Reversing a 12-year trend, the share of the population without health insurance declined in 1999, the first decline since 1987 when comparable health insurance statistics were first available. In 1999, 15.5 percent of the population were without health insurance coverage during the entire year, down from 16.3 percent in 1998. From 1987 to 1998, this rate either increased or was unchanged from one year to the next. Similarly, the number of people without health insurance coverage declined for the first time in 1999, to 42.6 million people, down 1.7 million from the previous year.
The estimates in this report are based on the March 2000 Current Population Survey (CPS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Respondents provide answers to the survey questions to the best of their ability, but as with all surveys, the estimates may differ from the actual values.