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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

Release Number CB15-158
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Statistics on More Than 40 Social, Economic and Housing Topics Provide Comprehensive Profile of Communities Nationwide

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SEPT. 17, 2015 — Between 2013 and 2014, the majority of metropolitan areas saw an increase in the percentage of people covered by health insurance, according to statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the nation’s most comprehensive information source on American households. The 2014 American Community Survey provides statistics on over 40 social, economic and housing topics for U.S. communities with populations of 65,000 or more.

Between 2013 and 2014, all 50 states and the District of Columbia saw an increase in the percentage of people covered by health insurance.

“American Community Survey statistics inform us of how communities evolve and change, allowing us to see the effects of everything from natural disasters to new laws and policies,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “Each new year of statistics provides fresh information for the public to use and compare with the year before, helping to tell America’s story and that of communities from Boston to Honolulu and everywhere in between.”

The percentage of people with private health insurance increased in 18 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas between 2013 and 2014. The Miami metro area, which had one of the lowest rates of private health insurance, had one of the largest percentage point increases from 50.5 percent in 2013 to 54.7 percent in 2014. On the other hand, the Boston metro area, which had one of the highest rates, saw a 1.1 percentage point decrease from 76.7 percent in 2013 to 75.6 percent.

Between 2013 and 2014, 22 of the 25 largest metro areas saw an increase in the percentage of people covered by public health insurance. The largest change was in the Portland, Ore., metro area with a 5.6 percentage point increase from 27.1 percent in 2013 to 32.7 percent in 2014.

Below are highlights of the local-level health insurance, income and poverty statistics that complement the national-level statistics released Wednesday from the Current Population Survey. For more information on the topics included in the American Community Survey, ranging from educational attainment to computer use to commuting, please visit census.gov.

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Health Insurance

  • The percentage of people with private health insurance coverage increased in 36 states. One state, Massachusetts, saw a decrease.
  • The percentage of people covered by public health insurance increased in 36 states. The remaining 14 states did not see a statistically significant increase or decrease.
  • Puerto Rico saw no statistically significant change in the percentage of people covered by health insurance between 2013 and 2014. However, the commonwealth did see a decrease in the percentage covered by private health insurance and an increase in the percentage covered by public health insurance.
  • The percentage of people covered by direct-purchase health insurance, a subtype of private coverage, increased in 21 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas. The Miami metro area had the largest increase, going from 11.5 percent in 2013 to 15.0 percent in 2014.
  • The percentage of people covered by employer-provided health insurance, a subtype of private coverage, increased in six and decreased in three of the 25 largest metro areas; the remaining areas saw no significant change.
  • The percentage of people covered by Medicare, a subtype of public coverage, increased in 21 of the 25 largest metro areas between 2013 and 2014. The number and percentage of people 65 and over increased in all 25 largest metro areas over this period.

The percentage of people covered by Medicaid, a subtype of public coverage, increased in 19 of the 25 largest metro areas. The Portland, Ore., metro area had the largest increase, going from 14.3 percent in 2013 to 19.8 percent in 2014.

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Income

  • For 2014, median household incomes were lower than the U.S. median ($53,657) in 28 states and higher in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa and Pennsylvania median household incomes did not have a statistically significant difference from the U.S. as a whole.
  • Maryland, at $73,971, had the nation’s highest median household income in 2014. New Jersey ($71,919), the District of Columbia ($71,648) and Alaska ($71,583) followed, however, these figures were not statistically different from one another. Mississippi had the lowest median household income at $39,680.

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Income Inequality

  • Seven states and the District of Columbia had Gini indexes higher than the U.S. index of 0.480. The Gini index is a standard economic measure of income inequality. A score of 0.0 is perfect equality in income distribution. A score of 1.0 indicates total inequality where one household has all of the income.
  • The highest Gini index was in the District of Columbia at 0.522.
  • Thirty-eight states had lower Gini indexes than the U.S. index of 0.480. Alaska’s 0.418 was among the lowest.
  • The Gini index of Idaho and Minnesota increased from 2013 to 2014. Six states decreased: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada. All other states saw no significant change.

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Poverty

  • Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia experienced no statistical change in either the number or the percentage of people in poverty between 2013 and 2014.
  • Twelve states — Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington — saw a decline in the percentage of people in poverty between 2013 and 2014.
  • One state — Alaska — saw an increase in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2013 and 2014. Alaska’s poverty rate increased 1.9 percentage points, from 9.3 percent in 2013 to 11.2 percent in 2014. Tennessee saw an increase in the number of people in poverty, but the change in the poverty rate was not statistically significant.
  • Mississippi (21.5 percent) and New Mexico (21.3 percent) had among the highest poverty rates in 2014. Between 2013 and 2014, New Mexico’s change in poverty rate was not statistically significant while Mississippi’s poverty rate declined 2.5 percentage points — that was among the largest percentage-point declines of any state. The poverty rates of Mississippi and New Mexico were not statistically different from each other.

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Also Released Today from the American Community Survey:

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Additional American Community Survey Results

The 2010-2014 American Community Survey five-year statistics, available for all geographic areas regardless of population size, down to the block group level, will be released on Dec. 10.

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About the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about all communities in the country. The American Community Survey gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, fire departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results. Visit the Stats in Action page to see some examples.

These statistics would not be possible without the participation of the randomly selected households throughout the country in the survey.

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Note: Statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. All comparisons made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the tables for specific margins of error. For more information, go to http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/code-lists.html.

Changes in survey design from year to year can affect results. See http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/news/data-releases/2014.html for more information on changes affecting the 2014 statistics. See http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/guidance/comparing-acs-data/2014.html for guidance on comparing 2014 American Community Survey statistics with previous years and the 2010 Census.

Contact


Public Information Office

301-763-3030

pio@census.gov

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