The Health Spending Map of the World

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Everybody knows that the United States spends more money on health care than any other country. But how much exactly?

Over the weekend, the UK Guardian posted this interactive map (click to interact) that compares how much each country spends on health care. Find out how the United States’ spending stacks up against other Western nations and the world.

Interactive map on Guardian UK site; Data from WHO

Interactive map on Guardian UK site; Data from WHO

The accompanying article looks at some of the data more closely and observes:

“We took these statistics from the World Health Organisation, which measure spending and medical infrastructure in nearly 200 countries across the globe. They show huge variations in health funding, depending on where you live, although for most countries, people have to pay for healthcare direct…

The US has the highest health spending in the world — equivalent to 17.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP), or $8,362 per person. And it’s not all private — government spending is at $4,437 per person, only behind Luxembourg, Monaco and Norway.

Under half of all US health spending is by private companies — 46.9%. But it has the highest rate for health insurance in the world — 67.8% of all private spending. Which means the rest comes from out of pocket expenses, ie paying for health as you go.”

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  • Guest

    seems to be parts of the WORLD missing.

  • Fred Molesworth

    Click on this article. It will take you to the original article with a scrollable map

  • Abel

    How much of this healthcare spending goes towards administratve costs?  I think this is partially why we spend the most around the world.

  • David Wise

    You have hit the nail on the head, that is why an important part of ACA mandates insurance companies spend most of their money they bring in on health care, not advertising, compensation, etc. Have you noticed how many people work in doctor offices besides the doctors? Tons of paperwork, usually 3-5 people for each doctor! That is what other countries cut out to be more efficient.

  • Anonymous

    I imagine this graphic presentation might be even more stark were it to be somehow overlaid with health care outcomes.

  • Walt

    My doc has 3 people., a rec. and and a nurse, try again I do believe that was a might whiff. My doc has been running his practice that way for 40 years in a major Texas city. He’s one of the most respected in his particular field too. Who created that paperwork David? Here is a clue, it wasn’t the insurance companies, they are requirements forced on the insurance companies by GOVERMENT!!!

  • Slblair2008

    A big expense is the money Insurance companys spend to NOT pay your legitimate claims.  Dragging out procedure trying to get you to give up even when your claims are supposed to be covered.  I had a family member who as a 14 year old walking her bike across the street, like you are supposed to do, who hit be a car turning right on red.  The car drivers insurance company kept dragging the case out so long her parents had to finally hire a lawyer & sue to get them to pay the childs hospital & Dr bills.  And she will have life long problems due to the accident which she will have the pain &expense for.
    Considering that a right turn on red is only allowed after first stopping & when there are no pedestrians or others there it should have been a simple claim as the car driver would surely been at fault.

  • conscientious objector

    Wondering why more people don’t choose to opt out of insurance on religious grounds.  This situation is morally corrupt and continuing to pay for-profit insurance providers makes people complicit in the corruption.  It’s a vicious cycle that just drives the cost of paying for health care up…while if we all just paid and saved for healthcare directly (not health “insurance”), then costs would go down.  Opt out of the corruption people!

  • Msus2005-discuss

    It’s so easy to just blame the government for everything, but virtually everything wrong with the government is wrong because so few people participate in holding it accountable. Even in such a simple act as voting. One thing is for sure, insurance companies are at least as unethical as most corporations and are willing to do just about every underhanded thing they can in the name of profit. Even if they have gotten themselves classified as “non-profit” they are driven to never ending higher profit margins to feed the CEO’s and their ilk.

  • Walt

    Tell me how awful insurance companies are when you need them, tell how evil those corporations are as they give employment and benefits to millions of people.  My what a lofty perch you survey things from, “their ilk” ..tells much about your person.

  • Walt

    If they are not for profit how exactly do you expect them to sustain themselves?

  • Aleta

     Yes, the paperwork is costly and such a waste.  I am now in the middle of a paperwork/billing nightmare because of a mistake the insurance company made.

  • Aleta

     The problem is that we are unwillingly put into a position where we need insurance companies. Healthcare should be affordable enough to pay for without insurance.  And yes, corporations employ a lot of people – overseas. Or if they are employed here, they are usually underpaid.  They employ as few people as possible, and pay them as little as possible.  Small businesses are better for the economy. That’s a simple fact. But most people don’t really understand economics.

  • clearthinker

    Republicans use other charts, that right wing ‘think’ tanks make up, I imagine.  They don’t trust UN or any world organization.  They do not accept the fact America is not number 1 in everything.  

  • clearthinker

    We don’t need insurance companies in health.  I remember when you just went to the doctor.  That was it.  I worked for corporations, made good money, but the backstabbing and throat cutting was just too much.  I would not participate.  That’s how people were promoted and held positions.  There are decent companies, that’s a fact, who make the workplace a decent place.  I have read about them anyway.

  • Bluegrassbloke

     Do your homework & figure it out – instead of rhetorical barking.

  • Bluegrassbloke

     Here we go again… What is this constant, ‘I hate the government’ rhetoric. Fear and paranoia? Help! the boogie man is coming!

  • Bluegrassbloke

    Just as paying for universal healthcare should be mandatory (everyone will use it, period.) Voting should at least be mandatory federally – like Australia. 

  • Becafree

    Health care should not be a for profit venture–its a human right, and as such it should not be treated the same way as making widgets!  

    It is obscene how this country has chosen to allow corporations to profit from people’s misfortunes and illnesses—there is something inherently wrong with that, and if you can’t see what’ wrong with that, you are part of the problem. 
    My father was a cardiovascular surgeon and chose to practice in another country because in the U.S. the focus was on sucking out as much profit from the patients and their insurance companies rather than on patient care. We lived well, we were not filthy rich or dirt poor, and my father offered his medical expertise to anyone who needed it–and accepted whatever his patients were able to afford.  He loved the art of medicine, not the money or greed, and he practiced the art of medicine.  The U.S.’s medical community has completely forgotten about the art of medicine. 

    Greed–it’s the single driving force in this country and it will be what ends up destroying this country. 

  • Becafree

    Don’t fool yourself, the ACA is a corporate bonanza!  The mandate for the % of premiums to be spent on care is so vague that it allows these greedy private insurance companies to wiggle in as much admin. costs as they wish–it’s called “creative accounting” and they all are expert practitioners of this form of ‘book fudging’.  

  • Sporty9294

     Apparently they take quite a bit more than they “give”.  Where is all that money coming from?

  • Ritalowy2


  • Urs Schuler

     And who instructed the ‘government’ to make all these regulations? Who wrote the laws that the government is supposed to implement? 
    Ever heard of ALEC?

  • Jam_mcf9

    What you don’t show is that even though we pay the most money in the world for health care we do not get the highest quality health care of say Japan and a dozen other countries. It is not the goverment that is ripping us off, but business and industry.

  • Bluegrassbloke

     Too rhetorical, vague and muddled sunshine! Retreat from whence thou came.