More young adults with health insurance helped reduce the number of U.S. uninsured last year to 48.6 million from 50 million the year before, the U.S. Census Bureau said.
David Johnson, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau's social, economic and housing statistics division, said in a call with reporters that coverage gains among those ages 19 to 25 and increased public insurance coverage accounted for last year's growth in insurance coverage.
New Census Bureau figures show 260.2 million people were insured last year, up from 256.6 million in 2001.
The rate of uninsured among those ages 19 to 25 declined to 27.7%, or 8.3 million young adults, in 2011 from 29.8%, or 8.8 million young adults the prior year.
Young adults ages 19 to 25 who gained coverage accounted for 40% of the decline in uninsured last year, according to Census Bureau statistics. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act extended dependent coverage to adults up to age 26 in September 2010.