The Navajo Indian Tribe is the largest federally-recognized tribe in the United States. Based on information obtained from the latest U.S. Census (2000), 298,197 individuals claimed Navajo ethnicity. In November 2001, the Office of Navajo Nation Vital Records reported that 255,543 of these are enrolled tribal members.
Approximately 168,000 Navajos live on Navajo Nation tribal land. Another 80,000 Navajos reside near or within “border towns” of the Navajo Nation.
Prominent among these are Farmington, Gallup, Grants, (New Mexico)., Page, Flagstaff, Winslow, Holbrook (Arizona), Cortez, (Colorado) and Blanding (Utah).
The most recent report from the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development (2000/2001 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) provides the following information.
- Median Age (Census Count) 22.5 years
- Per Capita Income $6.217.00
- Percent below poverty line 56.1
- Unemployment Rate 43.65
Inadequate paved roads, lack of electricity, water, telecommunication, and police and fire protection services are the most striking examples of barriers faced by children and their families.
Travel is often difficult, especially in inclement weather. There are approximately 9,286 miles of public roads on the reservation, with 78% of those roads being dirt or graveled.
Housing is often inadequate. Of the 68,744 housing units on the Navajo Nation, 15,279 homes, or 31.9 percent, lack indoor plumbing; 13,447 homes, or 28.1 percent, lack a kitchen facility; and 28,740 homes, or 60.1 percent, lack telephone service.