Half the Nation's Uninsured Live Along U.S. Southern Border

Out of 3,143 counties, half of the uninsured in U.S. live in only 116 - heavily concentrated along southern border

In an unsurprising study, The Associated Press reveals that half of America's uninsured are concentrated in or near major cities, especially along the southern border.

Coming in at number one, Los Angeles County has 2.2 million residents that are uninsured -- 25% of the county population. In second place, Houston's Harris County has 1.1 million residents that are uninsured. In the fourth and fifth slots are Miami-Dade County in Florida and Dallas County in Texas which have 743,689 and 661,690 uninsured respectively. In the northern region, Chicago's Cook County came in at number three with 852,369. 

Looking at the map seen in the photo above, the heaviest concentration lies along the southern border of the United States, which coincidentally have high illegal immigrant populations. Using Los Angeles as an example, the Los Angeles Almanac estimated that over 700,000 illegal immigrants live in L.A. County. That is nearly 40% of the 2.2 million without coverage.

The study did not break much new ground since major cities contain high population volumes so naturally they will have higher concentrations of uninsured. And on the other hand, states that have lower population to begin with will also show high concentrations of uninsured, like Alaska at just over 700,000 total population. But the map helps to put a perspective on where these uninsured people are and how few counties contain a majority.

The Washington Post covered this study and pointed to these findings:

Half of those under 65 without insurance live in just 116 of the nation’s 3,143 counties. And half of all 19-39 year olds without insurance — the most coveted demographic as health-care providers look to expand their risk pools — live in 108 counties.

As the Obama Administration levels a full-on advertising assault to raise Obamacare enrollment numbers, The Post uses this information to suggest that the administration should narrow its focus:

[T]he administration is best off focusing on a relatively narrow geographic area.

Thus far, out of the 7 million projected enrollees for 2014, less than half have signed up. 

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