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UCLA reports California health by race, ethnicity

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On June 17, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research issued a series of clearly presented fact sheets regarding health statistics for five California major ethnic and racial groups: Caucasians, Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. In addition the report provides detailed information on Latino and Asian subgroups. The report covers a wide range of health topics, from insurance status to fruit-and-vegetable consumption, to binge drinking. The data was derived from the 2011–12 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).

The UCLA center notes that the profiles contained in the report furnish detailed and reliable information for policymakers, advocates, researchers, media, and others interested in the health of adult Californians; it is particularly useful for those interested in the health of previously understudied ethnic and racial minorities.

The report authors note that the report contains detailed health statistics for five subgroups within California’s Latino population, which comprise 9.5 million of the state’s 27.8 million adults. It also includes separate data for US-born Mexicans and Mexicans born outside of the US. Latino ethnic groups covered include Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, other Central American, and South American. Health information regarding six Asian subgroups (3.9 million total): Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and South Asian.

Some specific findings for California’s estimated 27.8 million adults:

Number of uninsured: Approximately 6.2 million California adults (26.6% of the state’s adult population) had no health insurance for all or part of the past year.

Insured through work: Approximately 50% of Asians in California had employment-based health insurance, compared with 50% of 10 Californians overall. Among Asian ethnic groups, the percentage ranged from a high of more than 70% for South Asians to less than 40% for Koreans. For Latinos overall, less than 40% had employment-based insurance, while Guatemalans had the lowest rate: 20%.

Mexican groups and poverty: More than 70% of adult Mexicans born outside the US had household incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (less than $46,100 for a family of four in 2012). For US-born Mexicans, the percentage was much lower: 44%.

Walking and health: Approximately one of three Californians walked regularly on a weekly basis. Latinos had one of the highest rates, at almost 35%, and Salvadorans were the most frequent walkers: 41%.

Californians and obesity: More than 6.8 million Californians (25% of the adult population) were obese. Less than 10% of Asians was obese; however, almost 40% of African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives were obese.

The complete report is available at this link.