Koreans in Queens lacks health insurance

One-third of Korean Americans living in Queens, the borough with the most Koreans, do not have health insurance.

With the release of its American Community Survey results for 2010 on Sept. 22, the U.S. Census reported that 33.7% of Korean residents in Queens are uninsured. Mixed-race people who claim Korean heritage are included in this figure.

This is considerably more than the norm for Koreans and Asians nationwide, where figures show  24.1% of Korean Americans are uninsured. The figure is  more than twice the national average for Asians 15.7% of whom have no insurance, and shows many Korean immigrants in Queens are exposed to illnesses without any safety net.

Citywide, the percentage of Korean Americans without health insurance was 27.3%, and statewide it was  25.3% , also higher than the national average. The percentage of uninsured Koreans in New Jersey was higher still, at 31.8%.

The data also show that 34.3% of Korean residents in Queens had college degrees, which is similar to the national average of 34.2%. The borough’s median household income, however, at $50,058, was 1.9% lower than the national average for Koreans, $51,009, and 12.5% below the state average of $57,215. New Jersey recorded a median income per household at $63,680, which was 24.8% above the national average but 5% below the nation’s Asian average of $67,002.

The median individual income for Koreans in Queens is $21,193, 14.5% and 32.7% below the national average ($24,786) and state average ($31,498), respectively, which was not proportional to the education level. New Jersey workers earn a median income of $26,680.

Among the Koreans in Queens, 40.7% used public transportation, which was five times higher than the nation’s average of 7.9%. The percentage of Koreans with cars was 34.5%, half of the national average of 70.8%. The Korean poverty rate was somewhat high. The percentage of poor Koreans in Queens was 12.4%, higher than the national average of 11.5%.

Meanwhile, the median price for houses owned by Koreans in Queens was $564,000, 1.5 times more expensive than the national average of $366,200. In New York State, the median price of Korean-owned houses was $554,100. Koreans in New Jersey paid a median price of $518,000 for houses.

The single-year data is available only for cities or counties with at least 65,000 residents, and Queens was the only county in the city with data available for Koreans.

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