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American Indians in Wisconsin


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American Indian and Alaska Native refer to persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America, including Central America, and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment1.

As of 2008, an estimated 4.9 million people were classified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races2. This racial group comprises 1.6 percent of the total U.S. population3. American Indians/Alaska Natives frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care4. This includes cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and low income5.

22 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live on reservations or other trust lands6. Sixty percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in metropolitan areas; which is the lowest metropolitan percentage of any racial group7. About 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Natives are under the age of 18, which comprises 30% of this racial group. Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, age 25 and over, 82 percent have earned at least a high school diploma and 17 percent have at least earned a bachelor's degree8. Additionally, 6 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives, age 25 and over, have at least an advanced graduate degree9. In 2012, 47.5 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives had private health insurance coverage, 38.1 percent relied on Medicaid coverage, and 22.6 percent had no health insurance coverage10. Among this racial group, 26 percent lives at the poverty level11.

Wisconsin Population

American Indians comprise of almost 100% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population in Wisconsin; the 2000 Census counted 225 people in Wisconsin (0.01%) who identified as Alaska Native12. Wisconsin's American Indian population totaled 53,358 in 2008, which was 0.9% of the State total of 5,672,29713. medical care. The American Indian population has increased 12.6% since the 2000 Census14.

Wisconsin is home to 11 federally recognized tribes: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Chippewa, Sokaogon Chippewa (Mole Lake), and Stockbridge-Munsee15, in addition to other, non-recognized tribes. Each tribe maintains a government-to-government relationship with the State of Wisconsin. Also, each tribe has its own unique peoples, languages, and spiritual and health practices, as do the more than 500 federally recognized American Indian tribes.

As of the 2008, the distribution of American Indian populations in Wisconsin included over 60 percent in the counties of Milwaukee, Brown, Menominee, Shawano, Sawyer, Outagamie, Vilas, Dane, Ashland, and Bayfield16. About 45 percent of Wisconsin's American Indian population resided in metropolitan areas; 13.7 percent, or 7,313 people, resided in Milwaukee County17.


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Additional Information

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  1. Minority Health Report, 2001-2005
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Minority Health Report, 2001-2005
  13. Minority Health Profiles, created by the Minority Health Program
  14. Minority Health Report, 2001-2005
  15. Ibid.
  16. Minority Health Profiles, created by the Minority Health Program
  17. Ibid.

Additional Information About  American Indians in Wisconsin:

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Last Revised: October 17, 2014