The pay gap
Native American women are paid less than white men—and white women
On average, Native American women in the U.S. are paid 40% less than white men and 24% less than white women.1
The pay gap by gender and race
Did you know?
Native Americans represent less than 2% of the U.S. population and are organized into hundreds of tribal nations.3 The small size of this population and the different pay gaps of each tribal nation makes it harder to gather the information needed to understand and close the pay gap.
How it works
Why it matters
Imagine losing out on almost a million dollars
The pay gap is not about a single paycheck. Over the course of the average Native American woman’s career, the lost income adds up to almost a million dollars compared to white men.10
Average lost income over a lifetime due to the pay gap
Did you know?
Native Americans face disproportionate rates of poverty and unemployment. In April 2020, when a record high of 14.7% of Americans were unemployed, roughly 26% of Native Americans were unemployed.11
Families are on the front line
Almost three in five Native American mothers (58%) are breadwinners for their families—meaning their household depends on their paycheck.12 When Native American moms are paid less, they have less money for basic family necessities like rent, groceries, and school supplies. Over time, this impacts families’ ability to invest in savings, higher education, or property.
Share of mothers who are breadwinners
The pay gap is just one example of the barriers that Native American women face
The United States’ history of genocide, oppression, and marginalization of Native American people has a lasting impact today: Native Americans face higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and health impacts than other groups.14 Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged, facing higher rates of violence and less legal protection from the state.15