National uninsured rate climbs to 15.5%

The national uninsured rate in the U.S. has risen nearly 3 percent over the past two years, according to a WalletHub study comparing rates across 547 U.S. cities. Honolulu saw the lowest uninsured rate for large cities, while Dallas took the cake for the country’s highest uninsured rate.

According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, the uninsured rate in the U.S. was 12.7 percent in 2016—a number preferable to WalletHub’s calculated rate of 15.5 percent this year. After breaking down city data by age group, ethnicity, income and population size, WalletHub’s study found the problem is largely regional, with California cities dominating the top decile of towns with the lowest uninsured rates in the country. 

Just two non-California cities—Newton, Massachusetts, and Ann Arbor, Michigan—made appearances in that top 10.

Similarly, a series of Texas cities saturated the bottom of the list with the highest uninsured rates in the U.S. El Paso, Arlington, Houston and Dallas all ranked poorly, but Mission, Texas, a town of just 77,000, fell dead last.

WalletHub said its ranking considered only the “city proper” in each case, which excluded cities in surrounding metro areas. Some of their main findings:

  • After Honolulu, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Jose and Pittsburgh topped the list of uninsured rates in big U.S. cities.

  • When considering all U.S. cities, Honolulu falls 35th, with a 3.9 percent adult uninsured rate and a 1.6 percent child uninsured rate.

  • Dallas ranked last as the most poorly insured major city (14.7 percent of children uninsured, 27.3 percent of adults uninsured), but others included Miami, Florida, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Phoenix, Arizona.

  • For mid-sized cities with no more than 300,000 residents, Fremont, California, ranked first and Brownsville, Texas, ranked last.

  • For small cities with a population of less than 100,000, Union City, California, ranked first and Mission, Texas, ranked last.


Find WalletHub’s full list here.