Charting Inefficiency In US Health Care: United States Ranks Fourth Among OECD Countries In Health Care Spending Per Capita [Map]

on November 18 2013 1:47 PM

The United States ranks fourth among all OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)-member countries in terms per capita health care expenditures, according to data from the OECD. The U.S. spends about $7,636 per person on health care in a year.

Only 81 percent of the U.S. population has health insurance, the fourth-lowest among all OECD-member countries. The top 30 countries in this ranking of 34 each had more than 95 percent of all residents covered.

Mexico, Turkey and Chile were the only countries to have a smaller proportion of residents covered by health insurance. But in all three countries, per capita health care expenditure was less than one-seventh of what the U.S. spends.

The U.S. doctor-to-population ratio is also among the lowest of all OECD countries. For the 27 countries for which data was available, the U.S. had fewer doctors per capita than 21 other countries.

In Austria, the country with the highest doctor-to-population ratio, there are 4.8 doctors per 1,000 residents. In the U.S., there are only 2.5 doctors for every 1,000 residents.

So not only is the United States shelling out a lot more money for health care than most relatively advanced economies, U.S. residents aren’t getting as much bang for their buck. Fewer people are insured, and there are fewer doctors to take care of people than in other countries.

Here’s a map of all OECD-member countries, color-coded by per capita health care expenditure. Click on any country for more info:

Here’s a chart of per capita health expenditures and out-of-pocket expenses by country:

health care spending-01 Health care expenditures in OECD countries.  IBTimes/Lisa Mahapatra

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