The number of Americans without health insurance rose to 46.3 million last year according to the US Census Bureau’s new report as people began losing jobs and coverage in the current recession. The poverty rate hit 13.2 percent, or 1 in 7 people… an 11-year high.
- The number of uninsured children declined from 8.1 million, or 11.0 percent, in 2007, to 7.3 million, or 9.9 percent, in 2008. Both the rate and number of uninsured children are the lowest since 1987, the first year that comparable health insurance data were collected.
- The number of uninsured among whites increased to 10.8 percent, or 21.3 million, up from 10.4 percent, or 20.5 million, in 2007. Blacks, meanwhile, were not statistically different from 2007, at 19.1 percent and 7.3 million. The uninsured rate for Asians in 2008 rose to 17.6 percent, up from 16.8 percent.
- The percentage of uninsured Hispanics decreased to 30.7 percent in 2008, from 32.1 percent in 2007. The number of uninsured Hispanics was not statistically different in 2008, at 14.6 million.
- Census data shows that employment-based health insurance declined from 177.4 million to 176.3 million, driving the overall decreases in insurance.