FAST FACTS: NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND INDIAN COUNTRY
- There are currently 573 federally-recognized tribes in the Unites States. Click here for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ comprehensive map.
- According to the 2010 US Census, approximately
5.2 million self-identified American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) live in the US, of whom 2 million qualify for federal services.
- As of 2010, there were over 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) under the age of 24 living in
the US. More facts on youth available in our Native American Youth 101.
- The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) estimates that in 2016, 22% of AI/ANs lived on reservations or other US Census-defined tribal areas while 60% of AI/ANs lived in
- The 2010 US Census reported that the majority
of the AI/AN alone-or-in-combination population (78 percent) lived outside of American Indian and Alaska Native areas.
CHALLENGES IN INDIAN COUNTRY
As a result of historical trauma, chronically underfunded federal programs, and policies of the US government, Native Americans experience many health, educational, and economic disparities compared to the general population.
- The poverty rate among AI/ANs in 2014 was 28.8% (United States Census), and more than one in three AI/AN children live in poverty.
- In 2012, the average AI/AN household income was reported at $37,353 while the national average was $56,565, according to OMH and Duthu in American Indians and the Law (2008) respectively. In 2014, unemployment rates for AI/ANs nationally
stood at 11.3% – twice the average for white Americans (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Some tribal communities report persistent rates of unemployment above 80%.
- As of 2013 approximately 7.5% of homes in Indian Country lack safe drinking water and proper waste removal systems (Indian Health Service).
- According to the National Conference of American Indians(NCAI) there are less than 3,000 tribal and federal law enforcement
officers to patrol the more than 56 million acres of Indian Country.
- Other Health Disparities
- In 2013, chronic liver disease was the fifth leading cause of death for all American Indians/Alaska Natives. (Center for Disease Control)
- AI/AN adults are 2.4 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes. (OMH)
- In 2012, the tuberculosis rate for AI/ANs was 6.3, as compared to 0.8 for the White population. (OMH)
STATISTICS ON NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death – 2.5 times the national rate – for AI/AN youth in the 15 to 24 age
group (CDC). In the US, between 1 in 9 and
1 in 5 AI/AN youth report attempting suicide each year (Suicide Prevention Resource Center).
- AI/AN youth are arrested at a rate of three times the national average, and 79% of youth in the Federal Bureau of Prison’s custody
are AI/AN (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).
- About 90% of all AI/AN students attend regular public schools and about 8% attend schools administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
(National Indian Education Association Statistics).
- AI/ANs are disproportionately suspended and expelled, representing less than 1% of the student population, but 2% of out-of-school
suspensions and 3% of expulsions (White House Native Youth Report).
- The national graduation rate for AI/AN high school hovers around 79% in comparison to over 94% for white students. (High school completion
includes General Educational Development (GED) certificate recipients (Childstats.gov).
- The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) reports that AI/AN children are overrepresented in foster care – at more than 2.4 times the general population
– and 2 to 4 times the expected level are awaiting adoption.
- AI/AN children have the 3rd highest rate of victimization at 11.6 per 1,000 children of the same race or ethnicity. In 2009, 7,335
AI/AN children were victims of child maltreatment (NICWA).
- In 2013, the rate of death among American Indian infants was the second-lowest among racial/ethnic groups, at 401 per 100,000. However,
American Indians had the second-highest death rate for children ages one to four and 15 to 19. (childtrends.org)