Weekly County Spotlight - Sterling County
Sterling County Texas is located just east of Midland County, Texas and just south of Howard County, Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,143 making Sterling County one of the least populous counties in Texas. There is one city in Sterling County, Sterling City, Texas. Sterling City serves as the county seat. Sterling City contains almost 95% of the population of Sterling County.
An issue facing many people in the county is health insurance coverage. People in Texas are no different from individuals all over the country. According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, uninured rates for children aged 0-18 in Texas hovers around 10% . The national average, according to the CDC, is about 5.1% . However, in some regions of Texas, the uninsured rates are significantly higher than both the state and national averages. In particular, Sterling County has very high uninsurance rates among children age 0-18. Results of the Regional Needs Assessment suggest that uninsurance rates in Sterling County for children are as high as 20%. This may mean that children, in this county in particular, have significant difficulty receiving the healthcare they need. The uninsured rate combined with the rural nature of this county may indicate that the individuals in this county, particularly the children, are underserved, especially in medical, mental health, and substance use services.
Unfortunately, Sterling county does not have the highest uninsured rate in Region 9. Several counties meet or surpass the uninsured children rate in Region 9. While most of these counties are rural and sparsely populated, these percentages represent a large portion of youth that are uninsured. Based on population estimates for these counties that match or exceed an uninsured rate of 20%, we estimate almost 2,250 children are uninsured in these 6 counties alone. The numbers are probably significantly higher in more populated areas like Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, and San Angelo. The graph below shows the uninsured rates for all 30 counties in Region 9.
References  Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, "Health Insurance Coverage of Children 0-18," 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/children-0-18/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D. [Accessed 2018].  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Health Insurance Statistics," 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/health-insurance.htm. [Accessed 2018]. Camden Mize
Published July 12, 2018.