Census Bureau Says Less People Without Health Insurance

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The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3 percent) in 2007, shows the report by the U.S. Census Bureau released today.

The findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 [PDF]. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).

Also released today were income, poverty and earnings data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) for all states and congressional districts, as well as for metropolitan areas, counties, cities and American Indian/Alaska Native areas of 65,000 population or more.

Here is the overview of the health insurance coverage based on the survey.

The number of children without health insurance coverage declined from 8.7 million (11.7 percent) in 2006 to 8.1 million (11.0 percent) in 2007.

Health Insurance Based On Race and Hispanic Origin

Both the number and percentage of uninsured for non-Hispanic whites decreased in 2007, to 10.4 percent and 20.5 million, respectively. For blacks, the number of uninsured remained statistically unchanged from 2006, at 7.4 million, while the percentage declined from 20.5 percent in 2006 to 19.5 percent in 2007. The uninsured rate for Asians rose from 15.5 percent in 2006 to 16.8 percent in 2007. The number and percentage of uninsured Hispanics decreased from 15.3 million and 34.1 percent in 2006 to 14.8 million and 32.1 percent in 2007.

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Based on a three-year average (2005-2007), 32.1 percent of people who reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage. The three-year average uninsured rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders was 20.5 percent.

Health Insurance Based On Nativity

Between 2006 and 2007, the uninsured rate for the native-born population declined from 13.2 percent in 2006 to 12.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, the percentage of the foreign-born population without insurance was statistically unchanged at 33.2 percent in 2007. Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rate for naturalized U.S. citizens increased from16.4 percent in 2006 to 17.6 percent in 2007, while the uninsured rate for U.S. noncitizens was statistically unchanged from 2006, at 43.8 percent in 2007.

Health Insurance Based On Regions

At 11.4 percent each, the Northeast and the Midwest had lower uninsured rates in 2007 than the West (16.9 percent) and the South (18.4 percent). The rates declined from 2006 in every region except for the Midwest, where the change was not statistically significant.

Health Insurance Based On States

Rates for 2005-2007 using a three-year average show that Texas (24.4 percent) had the highest percentage of uninsured. No one state had the “lowest” uninsured rate. At 8.3 percent, Massachusetts and Hawaii had the lowest point estimates for uninsured rates, but they were not statistically different from Minnesota (8.5 percent), Wisconsin (8.8 percent) and Iowa (9.4 percent). In addition, Hawaii was not statistically different from Maine (9.5 percent).

Comparing a pair of two-year average uninsured rates (2004-2005 versus 2006-2007), five states and the District of Columbia saw a decline, while 10 states experienced an increase.

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