The US has the world’s largest economy, but it still has no universal health insurance coverage, and a part of the population remains uninsured. The number of uninsured people has declined in recent years, but it’s still substantial.
The very high cost of healthcare makes it almost impossible for uninsured people to get care, which is a serious problem.
We’ve collected the latest statistics on the uninsured population in the US from multiple sources. Let’s dive right in
- 27.2 million Americans have no health insurance
- Younger adults are at much greater risk of being uninsured than the elderly population.
- The uninsured rate varies by region in the US, from 2.5% in Massachusetts to 18.0% in Texas.
- The rate of uninsured people is highest among Hispanic Americans.
- Most households without health insurance make under $25,000 per year.
- Affordability is cited as the most common reason (69.6%) for being uninsured in the US.
How Many Americans Don’t Have Health Insurance?
27.2 million Americans had no health insurance in 2021, representing 8.3% of the US population, an all-time low since 2008.
8.6% of Americans (28.1 million) of all ages reported themselves to be uninsured in 2021. The vast majority (66.5%. 18.7 million) of uninsured Americans said they have had no health insurance coverage for a year or more.
Share of Uninsured Population (All Ages)
The number of uninsured Americans and the percentage share of the uninsured population since 2008:
|Year||Uninsured Population (All Ages, in Thousands)||Share of Uninsured Population (All Ages)|
Who Goes Without Health Insurance?
Take a look at what socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic characteristics describe the uninsured population in the US.
Uninsured Population by State
According to Kaiser Foundation Family estimates, uninsured share by state ranges from as low as 2.5% in Massachusetts to as high as 18.0% in Texas.
Among 50 states in the US, 14 have an uninsured population of 10.0% or more of the total (above the US average of 8.3-8.6%). Only 8 states report that 5.0% or less of the population has no health insurance.
Uninsured population (incl. share of the total population) by state in the US:
|State||Uninsured Population||Uninsured Percentage|
|District of Columbia||23,300||3.70%|
Uninsured Population by Age
Based on ACS data, younger adults (26-34 years old) in the US tend to be more uninsured than any other age group, with a share of 15.1% without any coverage, while for the elderly population (75 years and older) that’s low as 0.5%.
Uninsured population by age group (share of total):
|Age group||Uninsured Population||Share of Uninsured Population|
|Under 6 years||1,013,971||4.5%|
|6 to 18 years||3,150,717||5.7%|
|19 to 25 years||4,135,054||14.2%|
|26 to 34 years||6,011,961||15.1%|
|35 to 44 years||5,564,469||13.0%|
|45 to 54 years||4,398,639||10.9%|
|55 to 64 years||3,507,090||8.3%|
|65 to 74 years||335,482||1.0%|
|75 years and older||109,499||0.5%|
NCHS data suggest that 4.1% of children (ages between 0 and 17 years old) are uninsured, while for adults (18-64 years), that’s 12.6% and only 0.5% among those 65 years old and above.
Uninsured Population by Household Income
Most households without health insurance make under $25,000 per year with a 13% share. That share drops with each higher income tier, reaching 4.8% among households with an income of $100,000 or more.
Uninsured population by household income (share of total):
|Household Income||Uninsured Population||Share of Uninsured Population|
|$25,000 to $49,999||6,813,952||12.9%|
|$50,000 to $74,999||5,750,753||11.0%|
|$75,000 to $99,999||3,760,818||8.5%|
|$100,000 and over||6,505,516||4.8%|
Uninsured Adult Population by Level of Education
Among adults 26 years and over, the ACS report finds that the nation’s uninsured rate highly varies depending on the level of education, from 3.7% among the population who had higher education (Bachelor’s degree or higher) to 22.2% among those who did not graduate high school.
Uninsured population among adults 26 years and over by the level of education (share of total):
|Education||Uninsured Population||Share of Uninsured Population|
|No high school diploma||5,131,058||22.2%|
|High school graduate||6,898,609||12.1%|
|Some college or associate’s degree||4,990,757||8.1%|
|Bachelor’s degree or higher||2,906,716||3.7%|
Uninsured Nonelderly Population by Race
A Kaiser Family Foundation report noted that people of color are more likely to be uninsured than White people in the US.
Uninsured nonelderly population and rate by race/ethnicity (share of total)
|Race/ethnicity||Uninsured Population||Percentage of Uninsured Population||Percentage of Overall Population|
|Asian/Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander||1,063,800||6.5%||0.3%|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||311,800||21.2%||1.3%|
Uninsured Population by Disability Status
The American Community Survey finds nation’s uninsured rate is higher among people with no disability (9.1%) than among those with a disability (5.6%).
Uninsured population and rates in the US grouped by disability status (share of total):
|Disability Status||Uninsured Population||Share of Uninsured Population|
|With a disability||2,392,929||5.6%|
Why Do Americans Lack Health Insurance?
Among uninsured adults aged 18-64 in the US, the affordability barrier was the most commonly reported reason for being uninsured (69.6% of respondents cited that reason). Other common reasons included not being eligible for coverage (26.2%) and having a personal preference not to have health insurance (23.5%).