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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Demographic Overview

Indicator 1.1: Population Composition and Growth
Indicator 1.2: Geographic Distribution of the Population
Indicator 1.3: American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes
Indicator 1.4: Age Distribution of the Population
Indicator 1.5: Family Structure
Indicator 1.6: Individuals, Families, and Children in Poverty
Indicator 1.7: Children's Health Risks
Indicator 1.8: Birth Rates and Child Mortality
Indicator 1.9: Child Care

This section provides a demographic overview of the American Indian/Alaska Native population as a context for the education indicators appearing in the other sections of this publication. Demographic changes may have a direct or indirect impact on education statistics. For example, increases in the population of young children of any specific group have a direct impact on enrollment since nearly all young children are enrolled in school. In addition, changes in the number of children living in poverty are important since children living in poverty tend to have lower educational achievement than children who are not living in poverty (Maruyama 2003). Data in this section provide information that is useful for understanding the general environment of American Indian/Alaska Native children. These data are included to help frame the education data in a broader context of social conditions.

Information on children's health risks and child care situations is important in understanding the general social environment of American Indian/Alaska Native children. Information on family structure provides additional context. These social condition variables are related to the socioeconomic status of children, which is an important factor associated with student achievement (Chaikind and Corman 1991; McLanahan 1997).

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