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Press Release Date: August 3, 2001
In early 2000, 16.1 percent of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population (44 million people) had no health insurance coverage, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which collected nationally representative data from a sample of 25,000 civilian non-institutionalized people on their health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage.
This is not significantly different statistically from the estimated 15.8 percent of the population (42.8 million people) who lacked health insurance in early 1999.
The MEPS survey is one of several that includes estimates of the uninsured population in addition to the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau (Current Population Survey).
Other statistics from the 2000 MEPS uninsured data include:
- Young adults, ages 19-24, were at the greatest risk of being uninsured, with one-third (33.1 percent) of this group lacking health insurance. This group was overrepresented among the uninsured, comprising just 9.5 percent of the total non-elderly population but 17.2 percent of the uninsured population.
- Hispanics accounted for one-fourth (24.9 percent) of the uninsured non-elderly population, even though they represented only 12.9 percent of the entire population under 65.
- People who never married accounted for nearly a quarter (23.7 percent) of the non-elderly population but over a third (36.5 percent) of the uninsured population.
- About a third (32.1 percent) of all people under 65 who were separated were uninsured.
The complete data file is available from the MEPS Web site, http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/download_data_files.jsp, which also includes graphics representing some of these statistics. A Statistical Brief of these statistics will be available later this summer through the MEPS Web site only.
For more information, please contact Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (KMigdail@ahrq.gov) or Karen Carp, (301) 427-1858 (KCarp@ahrq.gov).