New Census Health Insurance Data Likely to Show Declines in Health Coverage throughout Washington State
Tomorrow, the U.S. Census Bureau will release national and state health insurance data for 2007-2008. The data will provide a preliminary glimpse of the impact that the current recession has had on families in Washington and throughout the nation. The data will not however, capture the full impact of the current economic crisis which deepened dramatically in 2009.
The new Census data is expected to show significant increases in the share of the population that is uninsured since the early 2000’s to 2007-2008. The loss of employer-sponsored health insurance is likely to be the dominant driver behind this trend. During the current recession, the economy sunk rapidly in 2009 and many more people lost their jobs and their health insurance. So while tomorrow’s release will signal trouble, next year’s 2008-2009 health coverage data will undoubtedly be far worse.
For example, as the graph below shows here in Washington the unemployment rate jumped from an average of 5.3 percent in 2008 to 9.1 percent by July 2009. Since the start of 2009, over 64,000 jobs have been lost in the state. As a result, next year’s 2008-2009 data will show a large drop in the number of Washingtonians enrolled in employer-sponsored health coverage.
Stay tuned to schmudget tomorrow when the Budget & Policy Center in conjunction with Washington Kids Count will post an analysis of health coverage trends in Washington using the new Census data. Our analysis will highlight changes in the share of the population without health insurance over time and will detail changes in employer-sponsored coverage and public coverage in Washington State.
Editor’s note: Tomorrow’s release will also include updated data on poverty and median income. To obtain state-level estimates of these measures, however, the Census Bureau recommends using data from a different survey, the American Community Survey (ACS). The latest ACS data for 2008 will be released on September 22, 2009. That morning, the Budget & Policy Center and Washington Kids Count will post analysis of the ACS data on poverty, median income, and health coverage in Washington State.
Editor’s Note: This post is the final in a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Center in Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of KIDS COUNT intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
Higher education reaps numerous benefits for individuals and society including higher lifetime earnings, better health, and more civic participation. In Washington, less than 30 percent of adults over 25 have obtained a post-secondary degree.
Within the state, there are regional disparities in educational attainment. As the map below shows, in some urban counties like King and Whitman, close to half of adults (44 and 48 percent, respectively) have earned a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, in 13 of the state’s rural counties, less than one in five adults have completed a BA.
Find hundreds of indicators of child and family well-being for your county at the new KIDS COUNT Data Center.
Editor’s Note: This post is Part Four of a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Center in Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of KIDS COUNT intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
Post-secondary education and training are the primary pathways by which young adults gain the knowledge and skills to be successful in the labor force and achieve economic security. Earning a high school diploma is critical to embark on these pathways, yet a sizable proportion of youth in Washington are at risk of not graduating.
Overall, 28 percent of Washington’s ninth graders in 2007 did not graduate within four years. On-time graduation rates among students of color are particularly alarming. As the graph below indicates, 50 percent of American Indian students and 40 percent of Hispanic and Black students did not graduate on-time in 2007. Not graduating on-time puts students at risk for not graduating at all – the extended graduation rate for ninth graders in 2007 was just 78 percent, only slightly higher than the on-time graduate rate (72 percent).
Students who do not receive post-secondary education or training are more likely to have lower incomes or become unemployed as adults. In Washington, 89 percent of children with parents who did not graduate from high school live in lower income households.
Find graduation data and other indicators of child and family well-being for your county at the new KIDS COUNT Data Center.
Editor’s Note: This post is Part Three of a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Center in Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of KIDS COUNT intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
In yesterday’s post, we presented regional data on children living in poverty in Washington State. However, this data does not include the impact of the current economic recession. Typically, unemployment rises when the economy shrinks. Previous economic downturns show that poverty closely tracks unemployment. By analyzing the relationship between unemployment and poverty in the past three recessions, we can estimate where child poverty is headed in Washington State.
The line graph below shows the relationship between unemployment, poverty for all ages, and child poverty over time. Data for total poverty and child poverty are only available for the years shown and the shaded areas indicate periods of recession. During each recession as unemployment has gone up, child poverty has also increased. For example, in the recession starting in 2001 when unemployment surpassed seven percent, child poverty jumped from 11 to 13 percent and an additional 33,000 children entered poverty by 2003.
In our recent State of Washington’s Children report, Poverty and the Future of Children and Families in Washington State, Washington KIDS COUNT used data from the last three recessions to estimate that an additional 37,000 children would enter poverty this year as unemployment reached 9 percent. Since the release of that report, unemployment has continued to climb. We have updated our estimate to predict a total of 60,000 children entering poverty by 2010.
Tomorrow on schmudget we will discuss the importance of education for a child’s future economic security.
Make your own customized line graphs and charts with hundreds of indicators of child and family well-being at the new KIDS COUNT Data Center.
Editor’s Note: This post is Part Two of a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Center in Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of Kids Count intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
Economic security is vital for healthy growth and development of children. Compared to children living in poverty, those with economic security are more likely to perform well in school, have good health, attend higher education, compete successfully in the labor market, and become engaged citizens. When children are able to realize their full potential, everyone benefits – families, communities, and the state as whole.
Unfortunately, there are many children in Washington State who live in families where a lack of economic security limits their potential. Prior to the recession, 15 percent of children (226,000) in Washington lived in families with incomes below the official poverty line, which is $22,050 for a family of four. Rising unemployment due to the current economic recession will likely send many more children in the state into poverty. That data is not yet available.
The highest rates of poverty in Washington occur for children who are less than five years old, live with a single parent, or are children of color. The map below also shows significant disparities in child poverty by county, with rural counties having the highest poverty rates in the state.
Tomorrow we will share data from the KIDS COUNT Data Center on the relationship between unemployment and the loss of economic security in families with children.
Editor’s Note: This post is Part One of a series on the launch of the new KIDS COUNT Data Centerin Washington State. The series is written by our colleagues at Washington KIDS COUNT at the University of Washington. The work of KIDS COUNT intersects well with efforts of the Budget & Policy Center to highlight the importance of state investments.
Washington KIDS COUNT is pleased to announce the new KIDS COUNT Data Center. The KIDS COUNT Data Center is a new, on-line resource that contains hundreds of measures of child well-being covering national, state, and county information. The KIDS COUNT Data Center is updated throughout the year and is a powerful resource for policy makers, practitioners, and the media. The Data Center allows you to:
- Rank states, cities, and other geographic areas on key indicators of child well-being;
- Generate customized maps and trend lines that show how children are faring and use them in presentations and publications;
- Feature automatically updated maps and graphs on your own website or blog.
This week on schmudget, Washington KIDS COUNT will be highlighting indicators of child and family well-being from the Data Center to accompany the release of the 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book: Counting What Counts.
Check out the new KIDS COUNT Data Center at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/wa
The report finds that residents who live in rural communities must travel 15 miles or more to reach a full-service grocery store. In contrast, metropolitan area residents frequently live within one mile of a full-service grocery store. In rural parts of the state, more families also live in poverty and struggle to have enough money to buy food. The cost of gas to make a longer trip to a grocery store, as well as the time and reliable transportation it takes to get there, make it harder to support a healthy diet.
In addition to state and federal programs that are designed to help lower income households maintain a healthy diet, marketplace initiatives such as the Healthy Corner Store Network can help increase access to healthy food for Washington families in all areas of the state.