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Lifelong Disparities among Older American Indians and Alaska Natives

Summary of Publication:

The rapidly growing number of older American Indians and Alaska Natives warrants the attention of researchers, policy makers, and service providers. This report uses American Community Survey data to provide a national overview of the sociodemographic characteristics of this growing population.

American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 50 and over report having lower levels of education, income, employment and access to health care than the same age group in the general US population. They are also more likely to live in multi-generational families and raise grandchildren. Forty-four percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 50 and older reside on tribal lands.

This report also provides state-based data for select states. States with the highest proportion of American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 50 and over showed substantial variation across characteristics like multiracial status, access to Indian Health Service care, and income.

The report concludes with recommendations to better serve American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 50 and over as they age.