Bureau of the Census

Statistical Brief

Housing of American Indians on Reservations Structural Characteristics


Like the housing of the Nation as a whole, the housing of American Indians on reservations comes in a variety of ages and forms. But the mix is considerably different. This is one of a series of Briefs that uses data collected in the 1990 Cen-sus of Population and Housing to examine housing characteristics of American Indian households on res-ervations and their associated trust lands. The term "American Indian households" includes all housing units where the house- holder has identified himself or herself as American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut. This Brief looks at two different structural characteristics of homes their age (the proportion that were either new or old) and type (the percentage that were single-family, mobile homes, or located in multiunit structures). There are 314 reservations and trust lands in the United States. Trust lands are property associated with a particular American Indian reservation or tribe, held in trust by the Federal Government. In this Brief, the term "reservation" also includes trust lands.
On reservations, new housing was relatively widespread .... Homes built between 1985 and March 1990 were considered "new." As the graph below shows, American Indian households on res-ervations were far more likely than the typical U.S. household to live in new units. Among the larger reservations (those with 500 or more American Indian households), new homes were most prevalent on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation, AZ, where they comprised well over half of all American Indian homes.
.... and old homes were rare. American Indian households on res-ervations were only about half as likely as all households national-ly to live in an "old" home; that is, one built before 1940. (See graph below.)  
However, there were a few reservations where old housing was much more common. One example was the Isleta Pueblo,NM, where over one-quarter of American Indian households lived in such homes.
Single-family homes were even more prevalent on reservations than elsewhere.
More than three-quarters of Ameri-can Indian households on reserva-tions resided in one-family houses, higher than the 70 percent of all U.S. households and far greater than the 60 percent of American Indian households living off reser-vations. On three large reservations (all in the Southwest), the proportion for American Indian households top-ped 90 percent. Pascua Yaqui, AZ, at 98 percent, led the way. At theother extreme was the Cattaraugus Reservation, NY, at 53 percent.

April 1995 BUREAU OF THE CENSUS STATISTICAL BRIEF
Mobile homes were quite common as well ....
Fourteen percent of American Indian households on reserva-tions lived in mobile homes. The corresponding rates for all households in the United States and American Indian house-holds not on reservations were 7 percent and 12 percent, respectively. On the larger reservations, mobile homes were most common on the Hoopa Valley, CA and Cattaraugus, NY reservations, where 41 percent and 39 percent, respectively, of American Indian households lived in them.
.... but apartments were almost unheard of.
A mere 5 percent of American Indian households on reserva-tions lived in units in multiunit structures. This was far below the 27 percent for all households nationally and the 28 percent for American Indian households liv-ing off reservations.

Data for Smaller Reservations The table on right shows data only for the 48 reser-vations with 500 or more American Indian house-holds. To obtain both statistics for reservations not shown and estimates of sampling variability for all reservations, call Robert Bonnette (301-763-8553).

This Brief is one of a series that presents information of current interest. It ex-amines data from the 1990 census. A complete description of statistical quali-ty and limitations is included in the above-mentioned reports. Percents of new and old homes are based on sample data. Consequently, these proportions are subject to sampling variability. Reservations with small numbers of households may have large sampling variability.



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