TABLE 2-2 Percentage of People Below Poverty Level, 1996

Race and Hispanic Origin

Percent Below Poverty Level

All races

12.8

White

10.0

Black of African American

30.7

Asian or Pacific Islander

14.1

Hispanic origin

26.2

American Indian

31.2

 

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

 

Metropolitan

Non-Metropolitan

Ethnicity

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

White

9.6

13.3 million

13.7

6.6 million

African American

30.7

7.3 million

44.1

2.2 million

Hispanic

27.6

3.9 million

35.6

0.6 million

 

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.



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