American Indian/Alaska Native Profile
- Place your mouse on the above links to view the Indian Health Service locations on the map.
- Click here to view a map of the American Indian/Alaska Natives Populations as Reported by the Census Bureau.
Overview (Demographics): This racial group includes people having origins in any of the original peoples of North, South America, and Central America, who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. As of 2006, there were an estimated 4.5 million people who were classified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone or American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. This racial group comprises 1.5 percent of the total U.S. population.
1.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives live on reservations or other trust lands. 57 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in metropolitan areas; this is the lowest metropolitan percentage of any racial group. 1.3 million American Indian and Alaska Natives are under the age of 18, which comprises one-third of this racial group.
Currently, there are 561 federally recognized (AI/AN) tribes, and more than 100 state recognized tribes. There are also tribes that are not state or federally recognized. Federally recognized tribes are provided health and educational assistance through a government agency called Indian Health Service (IHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IHS operates a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 1.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The majority of those who receive IHS services live mainly on reservations and in rural communities in 35 states, mostly in the western United States and Alaska. 36 percent of the IHS service area population resides in non-Indian areas. Typically, this urban clientele has less accessibility to hospitals; health clinics or contract health services implanted by the IHS and tribal health programs. Studies on the urban American Indian and Alaska Native population has documented a frequency of poor health and limited health care options for this group.
Since 1972, IHS has embarked upon a series of initiatives to fund health-related activities in off-reservation settings, which will make health care services accessible to urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. Currently, the IHS funds 34 urban Indian health organizations, which operate at 41 sites located in cites throughout the United States. Approximately 600,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible to utilize this program. The thirty-four programs administer: medical services, dental services, community services, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, education and treatment, AIDS and sexually transmitted disease education and prevention services, mental health services, nutrition education and counseling services, pharmacy services, health education, optometry services, social services, and home health care.
Educational Attainment: 76 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 25 and over have at least a high school diploma.14 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 25 and over have at least a bachelor’s degree. 50,500 American Indians and Alaska Natives age 25 and over have at least an advanced graduate degree (i.e., master’s, Ph.D., medical, or law).
Economics: The median family income for American Indian and Alaska Natives is $33,627. 26 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives age 16 and over, work in management and professional occupations. 25 percent of this racial group lives at the poverty level.
Insurance Coverage: In 2003, 45 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives had private health insurance coverage. 21.3 percent of AI/ANs relied on Medicaid coverage. 30 percent of AI/ANs had no health insurance coverage in 2005.
Full Census Reports:
Health: It is significant to note that American Indians/Alaska Natives frequently contend with issues that prevent them from receiving quality medical care. These issues include cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and low income.
Some of the leading diseases and causes of death among AI/AN are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), diabetes, and stroke. American Indians/Alaska Natives also have a high prevalence and risk factors for mental health and suicide, obesity, substance abuse, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), teenage pregnancy, and liver disease.
Other Health Concerns: American Indians and Alaska Natives have an infant death rate almost double the rate for Caucasians. AI/ANs are twice more likely to have diabetes than Caucasians. An example is the Pima of Arizona, who have one of the highest diabetes rates in the world. AI/ANs also have disproportionately high death rates from unintentional injuries and suicide.
- In 2002, American Indian/Alaska Native men were 30% less likely to have prostate cancer as non-Hispanic white men.
- In 2002, American Indian/Alaska Native women were 30% less likely to have breast cancer as non-Hispanic white women.
- American Indian/Alaska Native men were twice as likely to be diagnosed with stomach and liver cancers as white men.
- American Indian Women were 20% more likely to die from cervical cancer compared to white women.
For more statistics on American Indians/Alaska Natives and cancer, please click here
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 2.3 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.
- American Indians/Alaska Natives were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes in 2003.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 1.6 times as likely as White adults to be obese.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.
For more statistics on American Indians/Alaska Natives and diabetes, please click here
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.2 times as likely as White adults to have heart disease.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.4 times as likely as White adults to be current cigarette smokers.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.6 times as likely as White adults to be obese.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.
For more statistics on American Indians/Alaska Natives and heart disease, please click here
- American Indian/Alaska Natives have a 40% higher AIDS rates than non-Hispanic white counterparts.
- American Indian/Alaska Native men have a 10% higher AIDS rate compared to non-Hispanic white men.
- American Indian/Alaska Native women have 3 times the AIDS rate of non-Hispanic white women.
For more statistics on American Indian/Alaska Natives and HIV/AIDS, please click here
- In 2005, American Indian/Alaska Native children ages 19 to 35 months received the recommended doses of vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, Hib, polio, and chicken pox at the same rate as non-Hispanic white children.
- In 2005, American Indian/Alaska Native adults ages 18 to 64 years were slightly more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to have received the influenza (flu) shot in the past 12 months.
For more statistics on American Indian/Alaska Natives and immunization, please click here
- American Indian/Alaska Natives have 1.5 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.
- American Indian/Alaska Native babies are 2.2 times as likely as non-Hispanic white babies to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and they are 1.4 times as likely to die from complications related to low birthweight or congenital malformations compared to non-Hispanic whites babies.
- American Indian/Alaska Native infants are 3.6 times as likely as non-Hispanic white infants to have mothers who began prenatal care in the 3rd trimester or did not receive prenatal care at all.
For more statistics on American Indian/Alaska Natives and infant mortality, please click here
- In general, American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 60% more likely to have a stroke than their White adult counterparts.
- American Indian/Alaska Native women have twice the rate of stroke than White women.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults are more likely to be obese than White adults and they are more likely to have high blood pressure, compared to White adults.
For more statistics on American Indian/Alaska Natives and stroke, please click here
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