US continues to lead in healthcare spending

The United States spends more than twice as much as the average Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development country on healthcare, yet it lags in many health indicators, according to a recently published OECD report.

Six quick takeaways:

  • The U.S. spent the most of any OECD country on healthcare in 2018, at $10,686 per person, while the OECD average is $3,994.
  • The U.S. also spent the greatest proportion of its GDP on healthcare (16.9 percent), compared to the 8.8 percent for the average OECD country.
  • Meanwhile, just 91 percent of the population in the U.S. is eligible to receive a core set of healthcare services, placing the U.S. near last and just head of Mexico (89 percent population coverage), though Mexico also spends roughly a tenth of what the U.S. spends on healthcare. The average OECD country offers 98 percent of its population coverage for a core set of services.
  • About 50 percent of total healthcare expenditures are covered by insurance in the U.S., compared to about 71 percent in the average OECD country.
  • The U.S. has below average life expectancy — 78.6 years in the U.S. compared to 80.7 years on average — and below average avoidable deaths. About 262 deaths per 100,000 were avoidable in the U.S. in 2018, compared to 208 deaths on average.
  • Despite below average health status, Americans believe they are healthy — only 2.6 percent of Americans over age 15 rated themselves as in poor health, compared to 8.7 percent of people in the average OECD country.


More articles on rankings and ratings:

10 states with the highest obesity rates
10 major cities with the highest, lowest uninsured rates
13 physicians recognized for excellent emergency care

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