Census Weighs Changes to Counting American Indians in 2020
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau is testing new questions on tribal enrollment to try to get a more accurate count of American Indians in 2020.
Director John Thompson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the agency is aiming to avoid a 5 percent undercount of the population seen in 2010.
Dee Ann Alexander, a census tribal specialist, says past censuses didn't ask whether someone was an enrolled tribal member. She says there was an American Indian box to check with instructions on describing a tribe.
Officials say the bureau is getting feedback from tribal leaders and will decide later whether the questions make it on the 2020 census.
Thompson says the agency is reaching out to American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages five years early because of distrust of federal government.
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