Blog & News
2015 ACS: Widespread State-level Declines in Uninsurance, with Inter-State Variation Persisting (Infographic)September 11, 2017:
The U.S. Census Bureau released new health insurance coverage estimates today from the American Community Survey (ACS). The new estimates show a nationwide drop in uninsurance from 11.7% in 2014 to 9.4% in 2015 (down 2.3 percentage points), translating to almost 7 million fewer uninsured Americans in 2015. This decline is consistent with the historic decrease seen between 2013 and 2014.
|Most States Saw Uninsurance Declines in 2015, As in 2014|
|•||The percentage of the population who were uninsured when they responded to the ACS fell in 47 states and the District of Columbia from 2014 to 2015.|
|•||Uninsurance was stable in three states during this time: North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.|
|Variation in Uninsurance between States Continues|
|•||Texas had the highest uninsured rate in 2015, at 17.1%.|
|•||The lowest 2015 uninsured rate was 2.8% in Massachusetts.|
|•||California saw the largest decline in uninsurance from 2014 to 2015, with a 3.9 percentage-point drop, from 12.4% to 8.6%.|
|•||No state saw a statistically significant increase in uninsurance in 2015. (As indicated above, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming each saw no significant change in uninsurance from 2014 to 2015.)|
|•||The uninsurance rate for expansion states (i.e., states that expanded Medicaid as of January 1, 2015) fell from 9.6% in 2014 to 7.2 % in 2015 (a 2.4 percentage-point decline).|
|•||The uninsurance rate for non-expansion states fell from 14.4% in 2014 to 12.3% in 2015 (a 2.1 percentage-point drop) .|
|•||Among expansion states, 2015 uninsurance rates ranged from a low of 2.8% in Massachusetts to a high of 12.3% in Nevada.|
|•||Among non-expansion states, 2015 uninsurance rates ranged from a low of 5.7% in Wisconsin to a high of 17.1% in Texas.|
The ACS Estimates in Context
The findings from the 2015 ACS are consistent with findings from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which were also released today. The CPS, which is the official source for information on poverty, found that the percentage of all people who were uninsured for the entire calendar year fell 1.3 percentage points nationwide, from 10.4% in 2014 to 9.1% in 2015. An early release of 2016 findings from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed stable uninsurance rates between the first quarter of 2015 and the same period in 2016.
Census Bureau Experts Will Share Insights during September 21st SHADAC Webinar
On Wednesday, September 21st, SHADAC will host a webinar to examine the new 2015 ACS and CPS estimates, with technical insight provided by researchers from SHADAC and the U.S. Census Bureau. Speakers will discuss the new national and state estimates, and attendees will learn when to use which estimates from which survey, how to access the estimates via Census reports and American FactFinder, and how to access state-level estimates from the ACS using SHADAC tables. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear more about CPS employer offer and take-up estimates, for which three full years of data will be available. Speakers will answer questions from attendees after the presentations. Register for the webinar.