Charted: Healthcare Spending and Life Expectancy, by Country

charted:-healthcare-spending-and-life-expectancy,-by-country


Comparing Countries' Healthcare Spend to Their Average Life Expectancies

Charted: Healthcare Spending and Life Expectancy, by Country

Over the last century, life expectancy at birth has more than doubled across the globe, largely thanks to innovations and discoveries in various medical fields around sanitation, vaccines, and preventative healthcare.

Yet, while the average life expectancy for humans has increased significantly on a global scale, there’s still a noticeable gap in average life expectancies between different countries.

What’s the explanation for this divide? According to World Bank data compiled by Truman Du, it may be partially related to the amount of money a country spends on its healthcare.

More Spending Generally Means More Years

The latest available data from the World Bank includes both the healthcare spending per capita of 178 different countries and their average life expectancy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the analysis found that countries that spent more on healthcare tended to have higher average life expectancies up until reaching the 80-year mark.

Country Health expenditure per capita (USD, 2019) Life expectancy at birth, total (years, 2020)
Japan $4,360 85
Singapore $2,633 84
Korea, Rep. $2,625 83
Norway $8,007 83
Australia $5,427 83
Switzerland $9,666 83
Iceland $6,275 83
Israel $3,456 83
Malta $2,532 83
Sweden $5,671 82
Italy $2,906 82
Spain $2,711 82
Ireland $5,429 82
France $4,492 82
Finland $4,450 82
New Zealand $4,211 82
Canada $5,048 82
Luxembourg $6,221 82
Denmark $6,003 82
Netherlands $5,335 81
Austria $5,242 81
Cyprus $1,996 81
Greece $1,501 81
Portugal $2,221 81
Germany $5,440 81
United Kingdom $4,313 81
Belgium $4,960 81
Slovenia $2,219 81
Costa Rica $922 80
Qatar $1,807 80
Chile $1,376 80
Barbados $1,143 79
Maldives $854 79
Lebanon $663 79
Cuba $1,032 79
Panama $1,193 79
Estonia $1,599 78
Czech Republic $1,844 78
United Arab Emirates $1,843 78
Oman $625 78
Uruguay $1,661 78
Turkiye $396 78
Croatia $1,040 78
Bosnia and Herzegovina $554 78
Colombia $495 77
Bahrain $940 77
Thailand $296 77
United States $10,921 77
Seychelles $840 77
Ecuador $486 77
Antigua and Barbuda $760 77
Sri Lanka $161 77
China $535 77
Algeria $248 77
Peru $370 77
Morocco $174 77
Tunisia $233 77
Iran, Islamic Rep. $470 77
Slovak Republic $1,342 77
Argentina $946 77
Poland $1,014 77
St. Lucia $502 76
Malaysia $437 76
Brazil $853 76
Brunei Darussalam $672 76
Montenegro $735 76
North Macedonia $437 76
Hungary $1,062 76
Kuwait $1,759 76
Vietnam $181 75
Honduras $188 75
Latvia $1,167 75
Saudi Arabia $1,316 75
Armenia $524 75
Mexico $540 75
Lithuania $1,370 75
Belize $293 75
Nicaragua $161 75
Jordan $334 75
Jamaica $327 75
Guatemala $271 75
Paraguay $388 74
Romania $739 74
Dominican Republic $491 74
Serbia $641 74
Belarus $399 74
Mauritius $686 74
Bahamas $2,005 74
Georgia $291 74
Trinidad and Tobago $1,168 74
Bulgaria $698 74
El Salvador $300 74
Samoa $272 73
Cabo Verde $178 73
Solomon Islands $112 73
Azerbaijan $193 73
Bangladesh $46 73
St. Vincent and the Grenadines $355 73
Grenada $534 72
Egypt, Arab Rep. $150 72
Bhutan $116 72
Venezuela, RB $339 72
Moldova $284 72
Indonesia $120 72
Uzbekistan $99 72
Suriname $619 72
Kyrgyz Republic $62 72
Bolivia $246 72
Kazakhstan $273 71
Philippines $142 71
Russian Federation $653 71
Tajikistan $62 71
Ukraine $248 71
Nepal $53 71
Tonga $242 71
Iraq $253 71
Vanuatu $104 71
Sao Tome and Principe $108 71
Mongolia $163 70
Cambodia $113 70
Guyana $326 70
India $64 70
Botswana $482 70
Timor-Leste $93 70
Rwanda $51 69
Kiribati $172 69
Turkmenistan $500 68
Lao PDR $68 68
Senegal $59 68
Fiji $236 68
Djibouti $62 67
Pakistan $39 67
Madagascar $20 67
Myanmar $60 67
Kenya $83 67
Ethiopia $27 67
Gabon $215 67
Eritrea $25 67
Tanzania $40 66
Sudan $47 66
Afghanistan $66 65
Mauritania $58 65
Congo, Rep. $49 65
Papua New Guinea $65 65
Malawi $30 65
Comoros $72 65
Liberia $53 64
South Africa $547 64
Ghana $75 64
Haiti $57 64
Zambia $69 64
Namibia $427 64
Uganda $32 64
Niger $31 63
Gambia, The $30 62
Benin $29 62
Burkina Faso $42 62
Guinea $43 62
Burundi $21 62
Zimbabwe $103 62
Angola $71 61
Mozambique $39 61
Togo $51 61
Congo, Dem. Rep. $21 61
Eswatini $264 61
Mali $34 60
Cameroon $54 60
Equatorial Guinea $255 59
Guinea-Bissau $63 59
Cote d’Ivoire $75 58
South Sudan $23 58
Sierra Leone $46 55
Nigeria $71 55
Lesotho $124 55
Chad $30 55

However, there were a few slight exceptions. For instance, while the United States has the largest spending of any country included in the dataset, its average life expectancy of 77 years is lower than many other countries that spend far less per capita.

What’s going on in the United States? While there are several intermingling factors at play, some researchers believe a big contributor is the country’s higher infant mortality rate, along with its higher relative rate of violence among young adults.

On the other end of the spectrum, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea have the highest life expectancies on the list despite their relatively low spending per capita.

It’s worth mentioning that this wasn’t always the case—in the 1960s, Japan’s life expectancy was actually the lowest among the G7 countries, and South Korea’s was below 60 years, making it one of the top 30 countries by improved life expectancy:

countries with the greatest increase in life expectancy since 1960

View the full-size infographic

In fact, the last 60 years have seen many countries substantially increase their average life expectancies from the 30-40 year range to 70+ years. But as the header chart shows, there are still many countries lagging behind in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

How High Can Average Life Expectancy Go?

Since people are living longer than they’ve ever lived before, how much higher will average life expectancies be in another 100 years?

Recent research published in Nature Communications suggests that, under the right circumstances, human beings have the potential to live up to 150 years.

Projections from the UN predict that growth will be divided, with developed countries seeing higher life expectancies than developing regions.

Estimated life expectancy in future

However, as seen in the above chart from the World Economic Forum and using UN data, it’s likely the gap between developed and developing countries will narrow over time.

The post Charted: Healthcare Spending and Life Expectancy, by Country appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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