JEFFERSON CITY — The number of Missourians lacking health insurance rose slightly last year.
U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday show 739,000 Missourians were without health insurance in 2008 — up from 729,000 the previous year. Both figures amount to about 12.6 percent of the state's population.
The Census Bureau survey asked people whether they had health coverage at any time during 2008, and thus may not include people who lost their jobs and health insurance after the financial meltdown last fall.
Census Bureau figures show that more than 13 percent of Missourians lived in poverty last year. Missouri's poverty rate was near the national average while its uninsured rate was better than the 15.4 percent national average.