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Component ID: #ti175566735

The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) provides the most timely and accurate national data on health insurance with income detail. Hence, it is the preferred source for national analysis. The ACS is preferred for subnational data on health insurance by detailed demographic characteristics, due to its large sample size. The Census Bureau recommends using the ACS for single-year estimates of health insurance at the state level. Users looking for consistent, state-level trends before 2008 should use the CPS ASEC.

In 2014, the Census Bureau implemented changes to the CPS ASEC, including a complete redesign of the health insurance questions. The new questions improve upon the previous questionnaire, which produced health insurance estimates that were not in line with those produced by other federal surveys or administrative records. The redesigned CPS ASEC is based on over a decade of research, including two national field tests as well as cognitive testing. The redesign constitutes a “break-in-series” to the historical health insurance estimates, so data users should exercise caution when comparing estimates from the redesigned CPS ASEC for data year 2013 or later to estimates from previous years.

In addition to the estimates from the CPS, the Census Bureau produces annual estimates of health insurance coverage from the American Community Survey (ACS). Though estimates of the uninsured population from these two surveys differ slightly, they rose and fell in parallel between 2009 and 2012. With the recent redesign of the CPS health insurance questions, the 2013 or later calendar year estimates from this survey are not directly comparable to 2012 and prior years. However, the health insurance questions in the ACS have remained unchanged since they were added to the survey in 2008.

Component ID: #ti524567422


  1. Includes Tricare, Veterans Administration, and military health care.

  2. White alone refers to people who reported White and did not report any other race category.  The use of this single-race population does not imply that it is the preferred method of presenting or analyzing data.  The Census Bureau uses a variety of approaches.  Information on people who reported more than one race, such as “White and American Indian and Alaska Native” or “Asian and Black or African American,” is available from Census 2000 through American FactFinder.  About 2.6 percent of people reported more than one race in 2000.

  3. Black alone refers to people who reported Black or African American and did not report any other race category.

  4. Asian alone refers to people who reported Asian and did not report any other race category.

  5. Because Hispanics may be of any race, data in this report for Hispanics overlap with data for racial groups. Being Hispanic was reported by 11.8 percent of White householders who reported only one race; 2.7 percent of Black householders who reported only one race; 26.5 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native householders who reported only one race; and 10.0 percent of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander householders who reported only one race.  Data users should exercise caution when interpreting aggregate results for the Hispanic population because this population consists of many distinct groups that differ in socio-economic characteristics, culture, and recency of immigration.  Data were first collected for Hispanics in 1972.

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