US Census Response Rates on American Indian Reservations in the 2020 Census and in the 2010 Census

New research by CNK Director, Paul Ong, with Professors Randall Akee and Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear examine the American Indian tribal reservation 2020 Census self-response data and compare it to the 2010 self-response rate. They show that:

  • Only seven tribal reservations have response rates greater than the current national average of 60% response (they
    are above the red horizontal line).
  • In 2010, only 23 tribal reservations were above the national average response rate of 67% (to the left of the red
    vertical line).
  • 50 tribal reservations have a higher response rate in their current 2020 response rate than their 2010 final response
    (above the 45-degree line).
  • 118 tribal reservations have 2020 responses that are lower than their 2010 response rate (below the 45-degree line).

The low self-response rate during the first phase of the 2020 Census will create major challenges for the second phase, the non-response follow-up in-person interviews. Low self-response means many more labor-intensive contacts will be needed, which is particularly difficult during the pandemic. Ultimately, this may produce a significant undercount of American Indians.

Full data by tribal reservation posted online at:
For further information contact: Randall Akee at

Download the press release here and the full report here

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *