MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Census and Economic Information Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 18, 2013
Mary Craigle, Bureau Chief, Census and Economic Information Center, (406) 841-2740
Ronja M. Abel, Communications Director, (406) 841-2557
New Census Data Released
Disability Statistics and Health Care Coverage Available on County Level for the First Time
(Helena, MT) – The U.S. Census Bureau for the first time released statistics compiled in certain categories at the county level from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year survey. Conducted between 2008 and 2012, the ACS provides county level data on a number of critical census elements including disability statistics and health care coverage. The Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) of the Montana Department of Commerce analyzes the data and makes the information available to the public on its website.
“Having this information available by county is very important for Montana communities,” said Mary Craigle, CEIC Bureau Chief. “Without this information, assessing the needs of our residents to create meaningful policy responses would be difficult at best,” Craigle continued.
“While all of the new county level data is important, a couple of topics are particularly noteworthy,” said Senior Economist Joe Ramler of the CEIC. “The figures on health care coverage and the number of Montanans reporting a disability are worth highlighting because of their significant public policy implications,” Ramler continued.
Statewide, the data shows that 13% of the population reported some type of disability. The likelihood of having a disability varied significantly by age - from 4 percent of people under 18 years old, to 11 percent of people 18 to 64 years old, and 37 percent of those over 65. Counties with the highest estimated percentage of residents with disabilities were Meagher (22.9%), Deer Lodge (21.8%), Mineral (21.8%), and Sanders (21.2%). Counties reporting the lowest estimated percentage of residents with disabilities were Gallatin (7.7%) and Petroleum (7.2%).
With regard to the important issue of health care coverage, the survey showed that 17.4% of Montana’s population reported not having health insurance coverage. Counties with the highest estimated levels of uninsured residents were Big Horn (40.0%), Blaine (35.4%) and Glacier (35.0%). Counties with the lowest estimated percentage of uninsured were Sheridan (7.7%), McCone (8.5%) and Golden Valley (8.6%).
To access the disability data or all of the ACS files released today, visit the CEIC website at http://ceic.mt.gov/Census/ACS.aspx or the U.S. Census Bureau site at www.census.gov. For more information, contact the Census & Economic Information Center (CEIC) at (406) 841-2740.