Key Trends for Native Americans

Below is a summary of how Native Americans in the Nine-County Bay Area are doing on critical equity indicators.


  • Race/ethnicity: Native Americans lost one-quarter of their population (a loss of 6,238 people) between 2000 (when the population was 24,733) and 2015 (when the population was 18,495).
  • Disconnected youth: One-quarter of Native American youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor enrolled in school. This is the highest share among major racial/ethnic groups. Challenges such as lack of cultural competency in school administration and culturally inappropriate curriculum remain barriers for Indigenous youth in academic achievement.
  • College readiness: Although a smaller share of Native American Bay Area students are considered college ready compared to other groups, college readiness rates among Native America students increased from 29 to 34 percent between 2010 and 2017.
  • Educational attainment: A little over one in five Native American adults are not high school graduates, while the majority have at least a high school diploma, some college, or an associate’s degree (six in 10), and nearly one in five hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Median earnings: Similar to other groups in the Bay Area, median annual earnings for Native American workers declined between 2000 and 2015 (from $49,887 to $43,835).


  • Extreme commuting: After Black commuters, Native American workers were most likely to be extreme commuters (3.9 percent), meaning they commute 90 minutes or more to work.
  • Housing burden: Native American (and Black) renter households are most likely to be rent burdened (6 in 10), meaning these households pay more than they can afford in housing costs.
  • Gentrification risk: Displacement is a concern, particularly for vulnerable households paying more than they can afford in housing costs. Half of all low-income Native American households live in neighborhoods that are gentrifying or at risk of gentrifying.
  • Neighborhood opportunity: Looking at neighborhood opportunity, half of Native American residents either live in moderate or high resource neighborhoods, while the other half live in low resource or high poverty/segregation areas.
  • Business ownership and revenue: Looking at data available for the Five-County Bay Area in 2012, although Native Americans had the highest business ownership rates among sole proprietorships, they were also on the lower end of average annual revenues per firm ($30,000).


  • Economic gains: Eliminate rent burden. If there was no rent burden, Native American rent-burdened households would gain an additional $8,000 per year on average in disposable income, doubling the amount these households currently have to invest, save, or spend.
  • Economic gains: Racial equity in income. With racial equity in income, Native American workers would earn $81,595 per year on average, more than double their current income ($36,764).