Low-income Colorado kids more likely to be uninsured than US average

(Photo: CPR/Nathaniel Minor)

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds 12.6 percent of low-income Colorado children were uninsured in 2013.

That's about two percentage points higher than the national number of 10.6 percent. The Census Bureau defined "low income" as making less than 200 percent of the federal povery rate -- about $48,000 a year for a family of four.

The figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey.

The Census Bureau found nearly 63 percent of low-income Colorado children are covered by government health insurance programs, like Medicaid, with almost 29 percent covered by private insurance. Here's how that compares to other states:

Overall, the poverty rate in the U.S. dropped. That's in large part because of the largest one-year decline in child poverty since the mid-1960s, The Washington Post reports:

The official poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15 percent in 2012. That was the first time the rate has declined since 2006, a year before the recession began. However, the number of people living at or below the poverty line, about 45 million, did not budge. The decline in the rate at a time of unchanging raw numbers was attributed to population growth.

The improvement was notable among families and, particularly, Hispanics. Their median household income jumped 3.5 percent last year. They were the only racial or ethnic group to show a sizeable change in either their income or their poverty rate, which fell more than two percentage points, to 23.5 percent.

As a result, they appear to be largely responsible for a drop in child poverty, which fell from 22 percent to 20 percent, its lowest level since 2008. Poverty among Hispanic children fell even more dramatically, though, down from almost 34 percent to 2012 to a little over 30 percent last year, the lowest level since 2007.

Still, those numbers remain below levels from before the recession.

This story is part of our ongoing exploration of Colorado kids who are living in poverty, how it affects their lives and our common future. We'd like to hear your ideas about about what can be done about child poverty in Colorado. Share your thoughts through our Public Insight Network.