Focus Policy Blog


New Report Details Adult Californians’ health by race and ethnicity

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released findings from analyses of 2011-12 California Health Interview Survey on various health indicators among adult Californians, including insurance status, nutrition, clinical health outcomes, health behaviors, food insecurity, and English proficiency. Health profiles were published for all racial groups (Non-Hispanic white, Latino, Black, Asian, and American Indian/Alaska Native) and provided disaggregated data for the Asian and Latino communities.

Among the Asian community,

  • 60 percent had employer-based health insurance (compared to 50% of Californian overall). After disaggregating by ethnicity, 39.8% of Koreans had employer-based insurance, 43.6% of Vietnamese, 60.6% Chinese, 66.3% Filipino, 69.8% Japanese, and 73.6% South Asian. “Other Asian” were 47.6% employer-based insured.
  • 21.5% engaged in binge drinking, with the highest percentage among Filipino (31.1%) and the lowest percentage among Vietnamese (13.9%).
  • Eight percent reported having food insecurity, with the highest percentage among Vietnamese (15.6%) and the lowest among Japanese (2.5%).

Within the Latino population,

  • Fewer than 40% had employer-based health insurance, with Guatemalans having a 20% employer-based insurance percentage.
  • Greater than 70% of adult immigrant Mexicans had household incomes below 200% Federal Poverty Level (translating into $46,100 or below for a family of four). U.S.-born Mexicans had a lower percentage of 44.3%.
  • Latinos had one of the highest rates of walking regularly on a weekly basis, with Salvadorans being the most frequent walkers at 41%.
  • Almost 27% reported being food insecure, with the highest percentage reported by Salvadorans (37%) and the lowest percentage being reported by South Americans (9.0%)

Joanne Chan, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, Harvard School of Public Health.