Arizona has by far the nation's greatest expanse of Indian lands: the state's 22 reservations have a combined area of 19.1 million acres (7.7 million hectares)—26% of the total state area. In 2000, Arizona had the nation's 3rd-highest Indian population, 255,879, or 5% of the state total population.
The largest single American Indian nation, the Navaho, with a population of 104,565 in 2000, is located primarily in the northeastern part of the state. The Navaho reservation, covering 14,221 sq mi (36,832 sq km) within Arizona, extends into Utah and New Mexico and comprises desert, mesa, and mountain terrain. Herders by tradition, the people are also famous for their crafts. The reservation's total Indian population in 2000 was 173,631, up 21% from 143,405 in 1990. Especially since 1965, the Navaho have been active in economic development; reservation resources in uranium and coal have been leased to outside corporations, and loans from the US Department of Commerce have made possible roads, telephones, and other improvements. There are at least 12 and perhaps 17 other tribes (depending on definition). After the Navaho, the leading tribes are the Papago in the south, Apache in the east, and Hopi in the northeast. The Hopi reservation had a population of 6,946 in 2000.
The southern part of Arizona has most of the state's largest ethnic majority, a Hispanic and Latino population estimated at 1,295,617 in 2000, or 25.3% of the total population (up from the 1990 figure of 668,000, or 18% of the population). There are some old, long-settled Spanish villages, but the bulk of Hispanics (1,065,578) are of Mexican origin. Raul Castro, a Mexican-American, served as governor in 1975–77. There were an estimated 158,873 blacks as of 2000. Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, and other Asians made up 1.8% of the population.