unmarried women in America.
About 57 million women in the United States are unmarried — widowed, divorced, separated, or single. That’s one out of every two U.S. women. Their numbers are growing, along with their power to influence elections and set policy priorities. We created the VPC Data Center to house and highlight information and analysis from multiple sources on this fast-growing, increasingly influential population. This library is intended to be an easily-accessible, often-updated resource.
The proposed Trump budget released on March 16 increases spending on defense and homeland security by making big cuts to domestic spending that will disproportionately affect women and the poor — including slashing the budgets for the WIC nutrition assistance program, job training programs for disadvantaged youth and seniors, important medical research at the National Institutes of Health, afterschool programs and aid to low-income and minority college students, and neighborhood investments for low-income communities.
Overall, the trend in Trump’s budget is clear, just like it is in the health care proposal being put forth by Trump and the Republicans: Tax cuts for the wealthy and increases in military spending, “paid for” by cuts to government programs that historically help working- and middle-class Americans — especially unmarried women, people of color, and young people.
March 20 Update: We’ve added a more thorough analysis of the FY2018 cuts to the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, and how these cuts would hurt unmarried women, people of color, and young people in particular.
Despite assurances from the Trump Administration that under the American Health Care Act (the GOP’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act), “we’ll have more individuals covered” and “nobody will be worse off financially,” the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has just released an analysis of that legislation contradicting both claims.
Specifically, CBO’s estimate is that if the AHCA passes, 14 million Americans will lose health insurance in 2018, increasing to 24 million by 2026. Out-of-pocket premium costs, deductibles, and cost-sharing costs will go up for most lower- and middle-income consumers using the exchanges — which will have a disproportionate negative effect on unmarried women, people of color, and young people who have all benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.
Read our complete summary of the CBO analysis below.
Since the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) was enacted in 2010, it has helped millions of Americans gain access to health insurance — and especially benefitted unmarried women, people of color, and millennials. Between 2013 (the beginning of open enrollment) and 2016, the uninsured rate among African-Americans dropped by 9.8 percentage points, adults 19-25 by 11.9 percentage points, and Hispanics by a staggering 15.9 percentage points.
All the while, Republicans have been pledging to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act at their first opportunity — and on Monday, March 6, Republicans in Congress introduced their replacement plan, which they’re calling the American Health Care Act.
Our researchers have analyzed the AHCA and found that it jeopardizes all of the gains realized in the Affordable Care Act:
- Millions of Americans are likely to lose insurance coverage as the ACA’s Medicaid expansion ends in 2020.
- Health-care costs will rise significantly, especially for those with low incomes, because the Republican plan cuts health insurance subsidies and eliminates cost-sharing subsidies that help low-income Americans afford health insurance and health care.
- The AHCA offers $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
- The AHCA could potentially unravel the individual insurance market by producing a spiral of increasing costs, reducing coverage and raising deductibles.
Read our one-page analysis summary below.
The incoming president and the majority party in Congress have made it a priority to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”).
As part of our overall goal to collect and highlight data that reveals the economic and political conditions of unmarried women and the New American Majority (which also includes people of color and millennials), we’ve analyzed how repealing the Affordable Care Act would affect these crucial populations, and collected polling data on what Americans think about the ACA. We’ve also done some preliminary analysis of some of the Republican “replacement” plans, and put together a list of policy considerations for unmarried women in particular in any discussion of repealing and replacing the ACA.
Here are some of the things we found:
- The Affordable Care Act is helping Americans. It has helped cut the uninsured rate for adults ages 18-64 by 43%, a change that has particularly helped unmarried women. In 2013, 10.1 unmarried women 18-64 were uninsured; by 2015, that number had fallen to 6.8 million.
- According to a November 2016 poll from Kaiser Health Tracking, most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are extremely popular—including allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26 (85% in favor), eliminating many out-of-pocket expenses for preventative services (83%), providing subsidies to low- and moderate-income Americans to help them get insurance coverage (80%), and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions (69%). Additionally, a January 2017 poll from Quinnipiac (conducted after this report was completed) indicates that only 18% of Americans want to repeal the ACA.
- According to analysts, the “replacement” plans being proposed would cost more money, cover fewer Americans, or both — and, of course, repealing the ACA without replacing it would take away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans, with a particularly heavy impact on the New American Majority.
Read the full reports here:
We also think this is a good opportunity to highlight some of the data we put together last year about the economic status of unmarried women and the New American Majority in each state—including statistics on access to health insurance. Find your state’s statistical profile below:
Statistical profiles not available for Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, or West Virginia.
Our sister organization, Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, and Democracy Corps surveyed 1,300 voters between Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, 2016, including an oversample of 200 Rising American Electorate voters and 200 battleground state voters (AZ, FL, OH, IA, NC, NV, NH, PA, VA, WI). Select highlights are below; you can read the full survey here.
Voters Dissatisfied With Economy’s Progress and Fairness
Lots of Rising American Electorate, including unmarried women, thought Trump expressed legitimate frustration
In their new interactive report, NWLC explores why raising the federal minimum wage, and protecting tipped workers, is so important to helping women in America support themselves and their families. “Why? Because women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers across the country, and more than three-quarters of minimum wage workers in some states. Today, the federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour, and full-time earnings of $14,500 a year leave a family of three thousands of dollars below the federal poverty line. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have minimum wages above the federal level, but in almost every state, the minimum wage leaves a full-time worker with two children near or below the poverty level.”
“… because women are the majority of workers who would get a raise, increasing the minimum wage would also help close the gender wage gap.