Census Data Analysis
- Key Findings & Projections For 2009–2010 (With Charts And Graphs) From The Economic Policy Institute
- Census Analysis Resources From The Coalition On Human Needs
On September 10th, the Census Bureau reported that the number of Americans living in poverty increased by nearly 2.6 million to 13.2 percent in 2008.Continuing a long-term trend, the number of people without health insurance grew to 46.3 million, according to the Census data. From 2000 to 2008, the proportion without insurance rose from 13.7 to 15.4 percent. The numbers of uninsured working age adults (18-64 years old) increased from 19.6 percent to 20.3 percent between 2007 and 2008, an increase of more than 1.5 million people.
Bucking the trend, the total number of uninsured children dropped from 11 percent to 9.9 percent, because many children are eligible for public insurance programs such as SCHIP and Medicaid that are unavailable to most adults. “This data shows the enormous importance of public health insurance programs in filling the gaps as more people continue to lose private health insurance,” said Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs, adding that President Obama’s call to action on health care reform could not be timelier.
Last year’s 39.8 million poor people comprise the highest number of Americans living in poverty since 1960. As bad as that number is, Weinstein pointed out that the overall poverty rate is almost certainly worse today than it was in 2008 when the recession was first getting underway — the period reflected by the Census data. Unemployment averaged 5.8 percent last year compared with the August rate of 9.7 percent. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that assuming an average unemployment rate of 9.3 percent for 2009, poverty would increase to 14.7 percent. Higher unemployment will hit children disproportionately hard. Their poverty is expected to rise from 19 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year, which translates into one in four children living in poverty.