Uninsured Americans Total 9.4 Percent of the Population in 2009

The number of Americans with no health insurance climbed in 2009, along with a rising poverty rate.As Congress debated healthcare reform, the number of Americans who lack healthcare insurance climbed approximately 9.4 percent to 50.7 million people in 2009.  According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 16.7 percent of Americans have no healthcare insurance compared with 15.4 percent — or 46.3 million people — the previous year.

During the same time period, the poverty rate in the United States rose to 14.3 percent, the highest level since 1994. The 2008 rate was just 13.2 percent.  This means that 44 million Americans – one in seven people – are living in poverty, an increase of four million over the previous year.  Children were especially hard hit, with one in five under the age 18 living in poverty, according to the Census Bureau.

“This is the highest number of uninsured since 1987, the first year that comparable uninsured data was collected,” said David Johnson, chief of the Census Bureau’s Household Economic Statistics Division.  The report includes conclusions from the 2010 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Census Bureau statistics reveal that the number of Americans covered by private health insurance fell from 201 million to 194.5 million in 2009 compared with the previous year.  Employment-based health insurance fell from 176.3 million covered to 169.7 million.  Meanwhile, Americans with government health insurance rose to 93.2 million from 87.4 million.

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