Trends in Uninsurance Among Rural Minority Children
Disparities in health insurance coverage for both minority and rural children persist, with children who are simultaneously minority race/ethnicity and living in rural areas being particularly disadvantaged. Using twenty-one years of data from the National Health Interview Survey to explore trends in health insurance and health services utilization for children between 1980 and 2001, and focusing on non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic African American, and Hispanic children, the authors found that rural children have been consistently less likely to have insurance than urban children, and minority status adds to the disparity. Several factors consistently influenced the odds that a child would lack health insurance, measured in 1980, 1986, 1994 and 2001. Compared to urban white children, rural white children and Hispanic children, both urban and rural, were more likely to lack insurance. Factors consistently associated with lack of health insurance, such as poverty, low education, and non-parental households, have been more prevalent among minority children since 1979, and remained so in 2001. Rural disadvantages for minority children are marked.