The Census Bureau reported  “the number of people with health insurance fell to 253.6 million in 2009 from 255.1 million in 2008, the first year that the number of people with health insurance has decreased since 1987, when the government started collecting comparable data. The number of uninsured rose to 50.7 million from 46.3 million

The percentage of people without health insurance increased to 16.7 percent, or 50.7 million in 2009 from 46.3 million in 2008. Between 2008 and 2009, the number of people covered by private health insurance decreased to 194.5 million from 201.0 million. The number covered by employment-based health insurance also declined to 169.7 million from 176.3 million.  Also, the number of Americans with government coverage such as Medicare and Medicaid “climbed to 93.2 million from from 87.4 million.

The increase in people without insurance is mostly attributed to the loss of employer-provided insurance during the recession.

Click here to read the Census Bureau’s summary of key findings or to access the full report.