Today the Census Bureau publicly released its annual Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010 report. This report reveals what many people already know about the year 2010. First, median household income in the United States declined approximately 2.3 percent from 2009. Second, the poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent; the highest it has been since 1993. However, it is not surprising that a severe recession would increase overall US poverty.
Nor is it unexpected that an increase in poverty would lead to a decrease in the number of individuals with health insurance. The 2010 data indicate that the overall percentage of Americans without health insurance coverage did not change significantly from 2009, but the number of uninsured individuals did increase by about 919,000 (based on the new Census Bureau methodology). This 0.2 percentage point increase brings the uninsured US total to 16.3 percent. This figure is currently accompanied by an estimated average unemployment of 9.6 million.
A few specific and interesting findings:
Almost one-fifth of the uninsured are non-citizens, bringing the non-citizen uninsured total to 9.7 million for 2010.
The number of children enrolled in Medicaid (CHIP Programs) has risen to 3.5 million, an increase of more than 15 percent since 2008. Although, some of this is due to an expansion of the CHIP program.
The northeast was the only region in the US not to see a decline in real median incomes between 2009 and 2010.
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