Postsecondary to Prosperity: Native American and Alaska Native Californians

Several Measures of Opportunity Spotlight Systemic Challenges Native American and Alaska Native Californians Face

Education attainment plays a key role in individual economic mobility—and how California’s state and regional economies grow—but it’s not the only factor at work. With the new California Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard, researchers and policymakers can explore more deeply how educational opportunity, economic mobility, and quality of life vary with geography, race, and individual outcomes. These critical insights prove that considerations of equity, inclusivity, and accessibility must inform changes to our state’s higher education system, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Native American and Alaska Native Californians, poorer education and employment outcomes have had real effects. Constituting less than 1 percent of the state population, they are concentrated in the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire, and North-Far North regions. Because of their small numbers, this group is often overlooked, but the Dashboard shows they face challenges at least as great as other groups.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fewer Native American and Alaska Native Californians graduate from high school, enroll in college, or complete a degree than Californians on average. In fact, this population is half as likely to have attained a bachelor’s degree than the state as a whole. Forty-six percent of Native American and Alaska Native Californians have no college credits compared with only 18 percent of Asian Californians.
  • Native American and Alaska Native Californians are less likely to have a job than Californians as a whole, and only 45 percent of them earn a living wage, compared with 64 percent of the state population.
  • Female Native American and Alaska Native Californians make $3,500 more than male Native American and Alaska Native Californians—the only statewide wage gap where women earn more on average than do men.

To learn more, explore the California Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard.

Featured Items

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Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard: Native American and Alaska Native Californians

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