The Census Bureau updates its estimate of the number of Americans people in the United States* who lack health insurance. As of the end of 2008:
* The number of people with health insurance increased from 253.4 million in 2007 to 255.1 million in 2008.
* The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008.
* Between 2007 and 2008, the number of people covered by private health insurance decreased from 202.0 million to 201.0 million, while the number covered by government health insurance climbed from 83.0 million to 87.4 million. The number covered by employment-based health insurance declined from 177.4 million to 176.3 million.
* The number of uninsured children declined from 8.1 million (11.0 percent) in 2007 to 7.3 million (9.9 percent) in 2008. Both the uninsured rate and number of uninsured children are the lowest since 1987, the first year that comparable health insurance data were collected.
* Although the uninsured rate for children in poverty declined from 17.6 percent in 2007 to 15.7 percent in 2008, children in poverty were more likely to be uninsured than all children.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
* The uninsured rate and number of uninsured for non-Hispanic whites increased in 2008 to 10.8 percent and 21.3 million, from 10.4 percent and 20.5 million in 2007. The uninsured rate and number of uninsured for blacks in 2008, 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.
* Based on a three-year average (2006-2008), 31.7 percent of people who reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage. The three-year average uninsured rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders was 18.5 percent.
* The uninsured rates for the native-born and foreign-born populations were statistically unchanged at 12.9 percent and 33.5 percent, respectively, in 2008. Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rates for both naturalized citizens (18.0 percent) and noncitizens (44.7 percent) were statistically unchanged.
* At 11.6 percent, the Northeast and the Midwest had lower uninsured rates in 2008 than the West (17.4 percent) and the South (18.2 percent). The 2008 rates for the Northeast, Midwest and South were not statistically different from their respective 2007 rates. The uninsured rate for the West increased to 17.4 percent in 2008, up from 16.9 percent in 2007.
*Includes citizens and non-citizens. Thank you, commenter spob, for pointing out that I needed to be more precise in my description.
UPDATE: Commenter ymmartin calls our attention to Justin’s great post on the other side of the that report, including what he notes is a “lost decade” for median household income.