We use the 1980 Public-Use Microdata Sample to consider the relationship between household structure and economic well-being among American Indians. Wefocus on the total U.S. Indian population and on there sidents of 19 “Indian states” where there has been relatively little growth in the Indian population by means ofchanges in racial self-identification. Using Sweet’s (1984) scheme of household types, we find that the prevalence among Indians of female-headed households with children is intermediate between that among blacks and whites, but the prevalence of couple-headed households with children is highest among Indians. Racial differences in the distribution of household types and differences in average household size are important determinants of black-white and Indian-white differences in average household income.

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