Latinos make up 40% of the uninsured population in California, which is 1 1/2 times as large as their share of the total non-elderly population.
The report does not say how much of this may be attributed to the immigration status of large numbers of Latinos, to the industries in which they are employed or to their being denied benefits that other workers and residents receive.
"The high percentage of uninsured Latinos . . . partially explains California's overall higher percentage of uninsured," the report stated. Yet it also points out that California has a higher percentage of uninsured non-Latino white adults, "suggesting that understanding other factors besides ethnicity is essential to addressing the problems of the uninsured."
Of all people, only blacks in California fared better than the national average, the report stated without explanation.
In an interview, Brown said the report raises a number of questions that need further study. He said he has no explanation why the Los Angeles area and San Diego have such a high percentage of uninsured residents. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area the number of uninsured totals 1,417,000, the report found. In San Diego, 343,000 are uninsured.
In other metropolitan areas in California, the percentage of uninsured people was 24% in Bakersfield, 23% in Fresno, 22% in Oxnard-Ventura, 21% in Anaheim-Santa Ana, 18% in San Francisco, 17% in Oakland, 16% in Sacramento, 16% in Riverside-San Bernardino and 14% in San Jose.
Among the study's other findings:
- Younger people are more likely to be uninsured than older ones. Individuals 18 to 29 were most likely to be uninsured, followed by those under 18. California's children under 18 were at greater risk of being uninsured than were children in the country as a whole.
- Women between the ages of 45 and 64 are at greater risk of being uninsured than men of the same age. They are almost 50% more likely to be uninsured than their counterparts across the country.
- About 15% of all uninsured workers are self-employed. People who work part time (or full time for only part of the year) have a greater risk of being uninsured than full-time employees. Excluding the self-employed, part-time employees were nearly three times as likely to be uninsured as full-time employees.