Latinas experience great barriers to good health and health care. In nearly every state, Latinas face higher levels of no health insurance coverage, poverty, food insufficiency, and housing insecurity compared to white, non-Hispanic men and women. These inequities operate as barriers to living healthy lives. A lack of health insurance coverage makes it more difficult for Latinas to access and afford health care. Those living in poverty have higher rates of chronic diseases and overall worse physical and mental health.i Those experiencing food insufficiency and housing insecurity also face worse health, including greater chronic health and mental health conditionsii. Deep inequities in our economic and health systems have led to Latinas having access to fewer resources and overall poorer health.
Nationally, over one in five Latinas (22.2%) ages 19 to 64 lacked health insurance coverage between 2017 and 2021. In comparison, 10.2% of white, non-Hispanic men and 7.6% of white, non-Hispanic women did not have health insurance nationally. The share of Latinas without health insurance varies greatly by state. For example, 14.0% of Latinas in New Mexico lack health insurance while 40.0% of Latinas in North Carolina, nearly double the national share, lack health insurance coverage.
More than one in six Latinas (17.0%) ages 18 and over nationally lived in poverty in 2021 compared to 7.1% of white, non-Hispanic men and 8.9% of white, non-Hispanic women. However, Latinas in many states fared worse. In South Dakota, 23.1% of Latinas live in poverty, meanwhile, 7.1% of white, non-Hispanic men and 10.2% of white, non-Hispanic women lived in poverty in 2021 in South Dakota.
Overall, Latinas in many states report worse health than white, non-Hispanic men and women. The following table provides data by state on social determinants of health metrics for Latinas.Health Metrics for Latinas by State