 1968; Hackenburg and Wilson, 1972; Weibel-Orlando, 1991), the decennial census is the only large-scale source of data about American Indian migration patterns nationwide. In particular, the Census Bureau provides data about two types of migration, as well as about patterns of residence. One type of migration data relates to mobility between respondents' current residence and their birthplace. The second and more commonly used type relates to respondents' current place of residence and their residence 5 years earlier, e.g., place of 1985 residence in the 1990 census. For both of these measures, current residence is defined according to the respondent's "usual place of residence" and does not refer to temporary quarters, such as labor camps or vacation places. Place of residence 5 years earlier is an arbitrary reference point for determining residential mobility, though not unreasonable because it does represent the intercensal midpoint. However, this choice does limit the kinds of migration that can be studied, especially relocations of less than 5 years' duration. For American Indians, this is a potential problem because anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a great deal of short-term mobility between reservations and urban labor markets. For example, Mohawk Indian men travel to New York City to work in construction, but keep close ties with their reservation and return during slack work periods (Blumenfield, 1965). This kind of short-term circular mobility between reservations and cities is impossible to study using census data. Fertility Age at First Birth A key to explaining the high rates of American Indian fertility is that American Indian women begin their childbearing at a relatively early age.
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--> TABLE 2-1 Percentage Distribution of Ages of Mothers at First Birth by Race of Mother, 1990 Age at First Birth American Indians Whites Under 20 45.2 20.6 20-24 35.1 30.7 25-29 13.2 29.4 30-34 4.9 14.6 35 and Over 1.6 4.8 SOURCE: Indian Health Service (1994). Women who begin childbearing at an early age typically have more children than those who defer motherhood until they are older. The percentages in Table 2-1 show the age distribution of mothers at the time of their first birth. They also leave no doubt about the differences in fertility behavior between American Indian and white women. A very high number of American Indian women, about 45 percent, have their first child as teenagers, as compared with about 21 percent of white women. About equal percentages of American Indian and white women become mothers during their 20s. At the other end of the spectrum, it is clear that more white women than American Indian women defer childbearing: only 6.5 percent of American Indian mothers wait until their 30s to have their first child, as compared with about 20 percent of white women. Children Ever Born Children ever born, or parity, is a widely used measure of fertility. It gauges cumulative fertility and allows comparisons of changes in fertility behavior across cohorts of women. Table 2-2 shows the mean number of children ever born to black, white, and American Indian women aged 15-44. A glance at these numbers makes two conclusions quickly evident. One is that American Indian fertility equals or exceeds the fertility of either black or white women. In particular, these numbers suggest that young American Indian and black women have about the same fertility levels. In 1970, for example, American Indian women aged 15-24 had 0.65 children ever born, and black women had 0.67, a negligible difference. In 1990, the number of children ever born to black and American Indian women was smaller than in 1970—0.54—but identical for both groups. A second, related conclusion is that American Indians continue to have children and eventually to exceed the number of children ever born to black women. Black women appear to curtail their childbearing in their late 20s
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--> TABLE 2-2 Mean Number of Children Ever Born to Women Aged 15 to 44, by Race in 1970, 1980, and 1990 Year and Age American Indian Black White 1970 15-24 0.65 0.67 0.35 25-34 2.93 2.77 2.12 35-44 4.41 3.54 2.83 1980 15-24 0.53 0.57 0.27 25-34 2.04 1.86 1.40 35-44 3.46 3.21 2.54 1990 15-24 0.54 0.54 0.27 25-34 1.95 1.62 1.31 35-44 2.55 2.22 1.92 SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census public-use microdata samples. and early 30s, while American Indian women continue to have children. In 1990, the mean number of children ever born to American Indian women aged 25-34 (1.95) was 20 percent higher than the mean number for black women (1.62). This gap persists in the older cohort as well. At the same time, while the mean number of children ever born declined for all three groups of women from 1970 to 1990, the decrease was greatest for American Indian women. Among American Indian women aged 35-44, the mean number of children ever born fell from 4.41 in 1970 to 2.55 in 1990, a 42 percent decrease. In the same period, the decrease was 37 and 32 percent for black and white women, respectively. Needless to say, this decrease among American Indian women may reflect changes in population composition due to changing racial identities as much as "real" changes in fertility behavior. Tribal Differences in Children Ever Born Racial differences in fertility are the result of a complex array of social, cultural, and even physiological factors that govern conception, the desirability of children, and normative beliefs about ideal family size. A plausible argument can be made that black and American Indian women have somewhat similar fertility patterns in part because they often share similar economic circumstances, whereas the remaining differences between
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--> them may be due in part to differences in cultural backgrounds. By the same token, American Indians do not have a monolithic culture. Indeed, there is a great deal of heterogeneity among tribal cultures that in most cases cannot be considered because the necessary data are not available. However, there is a small amount of data by tribe in the 1990 census. These data allow comparison of children ever born to determine whether there are significant cultural differences across tribes with respect to childbearing and family size. The tribes shown in Table 2-3 are the ten largest, listed in descending order. Perhaps the single most important conclusion that can be drawn from this table is that there are clear tribal differences in this measure of fertility behavior. With respect to childbearing, these data suggest that Sioux women are the most likely to begin their families at a young age, while Lumbee women are least likely to do so: young Sioux women aged 15-24 have an average of 0.65 children ever born, while Lumbee women of the same age have 0.3. One way to visualize this difference is to realize that among 10 young Sioux women, 6 or 7 would have 1 child each, and the others would be childless, whereas among 10 young Lumbee women 3 would have 1 child each, and the others would be childless. Considering that many Sioux women begin their families at an early age, it should not be surprising that older Sioux women have relatively large numbers of children (3.05). However, Navajo women have even higher levels of lifetime fertility, with 3.13 children ever born. Iroquois women have the lowest levels of lifetime fertility, nearly one-third lower than those of Navajo women, with 2.05 children ever born. The reasons for these differences TABLE 2-3 Mean Number of Children Ever Born to American Indian Women Aged 15 to 44, by Tribe,a 1990 Tribe 15-24 25-34 35-44 Cherokee 0.48 1.77 2.26 Chippewa 0.61 2.09 2.64 Navajo 0.56 2.23 3.13 Sioux 0.65 2.18 3.05 Apache 0.59 2.10 2.97 Choctaw 0.43 1.72 2.23 Iroquois 0.46 1.68 2.05 Pueblo 0.52 1.82 2.57 Lumbee 0.30 1.81 2.52 Creek 0.50 1.78 2.27 a Ten largest tribes based on self-reports in the census. SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census, public-use microdata sample.
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--> FIGURE 2-3 American Indian places of residence. NOTE: ANVSAs, Alaska Native Village Statistical Area;TJSAs, Tribal Jurisdiction Statistical Areas; TDSAs, Tribal Designated Statistical Areas. not true that most American Indians live in these places. In fact, as Figure 2-3 shows, many more American Indians live off reservation than on. For the 1990 census, the Census Bureau introduced a new set of geographic designations to delineate ''Indian Country"; these are shown in Figure 2-3. In 1990, about 438,000 American Indians lived on state and federally recognized reservations and trust lands. In absolute numbers, there were more American Indians living on reservations then than at any time in the past; roughly 370,000 American Indians occupied reservations and trust lands in 1980. In relative terms, however, the percentage of Indians living on reservation land declined, from about 27 percent in 1980 to slightly less than 22 percent in 1990. Tribal Jurisdiction Statistical Areas (TJSAs) and Tribal Designated Statistical Areas (TDSAs) were newly defined in the 1990 census. TJSAs correspond to areas designated as the Oklahoma Historic Areas in the 1980 census, and they follow approximately the boundaries of the Indian nations that existed in Oklahoma before statehood in 1907. Collectively, these areas contain a significant number of American Indians—over 200,000—and they are areas in which tribal governments have a major responsibility for providing services and benefits to tribal members. TDSAs constitute a much smaller group of about 54,000 persons in 17 locations, mostly on state-recognized reservations. Alaska Native Village
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--> Statistical Areas (NVSAs) were a third innovation in the 1990 census, designating villages that were recognized in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1972. About 47,000 persons lived in these places in 1990. Overall, about 37 percent of the total U.S. Indian population lived within the boundaries of areas served by tribal governments in 1990. TDSAs, TJSAs, and Alaska NVSAs are in many respects a significant improvement over past efforts by the Census Bureau to demarcate the boundaries of Indian Country, and especially the areas for which tribal governments have some form of jurisdiction or obligation. Yet these designations have one serious shortcoming: they exclude the numbers of persons who live within close proximity of these areas, participate regularly in tribal affairs, have extensive social ties to the tribe, and possibly even receive services. Tulsa, Oklahoma, has nearly 20,000 American Indians living within a 2- or 3-hour drive to several TJSAs, but this population is considered outside of Indian Country. In 1980, the Census Bureau reported that nearly 15 percent of the total American Indian population lived near but outside reservation land. The point to be made is that while 63 percent of American Indians live outside of lands served by tribal governments, it would be a mistake to assume that this statistic represents the number of persons outside of tribal life. As Figure 2-3 shows, about one-third of all American Indians live on reservations, and it is worth noting that in most instances, these reservations are very small communities or collections of small communities by modern standards. Of the 279 recognized reservations, only 18 had populations of 5,000 or more in 1990. Table 2-10 shows these reservations and their populations in 1970, 1980, and 1990. Several interesting observations can be made about Table 2-10. Very clearly, the Navajo reservation stands out as the most populous (as well as the physically largest) reservation. With 143,000 persons, it is nearly 13 times larger than the next-largest reservation, the Pine Ridge Sioux reservation in South Dakota. Another observation is that these reservations grew substantially in the 1970s and 1980s, more than doubling in population size. Yet in relative terms, they represent a slowly declining share of the total U.S. Indian population. Evidence of enumeration problems are also noticeable in this table. In 1980, the Cheyenne River experienced a very steep (and improbable) population loss, followed by an even steeper population recovery in 1990. Similarly, the Turtle Mountain population was virtually unchanged between 1970 and 1980, but experienced a very sharp increase in 1990. The population decline at the Pine Ridge reservation between 1980 and 1990 may also reflect an undercount in 1990, but in the absence of corroborating evidence, this is impossible to determine with certainty.
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--> TABLE 2-10 Population Sizes of Reservations with 5,000 or More American Indians and Alaska Natives in 1990 Percent Change Reservation 1970 1980 1990 1970-1980 1980-1990 Percent in Different House in 1985 Navajo 56,949 104,968 143,405 84.3 36.6 25.9 Pine Ridge 8,280 11,882 11,182 43.5 -6.0 36.5 Fort Apache 5,903 6,880 9,825 16.6 42.8 41.0 Gila River 4,573 7,067 9,116 54.5 29.0 38.1 Papago 4,879 6,959 8,480 42.6 21.9 17.5 Rosebud 5,656 5,688 8,043 0.6 41.4 49.1 San Carlos 4,525 5,872 7,110 29.8 21.1 38.4 Zuni Pueblo 4,736 5,988 7,073 26.4 18.1 18.0 Hopi 7,726 6,601 7,061 b 7.0 35.9 Blackfeet 4,757 5,080 7,025 6.8 38.3 36.8 Turtle Mountain 3,386 3,955 6,772 16.9 71.2 46.1 Yakima 2,509 4,983 6,307 98.6 26.6 43.1 Osage a 4,749 6,088 a 28.2 42.7 Fort Peck 3,182 4,273 5,782 34.3 35.3 54.2 Wind River 3,319 4,150 5,676 25.0 36.8 48.1 Eastern Cherokee 3,455 4,844 5,388 40.2 11.2 24.9 Flathead 2,537 3,504 5,130 38.1 46.4 53.3 Cheyenne River 3,440 1,557 5,100 -54.7 227.6 53.9 Reservation Total 128,812 199,000 264,563 54.5 33.0 — Percent of Total U.S. Indian Population 16.3 14.0 13.5 a Not reported for 1970 and not included in reservation total. b Figures for 1970 and 1980 are not strictly comparable because of administrative changes in reservation boundaries. SOURCES: U.S. Bureau of the Census (1993); Snipp (1989).
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--> Migration Data from the 1980 census provide evidence that the contemporary American Indian population was highly mobile (Snipp, 1989). The data for migration in the 1990 census are more limited, but they do not contradict the 1980 findings. One indication of this mobility appears in the last column of Table 2-11. The percentages in this column are for persons aged 5 and older who were living in a different house in 1990 than the one they inhabited in 1985. These numbers range from a low of 18 percent for the Papago reservation and the Zuni Pueblo in the southwest to a high of 54 percent for the Fort Peck and Cheyenne River reservations in the northern plains. These remarkably high rates of mobility are even more noteworthy because to a large extent they probably represent mobility to and from the reservation and not intra-reservation migration. This is impossible to determine beyond doubt, but is likely for two reasons. One is that housing stocks on these reservations are extremely limited, and overcrowding is a persistent housing problem on most reservations (Snipp, 1989). There is simply not enough housing available to allow persons to move freely within the reservation, and indeed the lack of housing often limits migration to reservations. A second, related point is that new housing might foster neighborhood mobility or an influx of migrants, but during the 1980s, housing construction and especially federally subsidized housing came to a virtual halt. In sum, whatever neighborhood mobility occurred during the 1980s was not in response to housing availability and thus was probably much less common than mobility between the reservation and nearby towns and cities, where housing was more plentiful. The residential mobility of persons living on reservations may seem high, but the residential mobility of urban American Indians is even higher. Figure 2-4 shows the percentage of American Indians who lived in a different house in 1990 than in 1985, by place of residence—metropolitan or nonmetropolitan area and central city or not. About 45 percent of American Indians living in nonmetropolitan areas changed residences between 1985 and 1990. This is consistent with the percentages in Table 2-11 for reservations and not surprising because most reservations are located in nonmetropolitan areas. Residential mobility was highest for American Indians living in central cities, where about 65 percent of this population changed residences between 1985 and 1990. Figure 2-4 also shows the residential mobility of whites and blacks, and there is no question that American Indians are considerably more mobile than either of these groups. In central cities, the gap between American Indians and whites or blacks is about 15 to 18 percent. In nonmetropolitan areas, the gap is smaller, but American Indians are still
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--> FIGURE 2-4 Percentage in different house in 1990 than in 1985. more mobile than either blacks or whites. The high level of mobility among urban Indians is difficult to explain, but there are two possibilities. One is that because American Indians are relative newcomers to cities, they do not have established communities or ethnic enclaves in which to settle and become attached to existing social networks. This lack of social ties to an area or neighborhood may contribute to higher levels of residential mobility. Another possible explanation is the substantial anecdotal evidence that American Indians routinely and frequently move between reservations and urban areas. Nonmetro mobility rates remain low because persons return to the same house on the reservation, but live in different places when residing in cities. Hence, residential mobility on the reservation appears low, while urban residential mobility stays at a high level. In view of the earlier finding that the distribution of the American Indian population across regions, states, and cities has remained fairly stable for the past two decades, the above high rates of residential mobility may be surprising, presuming that residential mobility frequently leads to population redistribution. On the other hand, if residential mobility
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--> TABLE 2-11 Migration Rates Between 1985 and 1990 Place of Residence for America Indians and Alaska Natives Region/Division In Migration Out Migration Net Migration Northeast 14.2 12.0 2.1 New England 16.5 14.6 1.9 Mid-Atlantic 13.3 11.0 2.2 Midwest 11.9 11.0 0.9 East North Central 10.3 9.5 0.8 West North Central 13.3 12.3 0.9 South 12.3 11.7 0.5 South Atlantic 16.9 13.1 3.7 East South Central 16.2 15.1 1.1 West South Central 9.3 10.6 -1.3 Mountain 10.6 10.0 0.6 Pacific 10.7 9.2 1.6 NOTE: The data in this table are for persons age 5 and older. SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census public-use microdata sample (1990). follows established, long-term patterns of exchange, such as those that might exist between certain reservations and certain cities, there is no reason to expect that residential flows would have any effect on population distribution. Table 2-11 shows rates of in, out, and net migration per 100 population for census regions and divisions between 1985 and 1990. The South and Northeast regions had relatively small American Indian populations, but relatively high rates of in and out migration. In contrast, the Mountain and Pacific regions had much larger populations, but somewhat lower rates of in and out migration. Despite these relatively high rates of in and out migration, net migration in virtually all of these areas was negligible, between 1 and 2 percent, lending credence to the idea that high rates of residential mobility do not signal a large-scale distributional shift in the American Indian population. Significantly, the West South Central Division, including Oklahoma with its large Indian population, was the only area to experience a net loss, which was dispersed across the other regions. In closing, it is worth noting that in the 1970s, American Indian migration patterns mirrored those of other Americans, especially in flows toward the so-called "sunbelt" (Snipp, 1989). Because American Indians were already concentrated in the west, these migration patterns did not substantially alter the distribution of the Indian population, and these flows were also offset by return mobility to reservation communities.
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--> However, in the 1980s, as sunbelt opportunities diminished, the American Indian population, though highly mobile, appeared to be in stasis insofar as no place, state, or region appeared to hold a strong attraction. Needless to say, this buttressed the stability of the American Indian population distribution, which apparently remained fundamentally unchanged from 1970 to 1990. Concluding Remarks From the arrival of Europeans until the dawn of the twentieth century, the indigenous societies of North America appeared destined for extinction. Most observers fully expected American Indians to disappear, and their beliefs were well founded; the American Indian population dwindled from perhaps as many as 5-7 million to as few as a quarter million in 1890. However, as the twentieth century progressed, a remarkable event took place: instead of disappearing, the American Indian population staged a surprising comeback. Throughout the first half of this century, growth in the American Indian population gathered momentum, starting slowly at first, then gradually increasing over the decades. Despite signs of renewed vigor in the form of rising fertility and declining mortality, no one could have predicted the spectacular growth in the American Indian population since 1950. In the second half of the twentieth century, the American Indian population has increased five-fold, and at least in the short term, there are few reasons to expect this trend to reverse itself. The staggering growth in the American Indian population, coupled with the unique legal and political status accorded to American Indian tribes, is no less than a mandate for acquiring better knowledge about the demography of this population. Insofar as demography is the study of how human populations reproduce themselves, as well as the conditions in which they live, there are obvious and compelling reasons why a better understanding of American Indian demography is essential for social scientists and policy-makers alike—and perhaps even more so for American Indians themselves. This chapter has been devoted to two fundamental dimensions of American Indian demography: the size and the distribution of the American Indian population. In particular, because population size is primarily an outcome of natural events related to births and deaths, fertility and mortality are central to understanding American Indian population dynamics. Likewise, the distribution of the American Indian population is tied to settlement patterns, and especially to patterns of migration or residential mobility. With regard to fertility, American Indian birth rates were relatively
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--> low at the beginning of this century. The reasons for these low rates are not well understood, but the rates are consistent with the slow population growth among American Indians prior to 1930. Since that time, the fertility rate of American Indians has climbed to a level that now exceeds most other groups in American society. There can be little doubt that high fertility rates have made a significant contribution to the growth of the American Indian population. Indeed, from 1970 to 1980, the excess of births over deaths helped increase the population by 28 percent, and it added another 22 percent in the decade of the 1980s. Natural increase would have an even greater impact on the size of the American Indian population if somehow mortality could be reduced. Death rates for American Indians are especially high for younger persons. Ironically, the Indian Health Service probably deserves much of the credit for severing the link between poverty and infant mortality among American Indians—infant mortality rates are relatively low in most areas of Indian Country. Yet American Indian youth and young adults die at rates far out of proportion to their numbers. Moreover, an overwhelming number of these deaths are unnecessary in that they do not result from chronic disease; instead, they are the result of violence, auto accidents, and alcohol abuse. Many tribal leaders are acutely aware of these problems, but as a matter of public health, they should be accorded foremost priority. Finally, perhaps more than fertility or mortality, the distribution of the American Indian population clearly bears the marks of historical events and especially the influence of federal policies. The removal policies of the nineteenth century, for example, pushed American Indians out of the east and into the west, where the majority still reside. About one-third still live on the reservations first designed to quarantine them and now serving as a final homeland. World War II and the relocation programs of the 1950s and 1960s had a profound impact on American Indians by bringing them to urban areas, where slightly over one-half now live, with the largest numbers being concentrated in cities once designated as relocation centers. American Indians continue to be a highly mobile population, but their moves follow patterns that do not appreciably alter the existing residential distribution. Since 1970, there have been no major developments to cause a significant redistribution of the American Indian population, and the current distribution of American Indians appears to be a relatively stable one for the foreseeable future. There can be no doubt that the American Indian population, once on the brink of extinction, has rebounded in a dramatic way. Equally certain is the fact that, at least numerically, the existence of the American Indian population is assured for the foreseeable future. Yet the future vitality of the American Indian population will depend on more than growth alone.
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--> Growing numbers bring hope, but they also bring challenges. Tribal leaders and others concerned with the future well-being of American Indians must find innovative ways to provide for the material needs and ensure the cultural survival of Indian people. As American Indians move into the next century, meeting the many challenges of preserving cultural traditions and improving economic well-being will, more than numbers alone, be the foundation for sustaining the place of American Indians within the mosaic of American society. References Aberle, S.B.D. 1931 Frequency of Pregnancies and Birth Interval Among Pueblo Indians. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 16:63-80. Aberle, S.D., J.H. Watkins, and E.H. Pitney 1940 The vital history of the San Juan Pueblo. Human Biology 12:141-87. Bachman, R. 1992 Death and Violence on the Reservation. Westport, CT: Auburn House. Bernstein, A.R. 1991 American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Blumenfield, R. 1965 Mohawks: Round trip to the high steel. Transaction 3:19-22. Campbell, G.R. 1991 Changing patterns of health and effective fertility among the Northern Cheyenne of Montana, 1886-1903. American Indian Quarterly 15:339-58. Clinton, L., B.A. Chadwick, and H.M. Bahr 1975 Urban relocation reconsidered: Antecedents of employment among Indian males. Rural Sociology 40:112-33. Eschbach, K., K. Supple, and C.M. Snipp 1995 Changes in racial self-identification and changes in the educational attainments of American Indians, 1970-1990. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, CA. Fixico, D.L. 1986 Termination and Relocation: Federal Indian Policy, 1945-1960. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Gundlach, J.H., and A.E. Roberts 1978 Native American Indian migration and relocation: Success or failure. Pacific Sociological Review 12:117-128. Hackenberg, R.A., and C.R. Wilson 1972 Reluctant emigrants: The role of migration in Papago Indian adaptation. Human Organization 31:171-186. Hagan, W.T. 1979 American Indians. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Hahn, R.A. 1992 The state of federal statistics on racial and ethnic groups. Journal of the American Medical Association 267:268-71.
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--> Hahn, R.A., J. Mulinara, and S.M. Teutsch 1992 Inconsistencies in coding of race and ethnicity between birth and death in U.S. infants. Journal of the American Medical Association 267:259-63. Hambright, T.Z. 1968 Comparability of Age on the Death Certificate and Matching Census Record . National Center for Health Statistics. Series 2, No. 29. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Harris, D. 1994 The 1990 census count of American Indians: What do the numbers really mean? Social Science Quarterly 75:580-93. Indian Health Service 1993 Trends in Indian Health. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1994 Trends in Indian Health. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Institute for Government Research 1928 The Problem of Indian Administration [The Meriam Report]. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Kunitz, S.J. 1976 Fertility, mortality, and social organization. Human Biology 48:361-77. Merrell, J. 1989 The Indian's New World: The Catawba and Their Neighbors from European Contact Through the Period of Removal. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. National Center for Health Statistics 1995 Health, United States, 1994. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. O'Brien, S. 1989 American Indian Tribal Governments. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Omran, A.R. 1971 The epidemiological transition: A theory of the epidemiology of population change. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 49:509-38. Passel, J.S. 1976 Provisional evaluation of the 1970 census count of American Indians. Demography 13:397-409. Passel, J.S., and P.A. Berman 1986 Quality of 1980 census data for American Indians. Social Biology 33:163-82. Price, J.A. 1968 The migration and adaptation of American Indians to Los Angeles. Human Organization 27:168-75. Rindfuss, R.R., and J.A. Sweet 1977 Postwar Fertility Trends and Differentials in the United States . New York: Academic Press. Rogers, R.G., and R. Hackenberg 1987 Extending epidemiologic transition theory: A new stage. Social Biology 34:234-43. Snipp, C.M. 1989 American Indians: The First of This Land. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Snipp, C.M., and G.D. Sandefur 1988 Earnings of American Indians and Alaska Natives: The effects of residence and migration. Social Forces 66:994-1008. Sorkin, A.L. 1971 American Indians and Federal Aid. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.
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--> Sorkin, A.L. 1978 The Urban American Indian. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath. Sorkin, A.L. 1988 Health and economic development on American Indian reservations. Pp. 145-165 in C.M. Snipp, ed., Public Policy Impacts on American Indian Economic Development. Albuquerque, NM: Institute for Native American Development, University of New Mexico. Taffel, S.M. 1987 Characteristics of American Indian and Alaska Native births: United States. NCHS Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Vol. 36, No. 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Thornton, R. 1987 American Indian Holocaust and Survival. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Thornton, R., G.D. Sandefur, and C.M. Snipp 1991 American Indian fertility patterns: 1910 and 1940 to 1980. A research note. American Indian Quarterly 15:359-67. U.S. Bureau of the Census 1915 Indian Population in the United States and Alaska, 1910. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1992 General Population Characteristics, United States, 1990. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1993 Social and Economic Characteristics, United States, 1990. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Weibel-Orlando, J. 1991 Indian Country, L.A. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Wissler, C. 1936 Changes in population profiles among the Northern Plains Indians. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 36:1:1-7. Young, T.K. 1994 The Health of Native Americans. New York: Oxford University Press.
Representative terms from entire chapter: