Quick Facts - The Navajo Nation

Publication Year: 
Publication Type: 
Shiprock Extension
FRTEP - 1862

Consisting of 27,000 square miles in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the Navajo Nation, geographically, is the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. The area of the reservation is greater that that of the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont combined. The Navajo Nation claims approximately 298,000 enrolled members; it is the second largest tribe in population; over 173,000 Navajos live on the reservation. The population has increased 3.5 times from the 50,000 people who resided on the reservation in 1940. Most homes do not have electricity, running water, or telephones. The Navajo Nation has no urban centers, and most roads remained unpaved (U.S. Census, 2007; Navajo Division of Economic Development, 2008). According to the 2000 census 298,215 persons declared Navajo ancestry or tribal affiliation. An individual must be at least one-quarter Navajo in order to be an enrolled tribal member, according to Navajo law. Kayenta is the only incorporated township. Most population centers are clusters of housing around schools, hospitals, trading posts, and chapter houses. Navajos generate an estimated $40.5 million in the informal economy. Much of this undocumented income is derived from family-based agriculture and crafts enterprises. While data paints a picture of poverty and desolation, Navajo people still have their strong family bonds, their land and most enjoy a rich cultural, spiritual, and daily life based on small-scale farming and ranching. These human strengths, traditional lifestyles, knowledge, values, and resources are the foundation of the Navajo people (DINÉ).

Any research studies of the Navajo Nation require documents and interviews with the Internal Review Board for Human Subject studies, and a second interview with Department of Historic Preservation for any cultural aspects of the study.

For other data information on Navajo Nation try the web site address at www.factfinder.census.gov.