Indian Affairs:

Data on Program Eligibility and Expenditures

RCED-87-130FS: Published: Jun 5, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the number of Indians eligible for federal programs and assistance in 1960, 1970, 1980, and estimated for 1990; (2) the number of Indians eligible by blood quantum for federal programs and assistance; and (3) total federal expenditures for Indian programs for fiscal year (FY) 1986 and FY 1987.

GAO found that: (1) the Indian population increased from 523,591 in 1960 to 1,364,033 in 1980; (2) the Indian population increased in relative proportion to the general population, from 0.3 percent in 1960 to 0.6 percent in 1980; (3) the population figures represent the total potential Indian service population and not Indians who actually qualify for federal program services and benefits; (4) federal Indian programs' eligibility criteria do not include blood quantum requirements; and (5) the federal government provides assistance to federally recognized tribes or their members, with many federally recognized tribes having established Indian blood quantum requirements for tribal membership. GAO also found that: (1) federal budget authority for Indian programs in FY 1986 was about $3 billion; (2) the federal government estimates the same amount for FY 1987; and (3) these figures include programs which are exclusively for Indians, amounts set aside for Indians under programs for which non-Indians are eligible, and programs for all native Americans.

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