The tribal population on the Lower Elwha Klallam reservation increased 82 percent over the last decade, according to 2000 census numbers.

Tribal leaders attribute the jump to a housing boom on the 590-acre reservation west of Port Angeles.

As 2000 census numbers begin to trickle out, tribes like the Lower Elwha are closely watching the results.

At stake is not only federal funding tied to census counts, but tribes’ measures of themselves.

American Indians, who were first included in the census in 1890, have been the most undercounted group in the country.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates it missed one out of every eight people living on reservations in 1990, while the overall undercount rate was one in 60.

The reasons range from erratic living conditions to a general distrust of government.

For the complete story see Monday’s Peninsula Daily news, on sale in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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