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Research Reports

Searching for Justice, 2005

Reflections on Traditional American Indian Ways, 1998

Threats to Tribal Sovereignty, 1998

Traditional American Indian Leadership: A Comparison with U.S. Governance, 1997

Communications and Relationships Between Reservation American Indians and Non-Indians from Neighboring Communities, 1997

American Indians & Home Ownership, 1995

Per Capita Income

Per capita income is the total income of a group or community divided by the number of people in that group. It is another way of measuring and comparing the economic well-being of the community. It does not, however, tell us how evenly or unevenly income is distributed within the group.

Per capita income for American Indians in Minnesota was $6,732 in 1989, the lowest for any of the major racial/ethnic groups and less than half as much as white per capita income.

Table 5: Per Capita Income in the American Indian Community
1979-1989 in constant 1989 dollars




Change in Per Capita Income





St. Paul




Metro Suburbs




Greater Minnesota




Statewide Totals




Table 5 shows that per capita income shot up dramatically in the Twin Cities suburbs during the past decade, but remained very low in the rest of the state and actually declined in Minneapolis and in Greater Minnesota. Even though overall income rose in the suburbs, poverty also increased. This raises questions about how much of that income growth is reaching families with children and how evenly income is distributed.

It is important to remember that these figures on poverty and income are based on 1989 data, and would not reflect some of the changes in income that may have occurred over the past four or five years due to the casino industry.

Next Section

The Well-Being of American Indian Children in Minnesota: Economic Conditions, 1994

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