WASHINGTON - The Census Bureau has reported that the number of Americans without health insurance declined last year to 42.6 million, a reduction of 1.7 million from 1998. This also marks the first time since 1987 that there has been a decline the proportion of people without insurance, dropping to 15.5% in 1999, from 16.3% in 1998. Coverage increased for children as well. The number of uninsured children declined to 10 million last year, from 11.1 million in 1998.
In its report, the Census Bureau made the following points: more than one-fifth of all poor children, and nearly one-third of all poor people, are still uninsured; households making less than $50,000 accounted for almost all of the increase in insurance coverage; and Hispanics were more likely to be uninsured than any other major racial or ethnic group. For more information visit www.census.gov.