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Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Note: Margin of error is ±0.2%; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Latinos of all ages were the least insured group in the U.S. last year, according to census data released this week.

By the numbers: 24.9% of working-age Hispanics and 9.5% of those under 18 lacked health coverage in 2020.

  • The uninsured rate was greater for Hispanic men than for Hispanic women, at 19.9% and 16.6% respectively. Both those rates were 1.8 and 1.2 percentage points higher than in 2019, per the data.
  • In past polls the high cost of health insurance and ineligibility for Medicaid were mentioned as the two most common reasons people of all races and ethnic origins lacked health coverage.
  • Census data also shows that U.S. Hispanics had a median income of $55,321 in 2020, under the $67,521 average for all races and ethnic groups in the country.
  • The number of Latinos living in poverty also increased 17%.

Bottom line: Lacking insurance can create unsurmountable medical debt for treatment, and can discourage people from going to a doctor or hospital, even during a pandemic.

  • “I survive little by little, getting checkups only when I have enough saved up to afford them,” Ernesto Vargas tells Noticias Telemundo.

Get more news that matters about Latinos in the hemisphere, delivered right to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign up for the Axios Latino newsletter.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Podcasts

Latino home ownership is on the rise

Almost 50% of Latinos in the U.S. owned a home in 2020, according to a report from the Hispanic Wealth Project, a group monitoring U.S. Hispanic wealth creation.

But Latinos are still 2.3 times more likely to be in forbearance and 1.5 times more likely to be delinquent on payments than white borrowers.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ race and justice reporter Russell Contreras on the uptick in Latino homeownership and the financial troubles they are also experiencing.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.