Health spending in OECD countries: obtaining value per dollar

Health Aff (Millwood). 2008 Nov-Dec;27(6):1718-27. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.6.1718.


In 2005 the United States spent $6,401 per capita on health care-more than double the per capita spending in the median Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country. Between 1970 and 2005, the United States had the largest increase (8.3 percent) in the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) devoted to health care among all OECD countries. Despite having the third-highest level of spending from public sources, public insurance covered only 26.2 percent of the U.S. population in 2005. The United States was equally likely to be in the top and bottom halves for sixteen quality measures compiled by the OECD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Developed Countries*
  • Financing, Personal
  • Health Expenditures / trends*
  • Humans
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • United States