For Kids' Sake: State-Level Trends in Children's Health Insurance

Two young children putting on or taking off their shoes.

About 1 in Every 13 Kids in the U.S. Remains Uninsured

This 50-state analysis shows that the U.S. has made significant progress toward ensuring all kids have health insurance. The report finds that the percentage of children without insurance fell from 9.7 percent in 2008 to 7.5 percent in 2012.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center attribute the increase to more kids being covered through public programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The report shows that minority children and those from low-income families, historically the most likely to be uninsured, are making the largest gains.

Key Findings

  • Differences in children’s insurance status by household income were reduced.

    Children in households with family incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line were most likely to be uninsured, but also experienced the greatest gains in coverage.

  • Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance status among children were reduced.

    While the percentage of children with insurance coverage rose across the board, Hispanic and non-white children experienced the greatest gains.

  • The increase in kids having insurance coverage was widespread across the nation.

    No state showed an increase in its percentage of uninsured kids between 2008 and 2012. The percentages of uninsured children varied considerably, however, by state.