NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Number of Uninsured Declined Last Year

September 28, 2001

For the second year in a row, the number of Americans without health insurance dropped last year -- after rising steadily for more than a decade.

The Census Bureau reports that:

  • The number of uninsured declined in 2000 by 551,000 to 38.7 million from 39.3 million in 1999.
  • The proportion of people without coverage declined from 14.e percent to 14 percent.
  • The number of uninsured children dropped by 693,000 to 8.5 million.
  • The number of people with employer-sponsored coverage rose by more than 3 million last year to 177 million, as employers competed for workers in a tight labor market.

Experts aren't looking for the declines to continue this year. That's because tens of thousands of people have been laid off in 2001, the economy has weakened and the cost of health care and health insurance have escalated.

The proportion of Hispanic people without insurance, 32 percent, remains higher than that of other groups. About 18.5 percent of blacks and 9.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured last year.

Residents of New Mexico tend to have the lowest rates of coverage, while only 6.9 percent of Rhode Islanders go without insurance.

Source: Robert Pear, "Number of Uninsured Drops for Second Year," New York Times, September 28, 2001.


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