Native American Buying Power Increased by 185 Percent Since 2000

An increase in entrepreneurial activity across Indian Country impacted the Native market. 

Native Americans commanded an estimated $115 billion in spending power in 2018. That’s a 185 percent increase since 2000, according to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the University of Georgia. The report calculates total income after taxes for minority markets in the U.S.

In comparison, the buying power of the U.S. economy is projected at $14.8 trillion in 2018 — an increase of 100 percent since 2000 and 30 percent since 2010. The most noteworthy percentage gains occurred in minority markets, according to the report, published by the Selig Center for Economic Growth, a unit of UGA’s Terry College of Business. The Multicultural Economy Report is available for purchase.

While Whites comprise the largest share of the U.S. market, they “have the slowest percentage rate of buying power growth,” said Jeff Humphreys, Selig Center director and author of the report. In comparison, the buying power of the nation’s Hispanics is estimated at $1.5 trillion — larger than the GDP of Australia.

Entrepreneurial activity has played a vital role in boosting Native American consumer buying power. Native American entrepreneurship grew by 15 percent from 2007 to 2012 — five times more than the total number of all U.S. business growth, the University states.

While Native Americans comprise just 1.3 percent of the U.S. population, the group’s high financial gains can also be attributed to rapid population growth. The Native American population has increased by 55 percent since 2000, and it’s forecasted to grow another 7 percent by 2023.

When it comes to Native American buying power since 2000, the report broke down the 10 states home to the greatest growth in the Native American market — and the results may come as a surprise:

  • Texas (279 percent)
  • Rhode Island (264 percent)
  • Pennsylvania (247 percent)
  • New York (241 percent)
  • Maryland (234 percent)
  • Massachusetts (233 percent)
  • Illinois (230 percent)
  • Virginia (228 percent)
  • Delaware (225 percent)
  • Utah (224 percent)

“Many of these states have relatively small, flourishing markets, but Texas and New York stand out as the third- and fifth-largest Native American consumer markets in the nation, respectively,” the University of Georgia newspaper states.