Although there are many people with Cherokee ancestry all around the world, the total number of citizens of federally recognized Cherokee tribes number more than 288,500.
A good comparison to the difference would be to consider this analogy: a person may have French ancestry, but they are not considered French' unless they are a citizen of France .
The Cherokee Nation has approximately 260,000 tribal citizens, residing all around the world. Approximately 120,000 of these citizens live within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has approximately 12,500 tribal citizens, while the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians has approximately 16,000 tribal citizens.