Uninsured Population Hits 46.3 Million in 2008

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 10, 2009

The number of people in the United States without health insurance rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008, which represents 15.4% of the overall population, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

The Census Bureau report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008, also notes that real median household income in the United States fell 3.6% between 2007 and 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303, breaking a string of three years of annual income increases and coincides with the recession that started in December 2007.

The nation's official poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2%, up from 12.5% in 2007. There were 39.8 million people in poverty in 2008, up from 37.3 million in 2007.

The uninsured rates for the native-born and foreign-born populations were statistically unchanged at 12.9% and 33.5%, respectively, in 2008. Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rates for both naturalized citizens (18%) and noncitizens (44.7%) were statistically unchanged.

The Northeast and the Midwest, each at 11.6% had lower uninsured rates in 2008 than the West (17.4%) and the South (18.2%), all of which were not statistically different from their respective 2007 rates. The uninsured rate for the West increased to 17.4% in 2008, up from 16.9% in 2007.

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