Counting the Uninsured

Back • Publication Date: March 8th, 2011

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

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Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases its latest estimate of the number of Americans without health insurance based on data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and, more recently, the American Community Survey (ACS).

This background brief reviews the types of data on the uninsured that are available from these surveys, the differences between the surveys, how estimates are reported, and the importance of assessing whether changes in the uninsured estimates over time are statistically significant.