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Uninsured Rate

Variable Definitions:
Uninsured Rate: The percentage of individuals who are not covered under health insurance or a health coverage plan

American Community Survey, 5 Year Estimates, Table B27001

Years Available:

 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).

Why are these variables important to measure?

Uninsured Rate

A person is considered to be insured when he or she is covered under any public or private health insurance or health coverage plan. The plan must provide “comprehensive health coverage,” meaning that it includes the ten essential health benefits covered by the Affordable Care Act, including prescription drugs, emergency services, and mental health services. Dental, vision, life and disability insurance are not considered a part of comprehensive health coverage. 

Although the number of people without health insurance has been steadily decreasing since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, over 20 million people in the United States are still without health insurance. Individuals without health insurance are less likely to receive preventative health care, potentially leading to more serious health consequences in the future. In addition, lack of health insurance has financial consequences, with unpaid medical bills often leading to medical debt.


“American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey 2017 Subject Definitions.” United States Census Bureau: American Community Survey, 2017. Link

“Key Facts about the Uninsured Population.” Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 29 November 2017. Link

“What Marketplace health insurance plans cover.” U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, 2018. Link

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