Follow Us On Twitter     |     Contact     |     McGill     |     IHSP

OECD Health Costs

Expenditures on Health (% of GDP)

Total Expenditures on Health (as a % of GDP)

In 2011, the United States had the highest level of total expenditures on health as a percentage of GDP in the OECD, with total health spending equivalent to 17.7% of GDP. This figure was well above the second highest ranking country (the Netherlands at 11.9%) and the OECD average (9.5%)*.

Rank
OECD Country
% of GDP
OECD Average* 9.5
1 United States 17.7
2 Netherlands 11.9
3 France 11.6
4 Germany 11.3
5 Canada 11.2
6 Switzerland 11.0
7 Denmark 10.9
8 Austria 10.8
9 Belgium 10.5
10 New Zealand 10.3

* Averages exclude data from Australia, Japan, Mexico, Turkey.

Change in Health Expenditures (% of GDP)

Change in Total Expenditures on Health (as a % of GDP): 1990-2011

Of 26 OECD countries with adequate data, all experienced increases in total expenditures on health as a percentage of GDP between 1990-2011. In other words, total health spending grew faster than GDP for every country during that period.
The United States saw the largest increase of all OECD countries, with an increase of 5.3 percentage points. Canada’s total health spending as a percentage of GDP increased by 2.3 percentage points, while the United Kingdom and France saw increases of 3.6 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively.

Rank
OECD Country
Change
OECD Average** 2.6
1 United States 5.3
2 Portugal 4.5
3 Netherlands 3.9
4 Japan* 3.8
5 United Kingdom 3.6
6 Korea 3.5
7 New Zealand 3.5
8 Turkey* 3.4
9 Belgium 3.3
10 France 3.3
... ... ...
20 Canada 2.3

*Available data does not cover entire period 1990-2011 - based on the full range of dates for which data is available.
** Averages exclude data from Australia, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Expenditures on Health (per capita)

Per Capita Expenditure on Health (in 2005 PPP-USD): 1990-2011

Because total health expenditures as a percentage of GDP can be affected by both the level of health care spending and fluctuations in GDP, it is also important to examine per capita expenditures on health. In 2011, the United States had the highest per capita health expenditures, at US$ 7,506 (2005 PPP). Norway had the second highest expenditures, at US$ 4,667 (2005 PPP). Canada ranked 5th at US$ 3,996 (2005 PPP).

Rank
Country
Total (US$)
OECD Average** 2957
1 United States 7,506
2 Norway 4,667
3 Netherlands 4,424
4 Switzerland 4,338
5 Canada 3,996
6 Germany 3,938
7 Austria 3,894
8 Denmark 3,543
9 France 3,484
10 Belgium 3,470

** Averages exclude data from Australia, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Growth in Health Expenditures (%)

Growth in Per Capita Expenditure on Health (%): 1990-2011

The average OECD growth in total health spending per capita over the 1990-2011 period was approximately 108%. Four countries experienced increases exceeding 200% over the reference period: Korea (381%), Turkey (249%), Poland (212%), and Ireland (208%). Canada and the United States, while not in the top ten countries with the highest growth in per capita health expenditures, saw increases of 67% and 90%, respectively.

Rank
Country
Growth (%)
OECD Average** 108
1 Korea 381
2 Turkey* 249
3 Poland 212
4 Ireland 208
5 Czech Republic 148
6 Portugal 140
7 Slovak Republic* 139
8 Chile* 137
9 United Kingdom 136
10 Norway 111
... ... ...
17 United States 90
... ... ...
25 Canada 67

*Available data does not cover entire period 1990-2011 - based on the full range of dates for which data is available.
** Averages exclude data from Australia, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Life Expectancy at Birth

Life Expectancy at Birth

In 2011, the average life expectancy at birth** in the OECD was 80 years. Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Iceland, Spain, France, and Australia had average life expectancies of 82 years or more. Canada ranked 17th with 81 years; the United States ranked 26th with 78.7 years – more than two years below the OECD average.

Rank
Country
Years
OECD Average** 80
1 Switzerland 82.8
2 Italy 82.7
2 Japan 82.7
4 Iceland 82.4
4 Spain 82.4
6 France 82.2
7 Australia 82
8 Sweden 81.9
9 Israel 81.8
10 Norway 81.4
... ... ...
17 Canada 81
... ... ...
26 United States 78.7

**Average utilizes the 2009 life expectancy for Canada and includes all 34 OECD countries.

Changes in Average Life Expectancy

Changes in Average Life Expectancy (1990-2011)

Within the OECD, the countries with the largest increases in life expectancy generally had lower per capita GDPs than countries with the highest life expectancies. South Korea’s increase in life expectancy from 1990 to 2011 was the highest in the OECD: 9.7 years.

Rank
Country
Change (years)
OECD Average** 5.3
1 Korea 9.7
2 Turkey 7.1
3 Portugal 6.7
4 Czech Republic 6.5
4 Estonia 6.5
6 Slovenia 6.3
7 Poland 6.1
8 New Zealand 5.7
8 Ireland 5.7
10 Italy 5.6
... ... ...
33 Canada 3.4
33 United States 3.4

**Average utilizes the 2009 life expectancy for Canada and includes all 34 OECD countries.

Growth in Average Life Expectancy

Growth in Average Life Expectancy at birth (1990-2011)

Within the OECD, the countries with the largest increases in life expectancy generally had lower per capita GDPs than countries with the highest life expectancies. South Korea’s increase in life expectancy from 1990 to 2011 was the highest in the OECD: 13.6%.

Rank
Country
Growth (%)
OECD Average** 7.1
1 Korea 13.6
2 Turkey 10.5
3 Czech Republic 9.1
4 Portugal 9
5 Poland 8.6
6 Slovenia 8.5
7 Hungary 7.9
8 Ireland 7.6
9 New Zealand 7.5
9 Finland 7.5
... ... ...
33 United States 4.5
... ... ...
34 Canada 4.4

**Average utilizes the 2009 life expectancy for Canada and includes all 34 OECD countries.

All data taken from OECD Health Data 2012, © OECD 2012, available here.      Calculations performed by the IHSP.