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TABLE 2-2 Percentage of People Below Poverty Level, 1996
Race and Hispanic Origin
Percent Below Poverty Level
Black of African American
Asian or Pacific Islander
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census, as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (1998).
TABLE 2-3 Percent and Number of Individuals Below Poverty Level, by Ethnicity and Metropolitan Region, 1987
SOURCE: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (1990)
primary care (i.e., family doctor or clinic; Giachello, 1994). Many of these ethnic minority group members do not know where to go when they get sick (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1997). When a regular source of care is reported, it tends to be a public health care facility, a hospital outpatient clinic, or an emergency room (Giachello, 1994; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1997). Members of ethnic minority groups are also least likely to have insurance coverage. Approximately one-third of the Hispanic population does not have health insurance coverage, and the problem is most severe among Mexican Americans and Central Americans (Giachello, 1993; Naranjo, 1992; Valdez et al., 1993).
Conversely, the largest numbers of low-SES persons are white, and many of them have the same health care access problems as do members of minority groups (Friedell, Linville, and Hullet, 1998). Nearly 20 million white Americans lived below the poverty line in 1987, as depicted in Table 2-3, with many of these living in non-metropolitan, rural areas.