American Indian Children Left Behind in Extreme Poverty

Posted August 16, 2019
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Updates nativeamericansextremepoverty 2019

Extreme pover­ty con­tin­ues to ham­string near­ly one in five Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren in the Unit­ed States.

Sev­en­teen per­cent of Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren lived in fam­i­lies who made less than 50% of the pover­ty lev­el — $12,429 for a fam­i­ly of two adults and two chil­dren, accord­ing to the lat­est num­bers from the Amer­i­can Com­mu­ni­ty Sur­vey in 2017.

The share of Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren liv­ing in extreme pover­ty was also 17% in 2015 and 2016 but only 15% as recent­ly as 2008. At the same time, extreme pover­ty for African-Amer­i­can and Lati­no chil­dren fell each year from 2015 through 2017, after spik­ing for all chil­dren fol­low­ing the Great Recession.

While the per­cent­ages of Amer­i­can Indi­an, African-Amer­i­can and Lati­no chil­dren in extreme pover­ty were in dou­ble dig­its, the per­cent­ages for Asian and Pacif­ic Islander and non-His­pan­ic white chil­dren remained at 5% for both in 2017.

Chil­dren who live in pover­ty are less like­ly to have access to treat­ment for men­tal health ill­ness­es or behav­ioral prob­lems and less like­ly to grad­u­ate high school than their high­er-income peers.

View the data on chil­dren in extreme pover­ty by race and ethnicity

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