1. South Dakota
Native American poverty rate is highest in South Dakota. About 49% of Native Americans in the state live in poverty. The Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations, where most Native Americans inhabit in South Dakota, is affected by high school-dropout rates, corruption by government officials, and underdevelopment. Moreover, Native Americans experience unemployment and underemployment in many parts of the state. The high unemployment rates for Native Americans is attributed to structural racism in the United States.
Mississippi has the second-largest population of Native Americans in the United States. 33.49% of Native Americans in the Magnolia State live in poverty. More than 10% are considered to live in extreme poverty. The Choctaw Indians are the poorest American Indians in Mississippi. Their high poverty rate is because of inequality in the state. Many Choctaw Indians are unemployed and experience poor healthcare services. Those who are employed receive less income compared to their counterparts from other races and ethnicities who do the same job.
Arizona has the largest number of Native Americans living in poverty in the United States after South Dakota and Mississippi. The Grand Canyon State has 32.92% Native Americans who live below the poverty line. Native Americans in the state are affected by lack of resources in their reservations. Corruption, insecurity, and unemployment issues are also rampant in the reservations, forcing many Native Americans to live in poverty. Moreover, there are scarce job opportunities in the reservation and living conditions are very poor.
4. New Mexico
New Mexico has a fair share of poor Native Americans, with about 32.49% of them living in poverty. Of these, more than 5% are considered extremely impoverished. The high poverty rate among Native Americans in New Mexico is lack of resources and limited ability to use available resources because of stringent land development rules. Inequality when it comes to education, healthcare access, and employment also forces many Native Americans in the Land of Enchantment to live in poverty.
5. North Dakota
Native Americans in North Dakota experience poverty two to four times more than the average poverty level in the state. Approximately 32.24% of Native Americans in the state live in poverty. Like in South Dakota, Native Americans in North Dakota experience high rates of unemployment and underemployment. They also experience less development because of stringent land laws that limit them from doing certain economic activities. Also, inequality is a major issue that keeps sinking Native Americans in the Peace Garden State.