Posted at 04:59 PM ET, 08/15/2011

Why Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the U.S.
By Sarah Kliff

(KAREN BLEIER) As Brad wrote earlier today, there are a lot of Texas statistics that we’ll hear about this campaign season. You can expect Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), for example, to bring up how his state has generated 37 percent of the country’s new jobs since 2009.

Here’s one statistic, though, you won’t hear him touting: Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the country. Twenty-six percent of Texas residents lack health insurance, compared with a national average that hovers around 17 percent. That works out to about 6.3 million uninsured Texans, a population nearly equal in size to the entire state of Massachusetts.

Texas has led the country in its percentage of uninsured residents since well before Perry took office in 2000, says Anne Dunkelberg, who directs the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities. “We literally started out in the 1990s at the end of the line and nothing has moved to change that position,