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eriu: Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured Initiating and disemminating research to spark new policy discussion on health coverage issues.
2001 All Year Data 2001 Point in Time Data 2001 Ever During Year Data 2000 All Year Data 2000 Point in Time Data 2000 Ever During Year Data Later Years  
Fast Facts
Facts to Consider
Counting the Uninsured by Reference Period
All Year
Ever in Year
Point in Time
By Data Source
By Population
Total Non-Elderly
By Additional Characteristics

Education Level
Family Composition

Comparison Tables
Medical Utilization and
Expenditures Tables
Notes on Data Sources
and Variables
Data Dictionary
The Uninsured: Race/Ethnicity and Education Level
Adult Population (Age 22 - 64) : Ever Uninsured, 2001
White Non Hispanic
Black Non Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native
All Races
  Number (Millions) Percent Number (Millions) Percent Number (Millions) Percent Number (Millions) Percent Number (Millions) Percent Number (Millions) Percent
Less than HS 3.5 15.1% 1.1 20.9% 0.2 12.9% 0.1 15.3% 5.1 53.0% 10.1 24.8%
HS only 9.9 42.1% 2.5 45.0% 0.5 31.2% 0.2 53.9% 2.6 26.9% 15.7 38.6%
Some post-HS 3.8 16.3% 1.0 18.1% 0.4 21.2% 0.1 17.9% 0.9 8.8% 6.1 15.0%
4-year college
degree or more
6.2 26.4% 0.8 15.3% 0.5 32.2% 0.1 12.9% 1.0 10.5% 8.6 21.2%
Unknown 0.0 0.1% 0.0 0.6% 0.0 2.4% 0.0 0% 0.1 0.8% 0.2 0.4%
TOTAL 23.5 100% 5.5 100% 1.7 100% 0.4 100% 9.7 100% 40.7 100%

These estimates are based on ERIU tabulations of 2001 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The MEPS employs an overlapping panel design and collects data on two calendar years for each respondent. The tabulations reported here are based on responses to interview Rounds 3, 4, and 5 of Panel 5 and Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of Panel 6, which cover calendar year 2001 for both panels. Coverage status is obtained at the initial interview. At each subsequent interview, respondents are asked about whether their coverage has changed since the last interview and, if so, how and when. Respondents report whether they were covered by any public or private source of health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, TRICARE/CHAMPUS, other public coverage, employment-based private, other private health insurance). Respondents are considered uninsured if they respond “no” to all of the coverage options; they are not asked directly if they are uninsured. A person may gain or lose coverage during a year and these data permit estimates of the number lacking coverage at a particular point in time, at some time during the year, and throughout the entire year. We label those who are without health insurance for the entire year as “all-year uninsured,” and those without health insurance for at least one month and up to twelve months as “ever uninsured.” The “point-in-time uninsured” estimates include those without coverage in the first round of the calendar year (Round 3 for those who entered the survey in 2000, and Round 1 for those who entered the survey in 2001).

For further discussion of issues related to counting the uninsured see "Counting and Characterizing the Uninsured," (Adobe PDF) by Pamela Farley Short, and ERIU Research Highlight 1: A Revolving Door: How Individuals Move In and Out of Health Insurance Coverage (Adobe PDF)

Notes on MEPS Data Source and Variables (PDF)