Indian Country Counts
Why Is the Census Important To Tribes?

Full participation in American democratic process.


Critical to forward thinking policy development.


Data used for planning infrastructure, health care, and economic development.


Honorable fulfillment of Indian treaties and federal obligations.

Let’s Make Sure Indian Country Counts!

NCAI sees participation as one of many components on the civic engagement continuum. The Census is just one way of making sure Natives are full participants in the American political process and democracy. Being included in the 2020 Census is just as important as registering our people to vote and getting them to the polls on Election Day. Census data are used for apportionment and redistricting efforts.

With large gaps in data on our population, it’s difficult to make progress when we can’t describe needs for improving infrastructure like roads, housing, schools, police, and hospitals.

We know that accurate data is necessary for forward thinking policy development. It is critical that the 2020 Census captures an accurate picture of Indian Country, as it lays the groundwork for a decade of policymaking, from 2020 to 2030. It will also be a part of the debate as we turn from census data to redistricting and then continuing to work toward measuring economic development.

The support of tribal leaders, activists, volunteers, community leaders, Native organizations, and intertribal groups is of the utmost importance to ensuring that none of our Native people are missed. Although challenges exist, such as unmarked homes in rural communities, language barriers, unemployment, overcrowding, high rates of home foreclosures, and increased migration of American Indians and Alaska Natives, the Census is too important to ignore.

Apply To Be A Census Taker

News and Information

As the U.S. Census Bureau continues to monitor the impacts COVID-19 has on 2020 Census operations, changes to operations are being deployed to ensure the safety of staff and the public while maximizing the number of households that respond on their own to the 2020 Census. Learn more here.


The Indian Country Counts campaign is an initiative launched by the National Congress of American Indians to ensure all American Indians and Alaska Natives are accurately counted in the 2020 Census. Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the largest and oldest advocacy organization for American Indians. NCAI was created in response to termination and assimilation policies the U.S. government forced upon the tribal governments in contradiction of their treaty rights and sovereign status. NCAI promoted unity and cooperation among tribes for the protection of treaty and sovereign rights. NCAI serves as a forum for consensus-based policy development among its membership of tribal governments from every region of the country. NCAI’s mission is to inform the public and the federal government on tribal self-government, treaty rights, and a broad range of federal policy issues affecting tribal governments