Forty-seven million Americans went without health insurance in 2006, an increase of 2.2 million people from the year before, according to a report
issued by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday (Aug. 28). It marks the sixth consecutive year the ranks of the uninsured have grown.
For the second year in a row, the percentage of children without medical coverage increased. The Census Bureau estimates 8.7 million kids - or 11.7 percent - had no insurance.
The new numbers come as states ramp up their taxpayer-funded efforts to cover children and as Congress tries to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by the end of September.
With 24 percent of its population without coverage, Texas had the highest uninsured rate in the country, according to the report . The states with the lowest uninsured rates - all with close to 9 percent - are Minnesota, Hawaii, Iowa, Wisconsin and Maine.
The percentage of Americans living in poverty (now 12.3 percent) dipped for the first time this decade, and the median household income inched up for the second straight year, reaching $48,200, the new Census data showed.