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Health Care Statistics

Additional Info on Canada's Health Care Stats

Additional Info on U.S. Health Care Stats

An Issue of Growing Concern
Escalating health care costs continue to remain an issue of great concern for many employers and providers of health care services. Here are some of the latest statistics concerning health care.

Health Care Expenditures


  • Preventable illness makes up approximately 80% of the burden of illness and 90% of all healthcare costs.


  • Preventable illnesses account for eight of the nine leading categories of death.
  • The United States spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation in the world and yet, in many respects, it's citizens are not the healthiest. (2)
  • More than one-quarter of children without health insurance coverage had no usual source of health care in 1997, compared with 4 percent of children with health insurance. (4)


  • Uninsured children were nearly three times as likely as those with health insurance to be without a recent doctor's visit in 1997. (4)


  • The US healthcare system is the most expensive of systems, outstripping by over half again the health care expenditures of any other country. (2)



  • In 1997, health care costs in the US totalled in excess of $1 trillion. (2)


  • Health care costs in the United States exceed 14% of the gross domestic product. (2)


  • The average cost of health care per person in the United States approximated $3,925 in 1997. (3)


  • Lifetime medical costs average approximately $225,000 per person. (1)


  • Some 18 percent of lifetime costs for medical care--over $40,000--is estimated to be incurred in the last year of life. (1)

  • Despite expenditures in excess of $1 trillion, the number of people without health insurance continues to increase reaching 43.4 million--16.1% of our population--in 1997. (2)


  • The Health Care Financing Administration's analysts recently projected that, beginning in 1998, national health spending would again begin to grow faster than the rest of the economy. (2)


  • By 2002, the HCFA projected that national health expenditures would total $2.1 trillion--an estimated 16.6 percent of the gross domestic product. (2)


Health Care Expenditures and US Employers


  • Collectively, private employers and employees are the most important purchasers of health care through the insurance premiums they pay together for coverage. (3)


  • Of the $585 billion that private payers expended for medical services in 1997, about 60% (348 billion) was spent by employers and employees to purchase insurance. (3)


  • Between 1980 and 1993, spending by employers on health care as a percentage of total compensation to workers increased 3.7 percent to 6.6 percent. (3)

More on Canada's Health Care Stats

More on U.S. Health Care Stats


1. Fries, J.; Koop, C.E.; Beadle, C.E.; et al. "Reducing health care costs by reducing the need and demand for medical services." The New England Journal of Medicine, 329: 321-325 (July 29), 1993.

2. Iglehart, J.K. "The American health care system--expenditures." The New England Journal of Medicine, 340(1): (January 7), 1999.

3. Kuttner, R. "The American health care system--employer sponsored health coverage. The New England Journal of Medicine, 340(3): (January 21), 1999.

4. Center for Disease Control (CDC) - CDC RELEASES NEW REPORT ON U.S. HEALTH STATISTICS (July 26), 2000.



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