What happened with the American Indian/Alaska Native Population in ND?

If you looked at my earlier post you already saw the graphs contained here, though I am actually making some remarks. The point plot shows some significant changes in the percentages of the population American Indian/Alaska Native across the counties in North Dakota. Overall in the state the AIAN alone population declined by 31.7% from 2010 to 2020. The magnitude of the changes can be seen here.

The most notable change is Benson County dropping from around 55% to around 45%. There is also an approximately 10% drop in McKenzie County.

Now clearly this could be an impact of the multiple race allowance, but I think it unlikely. Two or more races did increase in ND by 106% from Census 2010 to Census 2020. There would need to be massive migration, death, or revision in order to arrive at this type of change. I think drastic undercount due to COVID and general distrust of the government is the most likely culprit. The difficulties administering the Census and performing follow-ups due to COVID are pretty well documented around the country, particularly for reservations. The consequences of this large decline is potentially huge though when you talk about the provision of services and program dollars for reservations unless it is made up for in other, multiple race categories.

Clearly the work here is not done yet and I will post more as I uncover more.

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