1997 Chartbook on Childrens' Insurance Status . Uninsured Children by Income Class


The following charts examine the relationship between children's insurance status and family income in the previous year. Family income is shown as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL). For example, "<100%" means less than 100% of the FPL, while "500%+" means five or more times the FPL. For a family of four in 1996, 100% of FPL is approximately $16,000. The first chart compares the distribution of uninsured children to that of insured children in terms of family income status. The second chart shows the percentage of children in each income group who are uninsured.

  • 34% of uninsured children below age 18 are in families with income below the federal poverty level, compared to 19% of insured children.
  • Similarly, 36% of uninsured children below age 18 are in families with income between 100 and 199% of poverty, compared to 20% of insured children.
  • Above 199% of poverty, the distributions switch: uninsured children are under-represented in the higher incomes. For example, 16% of insured children live in families with income over 500% of poverty, but only 4% of uninsured children come from families with income above 500% of poverty.
  • Lower income children are considerably more likely to be uninsured than those from higher-income families: 24% of children from families with incomes less than 100% of poverty are uninsured, while only 4% of children with family incomes greater than 500% of poverty are uninsured.
  • However, uninsurance is not just a problem among poor children: more than one-fourth of uninsured children (30%) live in families with incomes at or above 200% of poverty (about $32,000 for a family of four).