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ACS and the AIAN Population


Important Information about the American Community Survey for the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Population

Print the current AIAN Brochure [PDF]

Why is the ACS Important to the American Indian and Alaska Native Population?
The American Community Survey reflects the population that uses a community's resources and helps communities determine where to locate services and allocate those resources. For example, the ACS can help determine the best locations for health clinics and identify needs for job training. ACS data are used in the funding decisions by many federal programs designed to assist tribal governments. Many programs that previously used data from Census 2000 will begin to use data from the ACS.

Tribal Government Officials - We Need Your Help!
The Census Bureau is asking for your help to encourage your community members to respond to the ACS. The ACS is only sent to a relatively small number of people and their responses represent their entire community. Full participation by the people who receive the survey is vital to ensuring that tribal leaders get a complete picture of their communities.

The Census Bureau's Highest Priority is Keeping Your Answers Confidential
The Census Bureau takes extraordinary measures to protect the confidentiality of all personal information. Federal law requires that all of the information collected in the ACS be kept confidential. The data are used for statistical purposes only. Individual responses are never released to anyone, including tribal governments and programs that assist AIAN communities.

Every Census Bureau employee has taken an oath to protect this information and is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both if they disclose ANY information that could identify an individual or household. This oath, and its penalties, is binding for life, even after an employee is no longer employed by the Census Bureau.

Did You Know That the American Community Survey Can Help Manage Federal Programs and Laws Such as These?

Indian Health Care Improvement Act (1976)

Native American Programs Act (1974)

Workforce Investment Act (1998)

State Children's Health Insurance Program (1997)

Veterans Benefits Improvement Act (1994)

Nutritional Education Program (1977)

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (1975)

Civil Rights Act (1964)

The Public Health Service Act (1946)

Federal Affirmative Employment Plans

National Affordable Housing, Subchapter I

Higher Education and Student Assistance Programs

Yearly ACS Estimates Are Available Depending on the Population Size of an Area or Population Group
The ACS provides data describing the characteristics of American Indians and Alaska Natives and their communities. The release of these data is dependent upon the size of the geographic area or population group. Larger areas and population groups receive estimates based on one year of data collection while the smallest areas and population groups will receive estimates based on five years of data.

  • Areas or Population Groups of 65,000 people or more receive ACS estimates based on a single year of data. These estimates were first published in 2006 and are now available every year.

  • Areas or Population Groups of 20,000 people or more receive ACS estimates based on three years of data. These estimates will be available every year beginning in late 2008.

  • All Areas Previously Published, Census Tracts, Block Groups and Small Population Groups receive ACS estimates based on five years of data. Plans are for these estimates to be available every year beginning in late 2010.

Need Assistance Getting, Understanding, or Using AIAN Data?

  • For a FREE presentation and/or instructions on how to access ACS data on our Web site, call or visit one of the Census Bureau's 12 Regional Offices at:

  • For easy access to all AIAN data from the Census Bureau visit:

  • Call the Census Bureau's Customer Service Center at (301) 763-INFO (4636) or visit the Census Bureau's Web site at:

  • Visit your local library. Many university and public libraries participate in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information visit:

  • Call or visit one of the 1,800 state and local planning organizations, libraries, chambers of commerce, and other groups that participate in the Census Bureau State Data Center (SDC) and Census Information Center (CIC) programs. For a complete list, including those CICs serving the AIAN community, visit:


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau  |  American Community Survey Office  |  Page Last Modified: September 22, 2008