CDC: Almost 15 Percent of U.S. Population Without Health Insurance

In the U.S., 43.6 million people of all ages — almost 15 percent of the population — lacked health insurance in 2006, the CDC reported Monday.

That figure is not significantly different from the CDC's 2005 overall estimated percentage of people without health insurance. But the CDC notes a slight increase in the percentage of uninsured people of working age.

In 2006, the U.S. had 36.5 million people aged 18-64 with no health insurance. That's 19.8 percent of people in that age group, up from 18.9 percent in 2005.

Data came from interviews with people in nearly 100,000 homes nationwide. Uninsured people were those without private, government, or military health insurance at the time of the interview.

Health Insurance Statistics

Hispanics, young adults, and men were particularly likely to report no health insurance.

Among Hispanics, 32 percent lacked health insurance, compared with nearly 16 percent of African-Americans and about 10 percent of whites.

Young adults were more likely than older or younger people to be uninsured. Nearly 30 percent of people aged 18-24 had no health insurance.

In comparison, the uninsured included about 9 percent of children younger than 18, almost 27 percent of adults aged 25-35, more than 18 percent of those aged 35-44, and 13% of adults aged 45-64. Medicare coverage generally begins at age 65.

Among adults aged 18-44, men were more likely than women to report having no health insurance.

The report is posted on the CDC's web site.

This article was reviewed by Louise Chang, MD.

SOURCES: CDC: "Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Health Insurance Estimates Based on Data From the 2006 National Health Interview Study." News release, CDC.