The number of Americans without health insurance declined in 2011, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, 48.8 million Americans, or 15.7 percent of the total population, were uninsured in 2011, down from 50 million, or 16.3 percent, in 2010. In addition, 7 million children, or 9.4 percent, were uninsured in 2011, remaining roughly the same from 2010.
Last year also marked the first time in a decade that the percentage of privately insured Americans did not decrease, staying at roughly 197.3 million people, or 63 percent of the total population. Household income was a key predictor of insurance coverage; slightly more than 25 percent of Americans in households with annual income less than $25,000 were uninsured, compared with 7.8 percent of Americans in households with income of $75,000 or more.
Among the other key findings:
- The proportion of people younger than 65 who were uninsured in 2011 fell to 17.9 percent, from 18.4 percent in 2010.
- The number of Americans with government-provided health insurance rose to 32.2 percent of the total population.
- Roughly 4.9 percent of Americans were covered only by Medicare, while 11.5 percent of Americans were covered only by Medicaid.
- Roughly 11.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured in 2011, compared with 19.5 percent of African-American and 30.1 percent of Hispanics.
- The Northeast had the lowest uninsured rate of any region, at 11 percent, followed by the Midwest at 12.7 percent, the West at 18 percent and the South at 18.3 percent.
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