The share of the population without health insurance rose in 2002, the second consecutive annual increase. An estimated 15.2 percent of the population or 43.6 million people were without health insurance coverage during the entire year in 2002, up from 14.6 percent in 2001, an increase of 2.4 million people.
The number and percentage of people covered by employment-based health insurance dropped in 2002, from 62.6 percent to 61.3 percent, driving the overall decrease in health insurance coverage.
The number and percentage of people covered by government health insurance programs rose in 2002, from 25.3 percent to 25.7 percent, largely from an increase in the number and percentage of people covered by medicaid (from 11.2 percent to 11.6 percent).
The proportion of children who were uninsured did not change, remaining at 11.6 percent of all children, or 8.5 million, in 2002.
Although medicaid insured 14.0 million people in poverty, 10.5 million other people in poverty had no health insurance in 2002; the latter group represented 30.4 percent of the poverty population, unchanged from 2001.
Hispanics (67.6 percent) were less likely to be covered by health insurance than non-Hispanic Whites who reported a single race (89.3 percent), Blacks who reported a single race (79.8 percent), and Asians who reported a single race (81.6 percent).1
Among the entire population 18 to 64 years old, workers were more likely to have health insurance (82.0 percent) than nonworkers (74.3 percent). Among those in poverty, workers were less likely to be covered (52.6 percent) than nonworkers (61.9 percent).
Compared with 2001, the proportion who had employment-based policies in their own name decreased from 56.3 percent to 55.2 percent in 2002.
Young adults (18 to 24 years old) were less likely than other age groups to have health insurance coverage -- 70.4 percent in 2002, compared with 82.3 percent of those 25 to 64 and, reflecting widespread medicare coverage, 99.2 percent of those 65 and over.
Spells without health insurance, measured on a monthly basis, tend to be short in duration -- about three-quarters (74.7 percent) were over within one year.
1Because Hispanics may be of any race, data in this report for Hispanics overlap with data for racial groups. Among householders who reported a single race, Hispanic origin was reported by 11.4 percent of Whites; 3.5 percent of Blacks; 27.3 percent of American Indians or Alaska Natives; 1.4 percent of Asians; and 19.0 percent of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. Data users should exercise caution when interpreting aggregate results for these groups because they consist of many distinct subgroups that differ in socio-economic characteristics, culture, and recency of immigration. Data were first collected for Hispanics in 1972 and Asians and Pacific Islanders in 1987.