August 30, 2006—US census figures released Tuesday indicate that the number of Americans with health insurance is falling. In 2001, the census estimated that 14.6% of the country was uninsured; in four years, that percentage has risen to 15.9%, or 46.6 million people.

Non-Hispanic whites are the most insured demographic in the country, at 88.7%, followed by African Americans at 80.4%. Only two-thirds of the Hispanic population has health coverage. The number of children without health insurance is up 0.4%, an increase of around 400,000.

The percentage of people covered by government-sponsored health programs held steady at 27.3%. But as employers shift costs to employees to offset the escalating price of health coverage, a growing number of workers are declining coverage, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

—Cat Vasko