The poverty rate spiked to almost one in six Americans, the highest in two decades, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released this week. Household income declined. The report released Tuesday compared 2009 to 2010.
Despite the continuing economic headwinds, the number of Americans without health insurance remained basically flat, edging up from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. Due to population increases, that’s about 16.3% of the public.
Details were released in the report: Income, Poverty, and health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.
There was a drop in the number of people covered by private plans and a small increase in the number covered by Medicaid and other government plans. The percentage of American workers who get their health insurance from their employers dropped from 56.1% to 55.3% from 2009-2010.
Those covered under government plans increased from 30.6% to 31%. About 15.4% of that is Medicaid coverage.
There were 7.3 million children under age 18 without insurance in 2010, about the same as the year before. But the uninsured rate for children in poverty was 15.4%, greater than the 9.8% rate for all children.
Among regions, the South had the highest percentage of people without health insurance, 19.2%. Next came the West at 17.7% followed by the Midwest with 12.7% and the Northeast at 11.8%. These percentages were mostly unchanged, or had changed only slightly, since 2009.
Rates among ethnic groups: White: 15.3%; White, not Hispanic: 11.5%; Black, 20.3%; Asian, 16.5%; and Hispanic origin, 31.6%. Rates dropped among Black, Asian and White, not Hispanic and White groups. They edged up among Hispanics.
Foreign-born non-citizens had an uninsured rate of 45.1% in 2010, about the same as the year before.
- John Nelander, Contributing Editor