indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Poverty in Indian Country still higher than average
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The number of Native Americans living in poverty and without health insurance remains sky-high, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday.

Based on a three-year average, 24.3 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives lived in poverty from 2003 through 2004. This rate was not much different from poverty among African-Americans (24.4 percent) and Hispanics (22.1 percent).

But it more than twice the poverty rate of Whites (10.5 percent) and more than twice the poverty rate of Asians (10.6 percent) for the same period, the Census Bureau reported.

The percentage of Native Americans without insurance was also high. Based on a three-year average, a whopping 29.0 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives did not have health coverage, a rate surpassed only by Hispanics (32.6 percent).

In comparison, the percentage Whites without insurance was 14.6 percent while among Asians it was 18.0 percent.

Native American households reported an median income of $33,132 from 2002 through 2004. This was higher than the median for African-American households ($30,355) and statistically no different from the median for Hispanic households ($34, 299)

But it was much lower than the medians for White households ($46,971) and much lower than Asian households ($56,664).

The figures contained in "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004" show that the economic status of American Indians hasn't changed much since the start of the Bush administration in 2001. Reports have repeatedly shown that Indian Country is still being left behind, making no improvements in income, poverty and insurance rates.

Comparing the 2004 report to the 2003 report, poverty among Native Americans is actually rising. In the 2003 report, 23 percent of Native families lived below the poverty level. Income levels remained unchanged and the insurance coverage rate was steady from the 2003 to 2004.

Despite the lack of change, other studies have shown that Native communities are better off than they were in 1990. A January 2005 report from the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development documented gains in income, education, housing and other indicators, a finding linked to exercise of tribal self-determination and the growth of Indian gaming.

Long-term assessments are difficult, however, because the Census Bureau has not always tabulated statistics for the American Indian and Alaska Native population due to their small size. Native Americans make up less than 1 percent of the general population.

The 2004 report is only the second time the Census Bureau has presented poverty, income and health insurance data in one report. Previously, only poverty and income were reported together.

For insurance, the Census Bureau used to count people who relied solely on the Indian Health Service for health care as insured. But the agency now counts these Native Americans as uninsured. "The effect of this change on the overall estimates of health insurance coverage was negligible," the report stated.

Overall, the national poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004, the Census Bureau said. National income level was stable at $44,389 and the percentage of Americans without health insurance coverage remained unchanged at 15.7 percent.

Census Bureau Report:
Press Release: Income Stable, Poverty Rate Increases, Percentage of Americans Without Health Insurance Unchanged | PDF: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004

Relevant Links:
U.S. Census Bureau - http://www.census.gov

Related Stories:
Native American population on the rise in U.S. (08/12)
Census Bureau to conduct field test on reservation (06/17)
Native children living in poor, single-parent homes (03/19)
Harvard study tracks decade of Indian Country progress (1/10)
Data shows little change in economic status under Bush (08/27)
Census challenges help tribes win more federal funds (03/02)
Dozens of tribes challenging 2000 Census numbers (12/16)
Recession affects poverty rates and income levels (09/29)
Recession hits poverty and income levels (09/25)
Census ordered to release adjusted count (11/15)
Census 'error' could cost states millions (10/18)
Census paints new picture of Indian Country (3/13)
Redistricting to be based on raw Census data (3/7)
Census recommends no adjustment (3/2)
Census estimates show improvement (2/15)
Report warns of Census undercount (2/12)
Reservation counties among poorest (11/24)
Census: Native Americans among poorest (9/27)
Census reports on uninsured Natives (0/02)
Census: Native Americans among poorest (9/27)
National, state poverty data (9/27)
Most reservations miss Census target (09/20)
Tribal response rates: 1990-2000 (9/20)
Report: Native buying power increases (9/8)
Native purchasing power by state (9/8)
Native population on the rise (08/31)
Census data by state (08/31)
Reservations respond to Census (4/20)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge's David Michaud wins fighting match (12/19)
Mark Trahant: Old school budgets a better deal for Indian Country (12/19)
Ruth Hopkins: Boycott a repeat offender of cultural appropriation (12/19)
8th Circuit sides with Omaha Tribe in reservation boundary case (12/19)
BIA finalizes rule to add Alaska tribes to land-into-trust process (12/19)
Obama signs measure to extend VAWA tribal provision to Alaska (12/19)
Wyandotte Nation set to break ground on $1.4M cultural center (12/19)
Man from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe charged for cousin's murder (12/19)
Opponents of Cowlitz Tribe plan appeal of gaming land decision (12/19)
Menominee Nation off-reservation casino supporters hold rally (12/19)
Bear River Band hires tribal member as casino general manager (12/19)
Column: Poarch Creek gaming is only thing working in Alabama (12/19)
Column: Wait for decision on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (12/19)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe inaugurates new leadership (12/18)
Walt Lamar: Cooperation helps address crime in Indian Country (12/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Tournament shows hope of the Lakota people (12/18)
Editorial: Showing caution for marijuana sales in Indian Country (12/18)
Editorial: New York governor makes right call to outlaw fracking (12/18)
Fines for foes of Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino (12/18)
New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses (12/18)
Factions of Cayuga Nation in court over Class II gaming facility (12/18)
Deadline extended for commercial casino eyed by Quapaw Tribe (12/18)
Opinion: Another casino isn't answer to Connecticut's problems (12/18)
Native Sun News: Youth take on lead role in Dakota memorial ride (12/17)
Mark Trahant: NCAI launches new campaign against racist mascot (12/17)
Norm DeWeaver: Job market is a disaster zone in Indian Country (12/17)
Amanda Blackhorse: Fake chiefs and fake headdresses must go (12/17)
DOI makes $9M in buy-back offers on Coeur d'Alene Reservation (12/17)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes see success with two bills in Congress (12/17)
Boyd Cothran: Torture justified by treatment of Indian prisoners (12/17)
Rep. Gosar faces criticism over bill that benefits Hualapai Tribe (12/17)
Navajo Nation's highest court dismisses challenge to candidate (12/17)
Column: Tribal voices often minimized in environmental debate (12/17)
Column: Chief Cliff still an undeniably spiritual place in Montana (12/17)
Native activists in Brazil protest land bill with bows and arrows (12/17)
Shakopee Tribe funds Eastern Shoshone Tribe casino expansion (12/17)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.