Census Shows Big Drop In Uninsured Americans And Texans; Lone Star State Still Ranks Last | KERA News

Census Shows Big Drop In Uninsured Americans And Texans; Lone Star State Still Ranks Last

Sep 16, 2015

New numbers came out Wednesday from the U.S. Census Bureau on income, poverty and health care. There’s been a big drop in the number of uninsured Americans since the Affordable Care Act passed.

And while the number of uninsured Texans dropped by 700,000, the Lone Star State still has a long way to go.

More Insured Americans And Texans, State Still Ranks Low

Texas ranks dead last, both in its number and percentage of uninsured citizens. The state’s uninsured rate went from 22 percent in 2013 to 19 percent last year, that’s the biggest reduction Texas has seen this century.

According to the Center for Public Priorities, an advocacy group based in Austin, other states that expanded Medicaid coverage like Arkansas and New Mexico saw even bigger drops. Four percentage points-plus in each state.

A Look At Poverty, And Demographics

Nationwide, the poverty rate from 2013 to 2014 was flat. It stands at 14.8 percent.

However, the overall family poverty rate was about 11 and a half percent. Married couples with kids only live in poverty 6 percent of the time. But families run by a single dad have a poverty rate of 15 percent and almost a third of those headed by single moms live in poverty.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure

The official poverty rate only takes pre-tax income into account, but the Supplemental Poverty Measure includes benefits like tax credits, food stamps and housing assistance.

Including tax credits and benefits results in lower poverty rates for some groups. For instance, the supplemental poverty rate was lower for children than the official rate: 16.7 percent compared with 21 and a half percent.

Shared Households In 2014 Versus 2007

A shared household has an extra adult living there, not a spouse or student enrolled in school.

In 2007, before the recession, there were 19.7 million shared households. By 2014, the number jumped to almost 24 million. That could imply that more adult children are moving in with their parents or more adults are getting roommates to save some money.