New UTD Study by IACEO Council Reveals Economic, Political and Social Characteristics of American Indians in North Texas – The Indian Panorama

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson (left) presents the proclamation to IACEO Board President and Co-Founder Arun Agarwal. (Photo / IACEO Board)
American flag next to Indian flag at Dallas City Council. Photo / IACEO Council
Native Americans gather at the annual DFW South Asian Film Festival. Photo / John Strange for Selig Polyscope Company
Native Americans gather at the annual DFW South Asian Film Festival. Photo / John Strange for Selig Polyscope Company

DALLAS, TX (TIP): To commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence this week, the Indian American CEO (IACEO) Council, in partnership with the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, released a new report titled “A Profile of the Native American Population of North Texas.

The study uses both quantitative and qualitative analyzes to examine the economic, political, and social characteristics of the Native American community in the North Texas region. Using data collected and provided by various government agencies, the report analyzes the demographic, market, education, and labor characteristics of the Native American population in the North Texas region and performs a further analysis in the context of the state and the nation. The study also highlights individual and group examples of successful engagement within the Native American community and the opportunities these successes highlight for other racial groups.

Here’s what we know about Native Americans in the United States before the study:

  • American Indians, numbering over 4.16 million, have emerged as an important political constituency in the United States
  • American Indians make up a total voter population of 1.9 million, or 0.82% of the total voter population.
  • American Indians are a relatively young population with a median age of 40 compared to 46 for all other immigrants.
  • About two-thirds of American Indians reached the United States after 2000. Due to their relatively young status and recent arrival, the full political impact of the American Indian community may not have been fully realized.
  • American Indians are among the highest median earners of all immigrants. In 2019, the median annual household income of American Indians was $119,000, significantly higher than all Asian groups combined at $85,800.
  • Along with high income status, American Indians are also the most educated and fastest growing racial group in the United States.

North American Indians of Texas (Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties):

SALARY: The average salary for American Indians in DFW in 2019 was $58,879, compared to $36,301 for other Asians and $39,895 for Whites. The average salary for all other racial groups was $27,986. In other words, American Indians earn about 48% more than their white counterparts and 62% more than other Asians.

EDUCATION: American Indians have the highest proportion of the population with a 4-year college degree or graduate degree. Specifically, more than one in four American Indians has a 4-year college degree, compared to about one in five whites. More than 60% of North American Indians in Texas have a four-year or graduate degree. One in three American Indians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a college degree, compared to about one in ten Whites and another one in five Asians. Overall, about 60% of American Indians have some college degree.

OCCUPATION: Relative to their total numbers in the labor force, American Indians are overrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations in North Texas. More than half of American Indian employees work in just three industries: IT and math, management, and healthcare professionals. No other group shows such widespread clustering.

IMMIGRATION: According to data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in 2020, immigrants from India accounted for 6% of newcomers to the United States, behind Mexico, Vietnam, Dominican Republic and China. In 2019, 2,050 people from India were granted lawful permanent resident status in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, representing 6% of Dallas-Fort Worth lawful permanent resident approvals. These 2,050 people represent 4% of all people of Indian ancestry who have obtained lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Dallas-Fort Worth received the 4th highest number of individuals of Indian origin, behind New York (8,221), Chicago (3,344) and San Francisco (2,972).

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: According to the US Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons in 2012 (the latest version), American Indians owned 5.3% of all businesses in Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant, more than a third. of all Asian American companies. The combined sales revenue of all Indo-American businesses was just over $10 billion, or 2.27% of all business revenue (and 43% of all Asian-owned business revenue ). Native American businesses were the most prevalent in Collin County, accounting for 7.5% of all businesses and 4.4% of all sales receipts.

Main results and conclusions:

Demographically, American Indians are the fastest growing immigrant group in the United States. Economically, they are among the highest median earners of all immigrants. And sociologically, they are the most educated ethnic group in the country. The study highlights the disparity in political participation between first and second generation American Indians. This calls for a strategy that impacts the civic participation rates of the two generations differently.

Politically, the population mirrors the same polarization of the broader American population, and civic and political engagement is much higher among American Indians born in the United States than among those who naturalized.

Overall, civic engagement efforts, such as voting, volunteering, and community activities, can help build trust and promote social cohesion. Civic participation can also be increased through mentorship and participation in group activities such as sports. Provide means for members to conduct formal group activities, including through established organizations and associations, and informal group activities – book clubs, cycling clubs, etc. – is essential to facilitate the formation of social capital and reduce social isolation among community participants.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, many members of the Native American community are facing new challenges that threaten their health and economic status. A skills employment strategy may need to be deployed to retrain American Indian workers whose employment has been affected by the pandemic to find new jobs and possibly new occupations. A public health strategy could help address vaccine hesitancy and ensure continued medical coverage for affected members whose jobs have been lost.


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