Selected SLC Research


Policy Analysis | March 1, 2010

What percentage of residents in the SLC states lack health insurance?

Background:

While the South generally is considered to be the unhealthiest region of the country,putting up the highest obesity rates, percentage of people who smoke, and children who do not receive recommended vaccinations, among other health difficulties, [i] it also is oneof the least insured regions of the country.  Althoughmost SLC states saw an increase of insured persons from 2007-2008, the percentage of people lacking health insurance currently living in Southern states(18.3%) still far exceeds the national average (15.4%), as well as averages in other regions of the country.  The South also contains three of the top fivestates for percentage ofresidents without health insurance.  With a healthcare reform debate raging in Congress, SLC states are watching closely to see what measures will be necessary to ensure more of their citizens have insurance and,correspondingly, access to adequate healthcare services

Health Insurance Coverage by State: 2007-2008

(population in thousands)

  Total Population Population with Health Insurance Coverage Population without Health Insurance Coverage
State 2007 2008 Percent Change: 2007-
2008
2007 2008 Percent Change: 2007-
2008
2007 2008 Percent of 2008 Total Population Percent Change: 2007-
2008
Alabama 4,570 4,720 3.3 4,021 4,159 3.4 549 561 11.9 2.2
Arkansas 2,805 2,827 0.8 2,354 2,322 -1.4 451 505 17.8 12.0
Florida 18,074 18,049 -0.1 14,426 14,430 0.0 3,648 3,619 20.0 -0.8
Georgia 9,493 9,553 0.6 7,831 7,850 0.2 1,662 1,703 17.8 2.5
Kentucky 4,207 4,256 1.2 3,637 3,574 -1.7 570 682 16.0 19.6
Louisiana 4,197 4,335 3.3 3,421 3,465 1.3 776 869 20.1 12.0
Mississippi 2,903 2,907 0.1 2,358 2,388 1.3 545 519 17.9 -4.8
Missouri 5,791 5,871 1.4 5,062 5,132 1.4 729 739 12.6 1.4
North Carolina 9,183 9,253 0.8 7,673 7,832 2.1 1,510 1,421 15.4 -5.9
Oklahoma 3,551 3,558 0.2 2,920 3,060 4.8 631 498 14.0 -21.1
South Carolina 4,384 4,470 2.0 3,664 3,762 2.7 721 707 15.8 -1.9
Tennessee 6,150 6,183 0.5 5,268 5,252 -0.3 883 931 15.1 5.4
Texas 23,704 24,194 2.1 17,742 18,110 2.1 5,962 6,084 25.1 2.0
Virginia 7,684 7,748 0.8 6,548 6,786 3.6 1,135 962 12.4 -15.2
West Virginia 1,795 1,799 0.2 1,541 1,528 -0.8 254 271 15.0 6.7
SLC States 108,491 109,723 1.1 88,466 89,650 1.3 20,026 20,071 18.3 0.2
United States 299,106 301,483 0.8 253,449 255,143 0.7 45,657 46,340 15.4 1.5

Sources:
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2009 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

[i] United Health Foundation, "America's Health Rankings," available at: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/. SLC states make up 14 of the 15 unhealthiest states, according to thereport.