Percentage of U.S. Americans without health insurance 1997-2018

In 2018, 9.4 percent of all people in the United States didn't have health insurance. This number began to fall after the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known colloquially as Obamacare) was signed into law in 2010, but has begun to creep up since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 came into force and repealed the individual mandate, which punished individuals for failing to maintain health insurance coverage.

More coverage after Obamacare

The groups who saw the biggest improvement in health insurance coverage after the ACA was enacted were Hispanic and Black Americans. Meanwhile, the share of White Americans without health insurance also fell due to Obamacare, but the drop in that group wasn’t as dramatic as in other ethnic groups. This is primarily due to the fact that the uninsured rate among White Americans was much lower pre-ACA than among any other group, so there was less room for improvement.

ACA was especially significant for young Americans

Although the ACA was signed into law in 2010, many of its major provisions didn’t come into force until 2014, which accounts for the sharp drop in Americans without health insurance after 2014. Young people were especially impacted by the law, as the share of 19- to 25-year old Americans without coverage dropped five percent between 2014 and 2015.

Percentage of people without health insurance in the United States from 1997 to 2018

Percentage of population
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Release date

May 2019


United States

Survey time period

1997 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The source adds the following information: "data are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population."

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Statistics on "Health insurance in the United States"

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