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Key Facts on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity

Section 1: Demographics

As of 2014, more than four in ten (41%) nonelderly individuals living in the United States were people of color (Exhibit 1.1).

Exhibit 1.1 - Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Exhibit 1.1: Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Some areas of the country, particularly the South, are more diverse than others (Exhibit 1.2).

Exhibit 1.2 - Share of Nonelderly Population that is a Person of Color by State, 2014

Exhibit 1.2: Share of Nonelderly Population that is a Person of Color by State, 2014

Given this significant diversity, it is important to understand differences in characteristics of the population by race and ethnicity that may impact health as well as access to health care and health coverage.

Age. Overall, people of color generally are younger compared to Whites, although age distribution varies across groups (Exhibit 1.3).

Exhibit 1.3 - Age of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Exhibit 1.3: Age of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Citizenship status. Nonelderly people of color also include larger shares of immigrants compared to nonelderly Whites, particularly among Asians, Hispanics, and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (Exhibit 1.4).

Exhibit 1.4 - Citizenship Status of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Exhibit 1.4: Citizenship Status of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Work status and income. Across all racial and ethnic groups, the majority of nonelderly individuals live in a family with at least one full-time worker (Exhibit 1.5). However, nonelderly Hispanics, Blacks, and American Indians and Alaska Natives are less likely than Whites to have a full-time worker in the family and are more likely to have income below poverty. Nonelderly Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders also are more likely to have income below poverty compared to nonelderly Whites.

Exhibit 1.5 - Family Work Status and Income of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Exhibit 1.5: Family Work Status and Income of Nonelderly Population by Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Methods Section 2: Health Access and Utilization

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.