Press Release: New Study Shows Latinos Lack Health Insurance at Double the National Average

The percentage of Latinos lacking health insurance is double the national average, according to a recent study by the Latino Data Project of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) at the CUNY Graduate Center. In addition, the number of uninsured Latinos is increasing at a higher rate than that of other groups nationally, and in New York State, nearly one third of Latinos are without health insurance, the Latino Data Project found.  The report, titled “Health Insurance Patterns among Latinos in Comparative Perspective, 2004–2007,” was one of six studies recently released by the CLACLS, including an overview of “The Latino Population in New York City, 2008.” All the reports can be found at

The health insurance report, which looked at the ten most Latino-populous states in the U.S., noted that “in all states examined, what is most conspicuous is the disparity in the rate at which Latino adults are uninsured compared with the other major race/ethnic groups.” Among the lead findings are:


  • Between 2001 and 2007 Latinos saw the highest overall increase in the rate of people who lack medical insurance in the United States, with the rate of uninsured Latinos rising by 2.5%.  

  • The growth rate of uninsured Latinos was five times greater than that of the non-Hispanic white population.

  • Latinos in New York State report significantly lower rates of uninsured persons compared to the other ten states with the highest Latino populations in the U.S., with only Georgia reporting a lower rate of uninsured Latinos.  

  • Despite this, nearly one-third of Latinos in New York lack medical insurance, a rate that is nearly twice that of Asians, twice as high as non-Hispanic blacks, and nearly three times as high as non-Hispanic whites in New York.

  • While Latinos of all ages are more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic persons, the lack of health insurance coverage is particularly acute among Latinos aged 18-24, where over half (51%) of Latinos have no health insurance.

  • The lack of medical insurance is also felt most strongly among Latino males of all ages. Some 37% of Latino men are uninsured, a figure which is twice the rate of the total population and nearly three times the rate of non-Hispanic white men.

Major findings from “The Latino Population in New York City, 2008” include:

  • There were over 2.3 million Latinos living in New York City in 2008 an increase of 5% from 2000.

  • Some 31% of all City Latinos lived in the Bronx, 27% in Queens, 22% in Brooklyn, 18% in Manhattan, and 3% in Staten Island.

  • Latinos were 28% of the City’s total population in 2008 and accounted for 52% of the population of the Bronx, 27% of Queens, 25% of Manhattan, 20% of Brooklyn, and 15% of Staten Island.

The other recently released studies include “A Profile of Latina Women in New York City, 2007; “Demographic, Economic, and Social Transformations in Brooklyn Community District 4: Bushwick, 1990–2007”; “Fertility Rates Among Mexicans in Traditional and New States of Settlement, 2006”; and “Latino Middle Class Income Earners in New York City, 2006.

The Latino Data Project makes information available on the growing Latino population of the United States, and especially New York City, through the analysis of extant data available from a variety of sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Institute for Health, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and state- and local-level data sources.

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies is a research institute that works for the advancement of the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the United States in the doctoral programs at the CUNY Graduate Center. One of its major priorities is to provide funding and research opportunities to Latino students at the Ph.D. level. It has also established and helps administer an interdisciplinary specialization in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies in the Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies program. For additional information, contact the Center at 212-817-8438 or by email at

The Graduate Center is devoted primarily to doctoral studies and awards most of the City University of New York’s Ph.D.s. An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs as well as a number of master’s programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world’s leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to more than thirty interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns.  Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, the Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City’s intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.  Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

Submitted on: DEC 1, 2009

Category: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies | Press Room