Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, sometimes including Hawaii and territories of the United States and sometimes limited to the mainland.
There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US. “Native Americans” (as defined by the United States Census) are Indigenous tribes that are originally from the continental United States, plus Alaska Natives.
The population of California Indians was reduced by 90% during the 19th century—from more than 200,000 in the early 19th century to approximately 15,000 at the end of the century, mostly due to disease. Epidemics swept through California Indian Country, such as the 1833 malaria epidemic.
During the California Gold Rush, many natives also were killed by incoming settlers as well as by militia units financed and organized by the California government.
Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans.
Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations: California, Arizona and Oklahoma have the largest populations of Native Americans in the United States. Most Native Americans live in small-town or rural areas.